The National Survey of Religious Leaders (NSRL) is a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,600 clergy from across the religious spectrum. It surveyed religious leaders who work in congregations, including full-time and part-time ministerial staff, assistant and specialist ministerial staff (such as youth ministers, religious education directors, and others), and head clergy. Conducted in 2019-2020, the NSRL contains a wealth of information about congregations’ religious leaders. There are questions about respondents’ jobs and careers, including job satisfaction; religious beliefs and practices; views about and practices related to mental health; attitudes and practices related to end-of-life issues; community involvement; political attitudes and practices; engagement with the larger religious world; knowledge of and attitudes about science, and how science informs their work; primary information sources; mental and physical health; and demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, birthplace, marital status, and income. The NSRL constitutes a significant new resource for deepening our knowledge about religious leaders in twenty-first century America.

The NSRL data are available for download from The Association of Religion Data Archives and ICPSR. It was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.


  • 1,600 participating religious leaders representing 70+ Christian denominations, plus Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious groups
  • Information on demographics, job and career, pastoral activities, health, perspectives on science, political activities, and much more


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