Ministerial Burnout Statistics
“The ministry is the most emotionally hazardous and stressful of all vocations.”
-Dr. H.B London, Vice-President of Pastoral Ministries, Focus on the Family,
and Dr. Archibald Hart, Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus at Fuller Theological Seminary
Both experts in clergy care.
More than 1,500 pastors and missionaries leave their ministries every month in the US due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
Over 1,400 Protestant ministers in the US are asked to leave their positions each month. Nearly 1 in 4 ministers experiences a forced termination from a church at least once. Of those, just over half will go back into full-time, church-related positions.
(Statistics from Focus on the Family, the Narramore Christian foundation, The Barna Group, The Ministry to Ministers Foundation, pastorburnout.com, and gracem.org.)
80% of pastors
say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
80% believe that
pastoral ministry affects
their families negatively.
80% of pastors’ wives
feel their husbands are overworked and wish they could choose another profession.
80% of seminary graduates
will leave full-time ministry
within the first five years.
severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear, and alienation.
70% of ministers
constantly fight depression.
70% of pastors
say that their self-esteem is lower than when they started in ministry.
70% don't have
any close friends.
57% would leave
the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do.
57% of pastors and
64% of youth pastors
admit they've struggled with porn, either currently or in the past.
of ministers' wives surveyed state that the ministry destroyed their family lives.
48% of pastors
they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
a serious conflict with a parishioner
at least once a month.
Only 1.5% of those who enter the ministry
stay in the ministry long enough to retire from it.
An estimated 12,000 missionaries
leave the field each year, about 71% for preventable reasons.
Every year more than 5,000 US missionaries leave their fields of service for preventable reasons like depression, marriage and family difficulties, unresolved interpersonal conflicts with team members and nationals, and inadequate spiritual and emotional support. It costs $250,000 to $400,000 to recruit, equip, and send a new missionary family to replace each family that has to leave the field because of unresolved personal, family, or relational problems.
47% of missionaries
leave the field within the first five years.