Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis
Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and Jason Byassee, two researchers with the Duke Divinity School Clergy Health Initiative (CHI), have written a book documenting and making suggestions on how to respond to the clergy health crisis.
The book, Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, was published in May by Baker Academics. Proeschold-Bell is associate research professor at Duke Global Health Institute Evidence Lab, CHI research director, and a health psychology researcher; and Byassee is a research scholar with Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and a pastoral theologian.
CHI is a decade-long research project that provides an accurate picture of the clergy health crisis over time and shows that improving the health of pastors is possible. The research from multiple sources shows that clergy suffer from certain health issues at a rate higher than the general population.
Although the study focused on United Methodist ministers, the book’s authors interpret the data for a broad ecumenical readership explaining that the findings are applicable to all North American clergy. In addition to physical health, the book explores mental health and spiritual wellbeing, and suggests increasing positive mental health may prevent future physical and mental health problems for clergy.