Original Paper

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 878-894

First online:

Closeness to God Among Those Doing God’s Work: A Spiritual Well-Being Measure for Clergy

  • Rae Jean Proeschold-BellAffiliated withDuke Global Health Institute, Duke University Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research Email author 
  • , Chongming YangAffiliated withCollege of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, Brigham Young University
  • , Matthew TothAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Monica Corbitt RiversAffiliated withCenter for Congregational Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health
  • , Kenneth CarderAffiliated withDuke Divinity School, Duke University

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Measuring spiritual well-being among clergy is particularly important given the high relevance of God to their lives, and yet its measurement is prone to problems such as ceiling effects and conflating religious behaviors with spiritual well-being. To create a measure of closeness to God for Christian clergy, we tested survey items at two time points with 1,513 United Methodist Church clergy. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated support for two, six-item factors: Presence and Power of God in Daily Life, and Presence and Power of God in Ministry. The data supported the predictive and concurrent validity of the two factors and evidenced high reliabilities without ceiling effects. This Clergy Spiritual Well-being Scale may be useful to elucidate the relationship among dimensions of health and well-being in clergy populations.


Spiritual well-being Measure Clergy Health