Seminary bell tower

Changes in Seminary Enrollment Patterns, 2000-2020 | Part 5: Observations and Implications

The previous four posts discussed seminary enrollment trends among were Roman Catholic students and students from selected clusters of denominations from Black Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, and Mainline Protestant denominations. In this final post in this series, we discuss some observations and possible implications of the data presented. Observations While there are limitations of this review…

Worship service in a Protestant church

Changes in Seminary Enrollment Patterns, 2000-2020 | Part 3: Mainline Protestant

The previous two posts discussed seminary enrollment trends among students belonging to some Black Protestant and Evangelical Protestant denominations. In this post, we discuss seminary enrollment trends among students from Mainline Protestant traditions. The enrollment data come from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) for Master of Divinity and Professional M.A. degrees from the years…

Pastor giving a sermon

Changes in Seminary Enrollment Patterns, 2000-2020 | Part 2: Evangelical Protestant

The previous post discussed seminary enrollment trends among students belonging to some Black Protestant denominations. In this post, we discuss seminary enrollment trends among students from Evangelical Protestant traditions. The enrollment data come from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) for Master of Divinity and Professional M.A. degrees from the years 2000 through 2020 for…

The Rev. Daniel Hayes gives the sermon during worship at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Changes in Seminary Enrollment Patterns, 2000-2020 | Part 1: Introduction and Black Protestant

Mark Chaves and researchers from the National Congregations Survey note that “clergy are a highly educated segment of American society,” with a majority of clergy holding graduate degrees.[1] However, there is much variation across denominations and traditions. Roman Catholic congregations have the most highly educated congregational leaders (91% have graduate degrees), closely followed by mainline…

A small country church

The Resilient Small Church

One of the most thoughtful gestures related to my ministry occurred a few months ago. I received an email from a United Methodist district superintendent in Mississippi. Mississippi is where I was first a pastor in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Her message was, “Today I am sitting around the Cabinet table, and we…

Clergy Age Trends Have Paved the Way for the Religious Workforce Project

Several research projects by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership paved the way for the current Religious Workforce Project. The longest continuous effort by the Lewis Center studies clergy age trends. In 2006, the newly-established Lewis Center issued its first report on clergy age trends among United Methodist clergy beginning from 1985. This research emerged…