School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


Mindy Damon


Worship Leader, Depression, Stigma, Denominational Differences, Anxiety


Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Religion


Despite the fact the mental health issues are becoming more destigmatized among those in society, pastors and other church staff still face unique challenges when seeking treatment for mental health issues. This study considers the perspectives of ministers who often struggle in silence with depression. This qualitative historical research study will identify the unique challenges faced when battling depression that have not yet been studied concerning the lives of worship leaders in various stages of such mental health issues. Time demands, financial challenges, and stigma have emerged as common themes through exploration of a small body of existing literature and personal narratives of participants who serve as worship leaders. To illustrate the experiences of these men and women, an examination of current research and personal accounts of worship leaders who suffer from depression will be conducted in order to offer guidance for not only those suffering from these mental health issues, but for their families and congregations as well. This work is needed because the stigma associated with these challenges force many worship leaders to silently suffer through their battles with depression. The study of worship leaders with depression is just now being explored by researchers. This project will examine the intersection of ministry and mental health issues. Further, this study could encourage further research by others in the areas of ministry burnout, Christian counseling, and the use of psychotropic medications by those in ministry positions.