Roll up your sleeves & open your mind ~ Reflections on rebuilding the church Part II

“Some people argue that if only we did away with the celibacy requirement or ordained women to the priesthood our problems would be over. The reality is that in the United States, not only Eastern Orthodox Churches but Protestant churches with married and/or women clergy are also facing difficulties. Recently, one of the most prestigious Protestant seminaries in the country, Andover Newton, announced plans to sell its 20-acre suburban Boston campus. Since 2005, enrollment at mainline Protestant seminaries has fallen by nearly 24 percent. Many of their traditional recruitment networks for clergy have broken down. Like Catholics, Protestants have many people interested in volunteering for part-time or short-term “lay ministry,” but fewer people are interested in giving their lives full-time and permanently to the ordained ministry.”

Pew Forum – Changing Religious Landscape

Christians Decline as Share of U.S. Population; Other Faiths and the Unaffiliated Are Growing

These changes will certainly be reflected in the enrollment of Seminaries.  However, perhaps it is also fair to point out, there are still more Protestant Clergy.  Read the latest  Pew Report

I am having a problem finding statistics on Protestant Seminarian enrollment, however I did find one article (the most recent 2011) stating there is a Clergy Surplus among Protestant churches.  By nature many are smaller congregations. Growing up I know many worked as Pastors part-time along with another choice of employment i.e. the church my grandparents brought me to had a white collar Pastor. He still happily made it to mid-week bible study, picnics and potluck dinners, weddings and funerals.  A smaller group, more easy to be part of a community and socialize with.

I digress.  More of that later.

I would like to point out the link above title Pew Report does show some rather revealing statistics on what members of different religions and denominations believe i.e. in God, Heaven, Hell, True Right and Wrong, Same Sex marriage.  Perhaps a good study, especially on the first few listed, would enlighten clergy on what needs to be addressed and taught more in churches.  My favorite – God, seems to be missing from too many.  Once again, I digress.  Best left for another article.

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