The Experience of Clergy Stress: an Adlerian Perspective

Clergy and their families face a variety of unique stressors related to the profession of ministry. Chronic work-related stress can lead to burnout and other debilitating consequences. As public leaders in society, clergy have the potential to positively or negatively impact the lives of many people. Therefore, the state of their emotional health is critically important. Through a review of literature, this paper examines sources of stress faced by clergy, as well as means of coping with stress. These factors are examined through the framework of the Adlerian life tasks of work, community, intimacy, self and spirituality. Recommendations for future research are suggested to further understand clergy stress, and as a result of this study suggestions are made to congregations and denominational leaders to help them reduce or alleviate clergy stress.

Charlene C. Brouwer
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