Fortress Press

Stuck: Why Clergy Are Alienated from Their Calling, Congregation, and Career ... and What to Do about It


Why Clergy Are Alienated from Their Calling, Congregation, and Career ... and What to Do about It

Todd W. Ferguson (Author), Josh Packard (Author)


$22.99Save 75%

Interested in a gratis copy?

How do you plan on using your gratis copy? Review requests are for media inquiries. Exam requests are for professors, teachers, and librarians who want to review a book for course adoption.


Stuck is a guide for understanding how and why a traditional approach to ministry does not align with the modern realities facing pastors, congregations, and seminaries. More than simply describing findings from their firsthand research, however, Todd W. Ferguson and Josh Packard offer a new understanding of why professional ministry can be so alienating today.

Stuck shifts the dominant narrative around calling, vocation, and ministry away from a focus on individual traits and characteristics of pastors and congregational leaders and toward a more structural understanding of the social forces that impact modern ministry. The authors focus on the nature of calling; the need for modern, flexible congregational supports; and a different approach to training professional clergy.

Stuck lets pastors who feel stuck know that they're not alone, they're not crazy, and it's not their fault. It helps congregations be more supportive of their clergy. And it participates in the conversation for reshaping seminary training and professional development.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506480831
  • eBook ISBN 9781506480848
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 189
  • Publication Date May 10, 2022


"Stuck offers a poignant and important sociological analysis of a growing crisis in Christian life: the alienation of clergy from their callings. Given the importance of clergy in helping all Christians discover their callings in diverse vocations, this crisis cries out for the kind of urgent attention and action reflected in Ferguson and Packard's analysis."

L. Gregory Jones, Belmont University

"Ever felt like larger forces were at play and you just couldn't name them clearly? Stuck unveils the underestimated forces affecting clergy and offers an unforgettable framework that just might help clergy get unstuck."

Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, Duke Global Health Institute

"This book should be required reading at any seminary that aims to prepare ministers for the challenges ahead. . . . Though the calling to ministry needn't change, the pastoring profession must change. Ferguson and Packard tell us why, then show us how."

Samuel L. Perry, University of Oklahoma


"Todd Ferguson and Josh Packard have written a thoughtful and timely account of the difficulties pastors face in congregational ministry. They bring a new angle to the topic, while bridging sociological theory and down-to-earth reflections on pastoral ministry."

Review of Religious Research