Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 700–720

A Theoretical Model of the Holistic Health of United Methodist Clergy


    • Duke University Center for Health Policy
    • Duke Health Inequalities Program, Research and Evaluation SectorDuke University Center for Health Policy
  • Sara LeGrand
    • Duke University Center for Health Policy
  • John James
    • Duke University Divinity School
  • Amanda Wallace
    • Duke University Divinity School
  • Christopher Adams
    • Office of the Campus Pastors Division of Student Life and Graduate Department of PsychologyAzusa Pacific University
  • David Toole
    • Duke University Divinity School
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10943-009-9250-1

Cite this article as:
Proeschold-Bell, R.J., LeGrand, S., James, J. et al. J Relig Health (2011) 50: 700. doi:10.1007/s10943-009-9250-1


Culturally competent health interventions require an understanding of the population’s beliefs and the pressures they experience. Research to date on the health-related beliefs and experiences of clergy lacks a comprehensive data-driven model of clergy health. Eleven focus groups with 59 United Methodist Church (UMC) pastors and 29 UMC District Superintendents were conducted in 2008. Participants discussed their conceptualization of health and barriers to, and facilitators of, health promotion. Audiotape transcriptions were coded by two people each and analyzed using grounded theory methodology. A model of health for UMC clergy is proposed that categorizes 42 moderators of health into each of five levels drawn from the Socioecological Framework: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Congregational, United Methodist Institutional, and Civic Community. Clergy health is mediated by stress and self-care and coping practices. Implications for future research and clergy health interventions are discussed.


ClergyHealthUnited MethodistTheorySocioecological framework

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009