Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
Clergy Trauma, PTSD, Vicarious Trauma, Burnout, Self-Care, Spiritual Disciplines
Christianity | Medicine and Health | Religion
Hanson, Teresa Denine, "Traumatic Clergical Ministry Leads to Vicarious Trauma, PTSD, and Ministry Burnout" (2020). Masters Theses. 648.
The exodus of clergy leaving their positions of ministry incites the need to identify the cause; to probe the question of “why?” Though the topic of burnout is proliferous within ministry circles, the writer’s thesis is that the cause of departure lies within three areas, not isolated to the topic of “burnout.” Diversification of causes exist, broken down into three primary causes: Vicarious Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Burnout. Following diversification of cause, personality traits are identified in the section Contributing Factors. From this point, the writer first addresses external supports for those with these primary areas, followed by internal or self-focused initiatives to maintain resilience in ministry. This study tracks the lives of pastors from childhood to clergy ministry, identifying at what stages impacts occurred, and whether they received help for symptomatic impacts, the types of trauma-impacted by clergy, and what hinders prevention of therapeutic supports. Additionally, personal and professional disciplines are separated and identified.