Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Mary Lou Williams, MSW

Second Advisor

Ione Hanson, MSW

Third Advisor

Rosemary Link, Ph.D.


This exploratory study examined the possible relationship between clergy's level of counseling training and their perceived stress related to counseling duties. Interest in the topic stemmed from this researcher's social work field placement within a church counseling center. Ordained clergy belonging to United Methodist, Roman Catholic, and American Baptist churches were surveyed regarding amount of time spent counseling, counselling training, and perceived stress related to counseling. Findings differed from those previous studies on clergy stress that reported high stress levels. Less than half of clergy reported moderate to high stress levels. However, limited qualitative data provided in this study did indicate definite frustration with counseling training and suggests the need for further exploration on this topic. A relationship between counseling training and stress level was suggested. Clergy indicated a high interest level in future collaboration with social workers regrading counseling training and ideas. This study will ultimately be important for social work professionals in the development of educational programming and collaboration with theological professionals in order to provide comprehensive counseling services for individuals and families. With current governmental cutbacks in social service funding, the church may become an extremely important resource in providing counseling and other social services to those in need.


SC 11.MSW.1997.Monson.SR

Included in

Social Work Commons