The Emotionally Intelligent Ministry: why it matters

Jill Hendron, P Irving, Brian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Pizarro and Salovey (2002) hypothesise that religious systems are frequently “ inherently emotionally intelligent” and that religious leaders may be experts in emotional regulation due to the inherent demands of their role (p221). Despite such assertions, to date there appears to be little exploration of Emotional Intelligence (EI) amongst religious populations. Thus suggesting that statements such as this may be based on supposition, speculation and stereotypes rather than grounded in sound empirical evidence. In an attempt to explore EI amongst religious systems this study examined levels of EI amongst 226 Irish clergy. Participants completed the Emotional Intelligence Scale. Results revealed that clergy levels of EI were lower than expected and below other diverse populations previously assessed using the same instrument. The emergence of such knowledge regarding clergy EI begins to suggest that religious systems may indeed not be conclaves of emotional abilities as previously assumed. Given the relevance and the potential value of employing EI abilities within the ministry, this result is both surprising and disconcerting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalMental Health, Religion & Culture
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


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