Costs of Professional Parish Leadership: A Cross-Denominational Study

Carroll, Jackson W., Dean R. Hoge, and Francis K. Sheets, O.S.C. "Costs of Professional Parish Leadership: A Cross-Denominational Study." In Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 1988, ed. Constant H. Jacquet, Jr., 277-278. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988.

Both Catholic and Protestant churches in the U.S. are facing difficult issues regarding ordained leadership. The issues peculiar to each communion seem very different: Where many mainline Protestant denominations confront a surfeit of clergy as membership declines, the Catholic Church has experienced a severe reduction in the number of clergy as it struggles to accommodate a growing constituency. Though the issues confronting each communion appear distinctive, the researchers are convinced that these problems are in part the mirror images of each other, and a comparative study is expected to throw light on potential responses to these challenges. This study sought answers to these questions by analyzing data from the Catholic Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the United Methodist Church. Important observations emerge from this study relevant to the financial cost of different forms of ministry, and the attitudes borne by the laity toward these alternatives.