An analysis of the relationship between personality type and the career satisfaction of clergy

John C Johnson, Marquette University


The present study hypothesized that there is no significant difference between the personality preferences as they are measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the self reports of clergy career satisfaction as measured by the Pastoral Satisfaction Survey (PSS). Specifically the study examined the predictive value of the S-sensing/N-intuitive preference of the MBTI as well as the T-thinking/F-feeling preference in conjunction with eight ministry job task categories. These ministry tasks were identified as congregational worship, encouragement ministry, teaching, professional interaction, administration, congregational fellowship, personal control of life situations, and outreach ministry. One hundred parish pastors between the ages of 35 and 45 were randomly selected from a pool of approximately 1200 clergy. These pastors then received a copy of the MBTI form G as well as a copy of the PSS. Sixty-three of the pastors responded to the survey. Descriptive statistics, T-tests of significance, a one-way analysis of variance and multiple regression analysis were used to make comparisons of the data. The study revealed that the MBTI predicted satisfaction on the PSS in the following ways. The T-thinking preference of the MBTI does predict satisfaction with administrative tasks in the ministry. The F-feeling preference is a predictor of satisfaction with professional interaction. The S/N preference of the MBTI was unable to predict satisfaction with any of the eight ministry task categories. The current findings suggest that personality characteristics do play a role in career satisfaction. However, much more research is needed in this area as well as further study and development of the tools used to measure both personality and satisfaction.

Recommended Citation

Johnson, John C, "An analysis of the relationship between personality type and the career satisfaction of clergy" (1991). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9226220.