Hoge, Pastors in Transition


Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger, Pastors in Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry. Eerdmans, 2005.

Referenced in: Summary

Based on a survey of 900 ministers from five denominations (United Methodists, Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and Assemblies of God), this book explains the seven main reasons why pastors leave congregational ministry:

  1. Preferred another kind of ministry
  2. Needed to care for children or family
  3. Conflict in the congregation
  4. Conflict with denominational leaders
  5. Burned out or discouraged
  6. Sexual misconduct
  7. Divorce or marital problems

The authors suggest ways to prevent departures and facilitate healthier transitions and bonding. This is a landmark study and an eye-opening resource for congregations in transition.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

From the Publisher

Through surveys and interviews, this new volume examines the main reasons pastors in five Protestant denominations have recently left parish ministry and suggests ways to strengthen the pastorate for the future.

Based on extensive sociological research, Pastors in Transition summarizes the findings of the largest-ever study of ended ministries. More than 900 ministers, representing the Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church, were included in the study, and its results provide an unprecedented look at contemporary church life. Yet the book does more than gather facts and figures; its pages are filled with personal stories, forthright opinions, and concrete recommendations made by ministers who have left their pastorates.

About the Author

Dean R. Hoge is professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Jacqueline E. Wenger is a doctoral candidate and research associate at the Catholic University of America.

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