Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America: A National Study of the Orthodox Parish Clergy in the USA

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The study focused on four aspects of priesthood: 1) Sources of satisfaction in the work of an Orthodox priest in America; 2) Challenges and problems that parish clergy face; 3) Sources of support that the Orthodox priests can rely upon if necessary; 4) Issues in the life of the Church that Orthodox priests believe should be urgently and openly discussed.
In addition, the survey also examined clergy approaches to the four subjects that are frequently debated in the Orthodox community in America: 1) Notion of priesthood and status of a priest; 2) Democracy and openness in the Church; 3) Changes and innovations in the Orthodox Church; 4) Ecumenical attitudes and relations to the outside non-Orthodox community.

Data File
Cases: 226
Variables: 135
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: The data were collected through a mail survey during March - June 2006.
Funded By
Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Berkeley, CA.
Collection Procedures
Self-administered mail survey of the American Orthodox clergy: the parish priests in the “Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America” (GOA) and “Orthodox Church in America” (OCA)
Sampling Procedures
Nationally representative sample of the clergy (parish priests) of the “Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America” (GOA) and “Orthodox Church in America” (OCA). GOA and OCA are two largest American Orthodox Churches. Combined, the GOA and the OCA account for more than half of all Orthodox Christians and parishes in the USA.

The questionnaires were sent to all priests serving in the parishes of the GOA’s Metropolises of Chicago and San Francisco and of the OCA’s Dioceses of the West and Midwest. 226 (115 GOA and 111 OCA) participated in this study and completed questionnaires – a response rate of 88 percent.
Principal Investigators
Principal Investigator: Alexei Krindatch
Research Director, Patriarch Athenagoras
Orthodox Institute, Berkeley, CA
http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org
Related Publications
Krindatch, A.D. 2006. "Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America." Berkeley, California: Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, at http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/evolvvisstudrepwebpost.pdf

Forthcoming: Krindatch, Alexey D. and Dean R. Hoge. "Satisfaction and Morale among Parish Clergy: what American Catholic and Orthodox Priests Can Learn from Each Other." Accepted for publication in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.