A question of burnout among reformed church ministers in The Netherlands

W. Tomic*, David M. Tomic, Will J.G. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The present study examined to which degree reformed ministers suffer from burnout symptoms, to which degree these symptoms are comparable with other occupational groups and which organizational and personal traits like extroversion and emotional stability, increase the risk of falling victim to burnout. Ministers (N = 424; 83% men, 17% women) completed the following questionnaires: a work-factor questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the extroversion and emotional stability Personality Inventory. Ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church had identical scores on the three burnout dimensions as their reformed counterparts, a more doctrinal denomination. Compared with workers in other human service professions, ministers scored lower on the three burnout dimensions. Ministers who seriously suffered from pressure of work had high scores on the three dimensions of burnout. Young ministers proved to be more susceptible to burnout than their older counterparts. Gender did not contribute to the onset of burnout. However, lack of social support at home, satisfaction, and motivation may have influenced the ministers’ burnout level. Personality factors, such as extroversion and emotional stability, appeared to be significantly related to burnout. Tasks found to be weighty were: to conduct a service and to prepare sermon, pastoral care, administration or managerial and organizational tasks, catechism and meetings. Suggestions for future investigations were made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225-247
    Number of pages23
    JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


    • emotional exhaustion; depersonalization; personal accomplishment; extroversion; emotional stability; pressure of work; role ambiguity; social support; motivation; satisfaction


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