The Clergy Health Initiative is uniquely placed as a collaborative and interdisciplinary initiative between Duke Divinity School and the Duke Global Health Institute, giving it a strong theological underpinning and the excellence of Duke’s research environment.
Since 2007, the Duke Clergy Health Initiative has worked to assess and strengthen the health and well-being of United Methodist clergy across the state of North Carolina. The initiative has collected data in the form of longitudinal surveys, focus groups, interviews, and biometric data and then used that information to develop intervention programs for clergy to improve physical and mental health as well as encourage spiritual renewal.
The Duke Clergy Health Initiative is available for conversations, presentations, and collaborative work around clergy health and well-being.
The Selah Stress Management Trial Findings Are In
In the video above, Terry Williams, a NCCUMC pastor, discusses the role stress plays in his vocation and how Selah made an impact on his ministry. "The Selah program came at a really wonderful time and showed me ways to connect with God that I don’t think I had connected with for a long time," he says.
The Selah trial rigorously tested three stress-reduction practices: The Daily Examen, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, and Stress Proofing. The results showed statistically significant declines in stress symptoms. See detailed results (pdf).
What We're Learning
The Clergy Health Initiative has been collecting data in many forms—including a longitudinal survey, focus groups, interviews, and biometric data—from United Methodist clergy in North Carolina since 2008. We are currently researching the practices of pastors whose mental and physical health is flourishing to identify strategies that can be applied by other clergy.