Considering the Clergy as a Profession

Career Profiles

Religion is very important to millions of Americans. Most religious groups are led by a member of the clergy, also known as a cleric. As a result, clerics counsel and assist people during important life events, such as the birth of children, marriage, personal crisis, and death. Although clerics are usually identified with delivering sermons, they spend the majority of their time away from the pulpit, and some clerics do not lead congregations. Some clerics serve as military chaplains or attend to the spiritual needs of people in prison or hospitals. Clerics often spend their nights and weekends officiating at official events or attending to the needs of members of their congregation. Successful clerics are inspiring pubic speakers, but more importantly, effective clerics have the ability to motivate people during crises. During economic recessions, more people will experience adversity. Clerics are not required to have unquestioning religious faith; clerics, just as other religious people, can experience doubt.

Clergy include ministers, pastors, priests, bishops, imams and rabbis. Some priests or rabbis are scholars or teachers. Some ministers become missionaries and offer religious and social assistance to people throughout the world. Chaplains provide spiritual guidance in hospitals, the armed services and schools.