Flourishing in Ministry

Focused on the wellbeing of clergy and their families, Flourishing in Ministry examines what motivates pastors and priests to be engaged in ministry—and what disrupts them from experiencing wellbeing in their work. In our research, we attempt to explore how clergy—often working with lean resources—can give so much to others, and experience a sense of fulfillment and growth in their daily work lives.

“Being a pastor is a tough, demanding job, one that is not always very well understood or appreciated.  Pastoral work is more complex than that which transpires in the hour-or-so a week that many lay people see the pastor in action, as she or he leads worship and preaches.  What happens during this time is surely of central importance to clergy and their parishioners, but it is not the only important thing clergy do…it is a job in flux…it is made increasingly difficult by rapid changes in the pastor’s work environment, including the broader culture in which pastoral work is done.”

The Wellbeing at Work project at the University of Notre Dame with funding from the Lilly Endowment has been engaging with clergy, through various research methodologies, to understand the “rapid changes” of clergy work and how people manage and navigate these changes throughout a life in ministry.  

The researchers continue to study the emerging trends of how clergy can live into their calling, feel a sense of fulfillment, and feel engaged in a very demanding environment