The Duke Clergy Health Initiative is a ten-year program to assess and improve the health and well-being of United Methodist clergy in North Carolina.

Through our multi-year wellness intervention and behavioral health study – Spirited Life – and other programs and resources, the Clergy Health Initiative underscores the theological reasons for caring for oneself and offers strategies to help pastors develop holistic health practices.

Pastors work within a complex web of relationships, and the challenges of navigating conflicting demands from peers, family, congregations, and the denomination can impact their health. Compared to other North Carolinians, United Methodist clergy have higher rates of obesity (41 percent versus 29 percent), diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and depression. 

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.

Explore what we're learning.

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Read the latest news about the Clergy Health Initiative.