The life of leaders: an intensive health program for clergy.

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Clergy suffer from chronic disease rates that are higher than those of non-clergy. Health interventions for clergy are needed, and some exist, although none to date have been described in the literature. Life of Leaders is a clergy health intervention designed with particular attention to the lifestyle and beliefs of United Methodist clergy, directed by Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Center of Excellence in Faith and Health. It consists of a two-day retreat of a comprehensive executive physical and leadership development process. Its guiding principles include a focus on personal assets, multi-disciplinary, integrated care, and an emphasis on the contexts of ministry for the poor and community leadership. Consistent with calls to intervene on clergy health across multiple ecological levels, Life of Leaders intervenes at the individual and interpersonal levels, with potential for congregational and religious denominational change. Persons wishing to improve the health of clergy may wish to implement Life of Leaders or borrow from its guiding principles.





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Cutts, Teresa F, Gary R Gunderson, Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and Robin Swift (2012). The life of leaders: an intensive health program for clergy. J Relig Health, 51(4). pp. 1317–1324. 10.1007/s10943-010-9436-6 Retrieved from

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Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell

Research Professor of Global Health

Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell is interested in the interplay between mental and physical well-being and has designed and tested interventions that integrate care for people with obesity and depression; HIV/AIDS and substance use; and hepatitis C and alcohol use.

Most recently, Rae Jean has been studying positive mental health as a way to prevent depression and promote caring for one's physical health. Her work currently focuses on caregivers, including clergy in North Carolina and caregivers of orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya, Ethiopia, India, and Cambodia.

Soon, she will be testing four interventions to reduce stress symptoms.

As someone trained in both clinical and community psychology, Rae Jean is interested in the impact of systems and environmental contexts on individuals.

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