The Clergy Project
The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs. It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these professional 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 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.
The Clergy Project launched a private, invitation only, Forum on March 21, 2011 with 52 members. Currently it has over 535 members. The Forum is an on-line meeting place where former and active professional clergy can talk freely among themselves. Terry, John G, John C, & Lon are moderators; Adam, Dennis, & Terry are Site Administrators.
Accomplishing Our Mission
A Board of directors, Executive Director, and Committees are responsible for carrying out the Mission and Goals of The Clergy Project.
Board of Directors
The Clergy Project is managed by the Board of Directors. They establish the overall philosophy, policies, procedures of TCP, and ensure that the Executive Directors & Committees implement the philosophy, policies, and procedures set by the Board.
Four Board Members are the elected Officers who make up the Executive Committee.
- Terry Plank, President
- John Compere, Vice President
- Robert Parham, Treasurer
- Gretta Vosper, Secretary
- Dan Barker, Board Member
- Jerry DeWitt, Board Member
- Adam Mann, Board Member
- Dennis Smith, Board Member
- Mark Palmer, Board Member
Executive Director: Catherine Dunphy
The Executive Director ensures that the Mission, Philosophy, Policies, and Procedures established by the Board are implemented and that they are followed by the Committees.
There are currently 6 Committees responsible for developing and implementing strategies to accomplish the TCP goals; they are subject to the oversight of the Executive Director.
- Applications Committee
- Communications Committee
- Events Committee
- Finance Committee
- Forum Committee
- Screening Committee