Introducing Spirited Life

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Proud. Excited. Jumpy and over-caffeinated. These are all adjectives to describe the Clergy Health Initiative staff as Spirited Life’s enrollment numbers tick steadily higher.

Proud.  Excited.  Jumpy and over-caffeinated.  These are all adjectives to describe the Clergy Health Initiative staff as Spirited Life’s enrollment numbers tick steadily higher.  Enrollment for currently serving clergy ends October 31, so read on and sign up!

Here are the basics: Spirited Life is a wellness program and research study.  It incorporates two years of wellness resources aimed at teaching spiritual renewal, stress management, and mindful eating, with individualized coaching and peer support to knit it all together.  Spirited Life is offered free of charge to clergy serving under appointment to a local congregation or on conference staff in the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Annual Conferences.  (Check our frequently asked questions for additional details regarding eligibility.)

The Clergy Health Initiative has been a fascinating project to work on.  During three years of research and consultation, we have gained a nuanced sense of the stresses and demands on our pastors, a great appreciation of the unique opportunity The Duke Endowment has afforded us, and an urgent sense of pastors’ need for help.  Spirited Life looks vastly different than how we originally envisioned our “flagship” program in 2007: it’s much more innovative, ambitious, and holistic.

Spirited Life is sensitive to the liturgical calendar and the rhythm of a Methodist pastor’s life.  It is informed by the Christian theology of incarnation and resurrection, and by Wesley’s theology of prevenient grace.  And it is firmly grounded in health outcomes research and in our learnings about the ecology in which our pastors live and work.

We’re proud of Spirited Life because it represents our best efforts and our highest hopes to make a difference in the lives of our pastors.  We’re excited by the chance to deliver on our promise, to turn the potential of The Duke Endowment’s funding into services to improve pastors’ health, at a time when help is sorely needed.

We’re just a bit sleep-deprived and edgy due to the long hours we’ve put in to get the various parts in place for Spirited Life enrollment this month.  More than that, though, we are on pins and needles to see the fruits of our recruitment efforts, to see how many of you enroll in Spirited Life.  By every measure, this is the largest scale registration event that Duke Divinity School has ever held.  Please bear with us if there are hiccups in the registration process.  Believe me, all hands are on deck here during the remainder of October.  Call us if you have a question or experience a problem with enrollment.

We are thrilled about the arrival of Spirited Life and hope you are as well!  Full details are available at Spirited Life.

Please leave a comment here, or share questions or feedback with us via e-mail:, or phone: (919) 613-5350.

Shalom y’all,

John James, M.A.
Research Analyst
Clergy Health Initiative

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