Pastor preaching from the front of a church

Congregations That Thrive without Full-Time Clergy

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald From the outside, First Parish Church (United Church of Christ) in Newbury, Massachusetts, appeared to be chugging along reasonably well after 377 years of ministry. A small group of faithful souls still gathered every Sunday morning. A preschool met in the downstairs hall on weekdays. More than 40 area residents tended…

Masked pastor conversing with masked church member

Podcast Episode: “The Pandemic’s Real Impact on Clergy and Congregations” featuring Scott Thumma

How has the pandemic shaped the vitality and resiliency of congregations? Did it really prompt large numbers of pastors to leave ministry? In this episode of Leading Ideas Talks from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary, Scott Thumma shares insights from ongoing research on the pandemic’s impact on congregational life and…

Masked pastor speaking with a masked church member

The Pandemic’s Real Impact on Clergy and Congregations

This article shares highlights from an in-depth interview with Scott Thumma, available in Leading Ideas from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary.     How has the pandemic shaped the vitality and resiliency of congregations? Did it really prompt large numbers of pastors to leave ministry? Doug Powe, director of the Lewis…

Lewis Center Appoints Senior Researcher to Lead National Study

WASHINGTON, DC — The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary has appointed Tim Snyder as senior researcher to lead its Religious Workforce Project study. Trained as a theologian and scholar of American religion, Snyder’s research and teaching has focused on contemporary religious practice. A graduate of Texas Lutheran University and Luther Seminary,…