The Church Pension Group released its statistical report on clergy of the Episcopal Church. Key findings:
• Ordinations overall have fallen by 26 percent in the past six years. Ordinations to the priesthood have fallen by 31 percent and permanent deacons now make up 30 percent of all ordinations.
•Retirements are outpacing ordinations by 43 percent.
•The age distribution of clergy has changed drastically over time, with fewer clergy being ordained at younger ages and more clergy with older ages at ordination.
•Southern provinces—also the provinces that ordain the most clergy—ordain 33 percent more male clergy than female clergy.
•Male clergy make up 62 percent of recently ordained employed clergy and 66 percent of all employed clergy. In addition to gender differences, age also influences clergy employability in that the older a cleric’s age at ordination, the less likely he or she is to have current employment.
•Over the past 100 years in The Episcopal Church, the geographical distribution of clergy has changed from being predominantly Northeastern to much more Southern and Western.
• Within the past decade, both the absolute and relative numbers of curate, assistant, and associate positions have declined precipitously in several provinces.
•Females travel shorter distances than males from their previous parish when assuming a new parochial position; additionally, they experience smaller financial benefits from making these moves.
• Older clergy move shorter distances when changing cures; further, clergy experience greater financial benefits from moving when they move earlier in their careers.
•While Provinces VII and VIII have experienced a net gain of long-distance clergy movers over the past decade, Provinces II, III, and V have sustained net losses.
The Rev. Lee Crawford notes:
‘Recently ordained female clergy consistently make between $1,000 to $7,000 less than male clergy of the same age. Also, as female clergy age at ordination increases, compensation steadily decreases…. Male clergy make up 62 percent of recently ordained employed clergy and 66 percent of all employed clergy. In addition to gender differences, age also influences clergy employability in that the older a cleric’s age at ordination, the less likely he or she is to have current employment… younger male clergy (ages 25 to 35) have the highest levels of employment, with 89 percent of younger males currently employed [same age group with women is 79%]. With employment declining in each successively older age category, the oldest recently ordained clergy (55 years of age or older, both male and female) currently experience the lowest levels of employment, with only 39 percent of men and 43 percent of women currently employed.’ [State of the Clergy, downloadable PDF]
Other notes: Province VIII and Province VI ordain more women than men. Province VI has ordained the oldest clergy. Province III and VII the youngest. A growing percentage of ordinations are deacons. 28% of newly ordained clergy are in their 20s and 30s.
What are your conclusions upon reading this report? Any surprises?
Province map is here