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…

Young priest studying

Changes in Seminary Enrollment Patterns, 2000-2020 | Part 4: Roman Catholic

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

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…

Black pastor at the pulpit

How are Clergy of Color Faring in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has had goals and policies in its churchwide office and synods since the late 1980s to increase racial and ethnic diversity. When the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church of America merged to form the ELCA in 1988, the leaders of the new denomination set a Constitutional goal…

Small church

Pastoral Staffing Arrangements in Small United Methodist Church Congregations

It should come as no surprise that over the past few decades Christian congregations have been shrinking in terms of their average weekly worship attendance. This is certainly true for congregations in the United Methodist Church. The median worship attendance of UMC congregations declined from 53 worshipers in 2000 to just 38 worshipers in 2019.…