Study finds that self-compassion helps prevent clergy burnout

Pastor, love thyself.

In a demanding profession where one study found nearly two in five clergy were experiencing significant levels of emotional exhaustion, a recent study found that having a gentle attitude of self-regard may help clergy have greater life satisfaction and be more likely to be inspired and enthusiastic—rather than upset and guilty—about their ministry.

Exploring self-regard in ministry among 200 United Methodist pastors in Indiana, researchers from Fuller Theo­logical Seminary analyzed data collected for the Flourishing in Ministry Project at the University of Notre Dame. The Fuller study measured several factors, from self-compassion and social support to clergy demands and burnout.