Forced Termination of American Clergy: Its Effects and Connection to Negative Well-Being

Marcus Tanner, Anisa Zvonkovic, Charles Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Forced termination of clergy involves constant negativity found in personal attacks and criticism from a small congregational faction from whom the minister feels psychologically pressured to step down from ministry position and is often demeaning to the emotional and physical well-being of clergy. The prevalence of forced termination among clergy has ranged from 25% among many denominations to 41% among Assemblies of God ministers. Forced termination and its effects are serious problems that have yet to be addressed by scholars in the social sciences. The lack of scholarly research in this area called for a large national study from a reputable research institution. This online study shows that 28% of ministers among 39 denominations experienced a forced termination. Forced termination was associated with high levels of depression, stress, and physical health problems. Forced termination was also associated with low levels of self-efficacy, and self-esteem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalReview of Religious Research
StatePublished - Jan 31 2012


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