How often do clergy read? And what are they reading? In a project commissioned by Pulpit & Pew, clergy from eight denominations reported spending an average of four hours a week reading beyond the reading done for a sermon or teaching lesson. Episcopal clergy were highest at five hours per week; Nazarenes were lowest at two hours. Just over 10 percent of all clergy reported that they spend one hour or less.
The telephone survey was commissioned in 2001 by Duke Divinity School’s Pulpit & Pew project, and conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC). A random sample of Catholic and Protestant clergy were asked not only how often they read, but what they read: “Other than the Bible what three authors do you read most often in your work as a pastor?” Of 1,231 clergy invited to participate, 72 percent responded, for a total of 833 clergy from 80 different denominations.