An ongoing list of things to read, resources to discover, websites to peruse and video clips to watch on clergy health and well-being.

 Please check back monthly for updates. If you would like to suggest resources for this page, please email

February, 2014–Below are some of the favorite books on clergy health, well-being and self-care as offered up via social media by a variety of pastors. These men and women represent varying denominations, theologies and ministry contexts. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, rather, a sampling of what happens when you ask clergy, “Hey, what are the things you’ve read that help you not just survive, but thrive in ministry?”

 (NOTE: We found most of these for sale at various prices at Amazon!)

The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy, Gwen Wagstrom Halaas

Becoming a Blessed Church, E. Stanley Ott

The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson

Under the Predictable Plant, Eugene Peterson

Clergy Self-Care: Finding a Balance for Effective Ministry, Roy Oswald

Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self, Richard Rohr

Leading on Empty, Wayne Cordeiro

This Odd and Wondrous Calling, Lillian Daniel and Martin Copenhaver

The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation, Jim Herrington, Robert Creech, and Trisha L. Taylor

The Road to Daybreak, Henri Nouwen

In the Name of Jesus, Henri Nouwen

Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, Ronald A. Heifitz and Marty Linksy

The Competent Pastor: Skills and Self-Knowledge for Serving Well, Ronald Sisk

All Shall Be Well: An Approach to Wellness, William S. Craddock, Jr., ed.

Awakened to a Calling: Reflections on the Vocation of Ministry, Ann M. Svennungsen and Melissa Wiginton, eds.

Open Secrets, David Lischer

Becoming the Pastor You Hope to Be: Four Practices for Improving Ministry, Barbara J. Blodgett

The following are a collection of books centered around Family Systems Theory, recommended by one particular pastor who has a self-care practice of meeting regularly with a group that studies FST:

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue,Edwin H. Friedman

Becoming a Healthier Pastor: Family Systems Theory and the Pastor’s Own Family, Ronald W. Richardson

Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, Peter L. Steinke

How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems, Peter L. Steinke

Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach, Peter L. Steinke

Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions, Roberta M. Gilbert

Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership and Congregational Life, Ronald W. Richardson