The Clergy Project
The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs.
The purpose of this “Public Page” is to announce our existence and to reach out to current and former clergy who want to be a part of the group.
The Clergy Project launched a private, invitation only, website on March 21, 2011 with 52 members. Currently it has more than 450 members.
It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these clergy and a concern about their dilemma as they moved beyond faith. There were three sources of this awareness and concern:
- Stories of the life experiences of former clergy that Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation has been collecting over the years;
- A preliminary study of “Preachers Who Are Not Believers,” by philosopher Daniel Dennett and researcher Linda LaScola, published in March, 2010 in Evolutionary Psychology and The Washington Post;
- Ongoing discussions between Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion” about the need to help clergy who want to leave the ministry.
The Clergy Project is an on-line meeting place where former and active clergy can talk freely among themselves. “Adam”, still in ministry, “Chris”, Dennis and Teresa, all former clergy, are the moderators; Dan Barker, former evangelical preacher, is the facilitator.
The Clergy Project was made possible through a donation from The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The Clergy Project seeks ongoing donations as it expands to meet the needs of this rapidly growing community.