Dr. Rae Jean Proeschold Bell, Associate Research Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute and CHPIR, recently co-wrote a book that documented and discussed the findings from the Duke Clergy Health Initiative. The book, Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, was published in May by Baker Academics.
“Clergy suffer from certain health issues at a rate higher than the general population. Why are pastors in such poor health? And what can be done to help them step into the abundant life God desires for them?
Although anecdotal observations about poor clergy health abound, concrete data from multiple sources supporting this claim hasn’t been made accessible–until now. Duke’s Clergy Health Initiative (CHI), a major, decade-long research project, provides a true picture of the clergy health crisis over time and demonstrates that improving the health of pastors is possible. Bringing together the best in social science and medical research, this book quantifies the poor health of clergy with theological engagement. Although the study focused on United Methodist ministers, the authors interpret CHI’s groundbreaking data for a broad ecumenical readership. In addition to physical health, the book examines mental health and spiritual well-being, and suggests that increasing positive mental health may prevent future physical and mental health problems for clergy. Concrete suggestions tailored to clergy are woven throughout the book.”