Saturday, December 10, 2016

Clergy and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

From A Living Text-

I have long suspected that the pastorate attracts those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). It offers a position of trust and esteem, where your opinions are sought after and you are adulated for speaking publicly. You are invited into the trust of parishioners, and you are seen as closer to God (even if our theology tells us that this is not the case). It was therefore quite interesting to find a paper on this subject by R. Glenn Ball and Darrell Puls. Puls has a blog here.

In their paper, the authors focus on the Presbyterian Church in Canada, but their conclusions have broader application:

Now extrapolate our findings to the United States. Conservative estimates are that there are roughly 300,000–350,000 churches in the United States. If the percentages hold true, 96,300–112,350 congregations in the United States are pastored by clergy with diagnosable Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

More here-

1 comment:

Don Hands, author Spiritual Wholeness for Clergy said...

Before getting worked up over this, we don't know the reliability and validity of the questionnaire used. In many scales for narcissism (e.g. the Millon) we are cautioned that the items that purport to measure NPD also measure healthy self-esteem. You need to know a lot more about the person than the questionnaire results.