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The Changing Realities of Clergy Deployment

Perspective

Fall 2017

The Changing Realities of Clergy Deployment

As the Recorder of Ordinations and the provider of employee benefits for most institutions around the Church, the Church Pension Fund (CPF) collects a wealth of information about demographic trends among clergy and lay employees. Dr. Matthew Price, Senior Vice President of the Research and Data Department at CPG, discussed some of these learnings at a webinar entitled The Changing Realities of Clergy Deployment in the Episcopal Church. You can view the webinar at Research and Data.

“We conducted this research to gain a better understanding of the changing nature of ministry in the Episcopal Church and how our decisions around pension and health benefits align with the evolving needs of those who serve the Church,” said Dr. Price. “Through this research, we discovered that the old model of clergy deployment where an individual would serve full-time with a single Episcopal employer with no fixed end date is no longer the norm. Today we are seeing more Episcopal clergy working in part-time situations, sometimes for multiple Episcopal employers, and also as bi-vocational clergy with employment inside and outside the Church.”

The research included more than 4,000 online survey responses from priests and deacons in good standing who were under 72 years of age. Our quantitative findings were supplemented by a series of focus groups that took place in North Carolina, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

“This research was used to quantify the impact of recent revisions to The Church Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan and has helped us address 2015 General Convention Resolution A177,” added Dr. Price. “In fact, when we recently met with the Fund for the Diaconate, they expressed their gratitude for our efforts to address the needs of deacons as they fulfill an important role in the mission and ministry of the Church.”

Dr. Price will also be sharing the results of this and other studies as a member of our Insights & Ideas – Centennial Conversations panel entitled The Demographics of a Changing Church. We invite you to join us in Houston (January 24, 2018) or San Francisco (February 7, 2018). We will be videotaping each event and will share a compilation video online. Please visit Insights & Ideas to register and to learn more.

More and more, CPG is harvesting data and using business intelligence to make informed decisions about benefits policy. To learn more about the role research plays at CPG, we encourage you to view a video at Research and Data.

Matthew Price

Matthew Price serves as Senior Vice President for Research and Data at CPG. In addition to leading the team responsible for our role as the Recorder of Ordinations, he is responsible for collecting insights that help inform CPG’s decisions around major policy initiatives in the area of retirement and health benefits, and is also involved in technical system launches and integrations. He joined CPG in June 2001 as its director of analytical research.

Prior to joining CPG, he was Associate Director, Duke Pastoral Leadership Project, at the J. Ormond Center of the Duke University Divinity School. Previously, he was a Research Associate with the Religion in Urban America Program at the University of Illinois, at Chicago. His background also includes teaching positions at Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of Illinois, at Chicago.

He received a B.A. in sociology from the London School of Economics, a Master’s Degree in history from the University of Sussex, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton.