Posts Tagged ‘clergy’

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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Homosexuality and the pews: Seven signs influencing congregational acceptance of gays and lesbians

Much of the conflict over issues of sexuality takes place at the national level. But individual congregations, not denominations, ultimately decide how gay and lesbian worshippers will be accepted in religious communities. New studies are providing insights into which congregations are more likely to be welcoming to gays and lesbians, and what this means for the future.

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Looking back – and forth – in anger: Catholic outrage, defections, over abuse scandal not letting up

U.S. Cardinal Edward Egan recently generated controversy by expressing regret for issuing an apology for the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse. Yet no matter how much individuals such as the cardinal would like to put the abuse scandal behind them, they can no longer appeal to an obedient laity to ignore or downplay the crimes, according to new research. Many Catholics are still mad as heck, and they are not going to take it anymore. The enduring consequences include continuing defections, lower collections, ruptures in pastoral relationships and a loss of moral influence by church leaders, research indicates.

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Is religion in America in decline?

Add another important voice to the debate over the health of religion in the United States, a nation that is a symbol of the staying power of faith in the West. In a paper for the Association of Religion Data Archives, Duke sociologist Mark Chaves finds “it is reasonable to conclude that American religion has in fact declined in recent decades — slowly, but unmistakably.” Others say the religious beliefs and practices of Americans have been remarkably stable..

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Younger clergy lead online growth: Is there time left for prayer?

Christian clergy are keeping pace with technological advances, a trend that should only grow stronger as a younger, more wired generation takes their place in pulpits, according to a new study. Ninety-five percent of Christian clergy use the Internet at least weekly, and more than three in four send e-mails to worshippers once a week or more, according to the latest wave of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. What may be suffering is time spent in prayer.

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