As we all know by now, studies show that being a pastor (of any sort) is one of the most gratifying, fulfilling vocations around AND AT THE SAME TIME one of the most challenging and stressful. What we don’t know is just how pastors in The Wesleyan Church fit into that equation: What are the key factors that contribute the most to clergy and their spouses flourishing? How does the well-being of Wesleyan pastors compare with the national average? On what areas should we focus to help clergy and their spouses thrive?
Fostering healthy, fit and effective pastors and spouses is important to all of us and to the church.
To address these issues, Education and Clergy Development is pleased to announce that Wesleyan pastors AND spouses are invited to participate in a national study on clergy and clergy spouse wellness by one of the nation’s leading researchers on clergy well-being. Dr. Matthew Bloom of Notre Dame University is partnering with The Wesleyan church in historic research funded by the Lilly endowment. This national study focuses on identifying the factors that contribute to the ability of clergy and their families to thrive in ministry over a lifetime.
In addition to being a top-tier scholar and the spouse of a minister, Dr. Bloom has a deep concern for clergy well-being. We also believe the results of this study will help us clearly understand and care for the well-being of our own Wesleyan pastors.
We need your help. The study requires a significant level of participation in order to achieve a positive impact on you, your spouse (where applicable) and our denomination as a whole. The more pastors and spouses that participate, the more meaningful and helpful will be the results. We desire maximum participation from our denomination. Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity for us all to help each other as Wesleyan clergy to know how to best care for our pastors and their spouses.
Who should take the survey?
All Wesleyan clergy – regardless of position – and all spouses of clergy. It does not matter whether or not you are ordained. It does not matter if you are part-time, bi-vocational or full-time. You just need to be under appointment as an active member of the clergy in The Wesleyan Church.
When will the Study Begin?
The survey will come to you in two parts. The first survey will be sent to you in early February. Dr. Bloom will notify us soon as to the exact date the survey will be emailed to you. The survey will come directly from Dr. Bloom’s office at Notre Dame.
What format will the survey take?
The survey is a Likert Scale—you will basically rank each question on a 1-5 scale.
- The survey will take place in two waves, each survey taking approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.
- The surveys will stay open for 10 days each and then will close.
- The first wave of surveys will be distributed in early February.
- The second survey will be distributed a couple weeks later.
How do spouses participate?
At the end of the first survey, clergy will be asked to invite their spouses to participate. Please provide their name and email address in your survey–it will direct you how to do this. This is one of the most unique and significant features of this research project. Following the close of the first pastor survey, the spouse will receive their own invitation to complete a survey. This is a separate survey from the first two pastor surveys. Both pastor and spouse will receive a very short “couples survey.” The spouse will also have a second survey sent to them after the pastor’s second survey. Gathering this information is vital to knowing more about the well-being of spouses of clergy. Eventually, we want to use this information to help us know how to best respond to ministry marriages, so we hope you will invite your spouses to participate!
Who sees my information? How confidential is my information?
The survey is entirely confidential. Dr. Bloom has pledged to share aggregate information only. The study will aggregate results and no personal information will be shared. The only personal results will be sent solely to you.
How will I and/or my spouse benefit from this study?
You will receive immediate feedback about certain aspects of your survey results. This information may be used to help you and your spouse consider more deeply the factors that contribute to your overall well-being as a pastor or spouse of a pastor.
How will The Wesleyan Church benefit from this study?
In at least two ways. First, it will help us to identify the most significant areas to assist Wesleyan clergy and their spouses in their overall well-being. Second, results of this study will help us know how our clergy and clergy spouses compare with a national sample of clergy in other denominations. This too will help Wesleyan leaders and clergy care-givers know where we need to best respond to our clergy and spouses.