A landmark new study by Barna Group, conducted in partnership with Pepperdine University, offers a revealing look into the lives of America’s pastors. Drawn from interviews with more than 14,000 Protestant pastors from 40 denominations spanning the theological and political spectrum, The State of Pastors is both hopeful and troubling, with unexpected bright spots and worrisome levels of struggle for some clergy. The findings are available as a 175-page full-color book that includes the full study data, analysis and infographics.

The bad news for the church is the graying of America’s clergy: “As other careers woo millennials and older generations struggle to hand the baton to younger pastors, the median age of pastors has risen from 44 to 54 over the last 25 years.” Protestant churches face a massive leadership shortage in the coming decades, similar to that seen in the Catholic Church. The situation appears bleak: seven out of 10 pastors report that it’s becoming more difficult to identify promising pastoral candidates. READ MORE