Posts Tagged ‘clergy’

Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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Mere humanity: Clergy who are humble, accessible may boost their own health as well as the congregation's

Many clergy worry that being honest about their own limitations may be seen as a sign of weakness. Yet new research suggests that not only do congregation members value pastors who are approachable, and share their humanity, but that feeling compelled to live up to unrealistic standards of spiritual perfection can take a debilitating toll on the mental health of pastors.

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The gift of life, helping the stranger and a 'honeymoon effect?' for pastors

Who is more likely to be nice this holiday season? New research sheds light on the relation between religion and blood donation, how one’s image of God influences an individual’s sense of moral obligation and likelihood to volunteer and whether being new to a congregation can lower or heighten stress levels for clergy.

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Are clergy underpaid? New study reveals rising wages, shorter hours and a diminishing wage gap

The price of a clerical calling is declining along with the wage gap that separates them from other college-educated Americans, according to a new study analyzing Current Population Survey data from 1976 to 2013. Just how much? The study found clergy are gaining ground financially faster than more than nine in 10 Americans with college degrees.

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Is your congregation a clergy killer? How churchgoers matter to mental health of pastors

Clergy who serve flocks that support them in their times of need and let their pastors know how much they mean to them are much more likely to be satisfied in their ministry and have a higher quality of life, according to a new study. However, the more clergy feel isolated in their work and forced to meet unreasonable demands, the more likely they are to suffer anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion, research indicated.

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Enough is never enough: Why most Americans donate little or nothing to charity

Americans like to think of themselves as a generous people. But the truth appears much different. Forty-five percent of Americans, including nearly four in 10 who said a generous self-identity was important to them, actually gave no money to charity in the past year, the Science of Generosity survey found. What we end up with is a nation where a relatively few people give freely and abundantly, while most of us give little or nothing, researchers report in a new book.

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Older seminarians, especially minority women, face tough job market with rising student debt

Pursuing a clerical career in their 40s and 50s can be a dream come true for many women and men, a chance to follow what they consider God’s call and do meaningful work in their later years. But the realities of a shrinking clergy labor market, and seminary tuition costs outpacing inflation, leave some facing debts of $80,000 or more trying to find work in a relatively low-paying profession, researchers state. The burden is falling particularly hard on prospective minority clergy with the fewest resources.

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5 ways faith may promote healthier marriages

Comedian Henny Youngman observed, “The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.” But several new studies indicate that cultivating practices such as selfless prayer, spiritual intimacy and compassionate love can help keep couples happily together through the challenges of marriage, from becoming parents to caring for one another amid the infirmities of old age.

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Parents No. 1 influence helping teens remain religiously active as young adults

The holy grail for helping youth remain religiously active as young adults has been at home all along: Parents. Mothers and fathers who practice what they preach and preach what they practice are far and away the major influence related to adolescents keeping the faith into their 20s, according to new findings from a landmark study of youth and religion.

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What price a religious calling? Record seminary debt shows need for financial as well as divine guidance

Record seminary debt and rising tuition costs are forcing both prospective clergy and theological schools to reconsider the price of a religious calling. More than a quarter of students graduating in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree had more than $40,000 in theological debt and 5 percent were more than $80,000 in the red, a new study found. Many of these students discovered that not only they or their spouses had to moonlight to make ends meet, but some had to choose another job besides the ministry to pay the bills.

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