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Ministry orientation and ministry outcomes: Evaluation of a new multidimensional model of clergy burnout and job satisfaction


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Maureen H. Miner, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797 Penrith South, DC NSW 1797, Australia (e-mail:


In secularized countries, where the authority of religious institutions has declined, church ministers face pressures that may precipitate burnout and threaten ministry satisfaction. This study examined the relationship of ministry orientation to burnout and ministry satisfaction in a large sample of Australian clergy. The sample comprised 2,132 church leaders surveyed as part of the 2001 National Church Life Survey in Australia. They completed brief, alternative measures of ministry orientation, burnout, and ministry satisfaction. Data were analysed by means of confirmatory factor analysis, a multiple indicator multiple cause model, and structural equation modelling. Results supported the validity of three-factor models of ministry orientation and burnout as applied to clergy, with burnout mediating the relationship between an internal orientation to ministry and satisfaction in ministry. The independence of personal accomplishment from satisfaction in ministry was also established. The usefulness of ministry orientation as predictive of ministry outcomes in the context of secularization is discussed.