Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Barbara Golden, Psy.D., ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Takako Suzuki, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Dennis D. Shoemaker, PsyD


There is currently a shortage of ordained ministers to fill the current vacancies in Lutheran churches due, in part, to the multiplicity of pastoral roles, the stressors clergy encounter in their vocation, and poor self-care. This exploratory research found a statistically significant, small, negative relationship when examining the relationship between clergy self-care practices and perceived levels of stress. The research did not support a relationship between clergy self-care practices and perceived levels of stress when mediated by clergy spiritual maturity. Other predictor variables such as first vocation, gender, spousal financial contributions and stress also did not yield statistically significant results in the relationship with stress. The current research used A Shortened Stress Evaluation Tool (ASSET), Spiritual Assessment Inventory (SAl), and a Clergy Self-Care Questionnaire (CSC) to examine the relationship between these factors. When all factors are taken into consideration, self-care appears to be the most important factor in mitigating clergy stress.