Ministers of Minneapolis:
Minneapolis is the seat of Hennepin County. most immediately these two names create mental images. Minnehaha Falls, inspiration for Longfellow's immortal Song of Hiawatha . . . warm, friendly neighborhoods filled with people by the name of Swenson, Johnson and Carlson . . . fire hydrants making their presence known by marking flags attached to long poles that poke their way up through mounds of snow. Hennepin County is mid-America . . . well, north mid-America.
Perhaps mid-America isn't the place to analyze any particular group of professionals and then generalize about them or their professions. But we found ourselves intrigued by a survey of Hennepin County pastors and priests sponsored by the Minneapolis Star (a highly respected daily). From a directory of 1,000 clergy names, 301 individuals were randomly selected and personally interviewed about "how they viewed themselves and their ministry."
Released over a year ago, this survey could not have come at a better time. Most religious leaders are aware that the professional image of the minister has suffered a severe loss of public esteem. In the July 1979 issue of Psychology Today ("Job Prestige: The Duncan Scale"), the clergy placed 52 out of a possible 100 when the scores for "respected and desirable professions" were ranked. Ministers found themselves just below manufacturing foremen and just above power station operators. The top half of the "pecking order" on the Duncan Scale reads thus:
CHART GOES HERE
A hundred years ago, such a listing would have looked quite different. The minister was known as The Parson . . . meaning, "The Person!" He was usually the best educated and most widely traveled individual in the community. Ordination to divine ministry was a major public event. Regardless of the size or sophistication of the community, The Parson was sought after by both the high-and-mighty and the humble-and-downtrodden. He was The Person of wisdom, insight, and sound judgment. Local sociological structure often revolved around him. (This is still by-andlarge true in the black community.)
Psychology Today says times have changed. Perhaps so, but we found some reassuring data
Â about Hennepin County clergy that might encourage you.
First of all, nine out of ten . . . that's right . . . nine out of ten pastors and priests are very satisfied with their work. Almost 50 percent gave "job satisfaction" the highest possible score. The respondents were asked, "How satisfied would you say you are with your profession on a scale of one to five, with five meaning very satisfied and one meaning not satisfied at all?" Graphically their answers look like this:
CHART GOES HERE
In an age when Time magazine says that "nine out of ten Americans are unhappy with their jobs" or "hate their work," it is very affirming to know that the spiritual leaders of Hennepin County derive great personal satisfaction from their ministry.
From a vocational perspective the "satisfaction rating" of this study is significant since the ...