Soul Care: Practical, Evidence-Based Practices for Clergy and Lay Leaders

Soul Care: Practical, Evidence-Based Practices for Clergy and Lay Leaders
January 21, 2025
12:00-2:00 pm
Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, PhD

Cosponsored with the Yale Divinity School Center for Continuing Education

Ministering to others requires heartfelt connection and can be life-giving and rewarding beyond measure. Yet many of today’s systems, including those involving churches, make it hard for clergy and lay leaders to sustain themselves in ministry work for the long-term. Since 2007, the Duke Clergy Health Initiative has been identifying, testing, and promoting ways to prevent burnout and foster flourishing for Christian clergy. In this course, you will try out several practices that have been tested and shown to improve the health and well-being of clergy. You will also learn about a curriculum for church personnel committees that can improve communication, trust, and open-hearted reflection among lay leaders, for the betterment of the church. 

Participants will: 

  • Experience brief practices shown to reduce stress symptoms and promote physical health.

  • Learn how to share these brief practices with others through available materials and courses.

  • Learn about curricula to foster communication and trust in one’s church, to provide a foundation for both smooth and challenging times. 

Register now.

Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, PhD, is a community psychologist and Research Professor of Global Health at Duke University. She conducts research on the physical and mental health — including positive mental health — of clergy and others in ‘servant-hearted’ roles such as teaching and caregiving. Since its establishment in 2007, Rae Jean has directed or been at the forefront of the Duke Clergy Health Initiative, including conducting the Spirited Life holistic health trial and the Selah stress management trial. Proeschold-Bell directs the Clergy Health Initiative Longitudinal Survey, consisting of nine waves from 2008-2025 and involving over 2,900 North Carolina United Methodist clergy to enhance the understanding of the challenges and joys clergy face and how best to navigate them. Proeschold-Bell has published in journals on critical issues for clergy, from the impact of obesity and chronic diseases among United Methodist clergy to the four behaviors that flourishing clergy engage in. Proeschold-Bell co-authored Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis with the Rev’d Dr. Jason Byassee. She enjoys making evidence-based practices accessible and is currently working on the book How to Make Cancer Suck Less for You or Someone You Love.