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Ministerial Burnout Statistics

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“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.

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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,, and

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.


75% report

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.


The majority

of ministers' wives surveyed state that the ministry destroyed their family lives.


48% of pastors

get divorced.


45% say

they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.


40% report

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.

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