About The Clergy Project
The Clergy Project’s Mission is to provide educational, charitable, and peer support to current and former religious professionals who no longer hold supernatural beliefs.
The Clergy Project’s goal is accomplished through a private, invitation only, online peer support community, a Transitional Assistance Grant, and hardship grants.
Members participate in the Online Community in many ways including the following:
- Being a safe place for networking with like-minded individuals.
- Discussing the challenges of being unbelieving current or former religious leaders.
- Finding support and encouragement as they transition out of active ministry and into a wholly secular life
- Developing friendships with others from similar backgrounds and experiences.
Qualifications For Joining The Online Community
Applicants must be current or former professional religious leaders, which includes the following: pastors, ministers, priests, nuns, monks, rabbis, imams, and theologians. They must no longer hold supernatural beliefs 1 and choose to identify as a non-believer. (humanists, freethinker, agnostics, atheists, or other type of non-theists)
Lay leaders are not considered professional religious leaders and therefore not able to join the Clergy Project.
Current or former religious professionals can become a participant in the Online Community after a live screening process with a trained Clergy Project screener. This process involves several stages, including: disclosure of information regarding the applicant’s history as a professional religious leader and a description of their journey from faith to a rejection of the supernatural. Our number one priority is to protect the anonymity of our members while providing an opportunity for current and former religious leaders to be welcomed into the community. We are committed to protecting member’s privacy. All information that is shared with a trained screener is kept confidential.
The following points describe our unique goals as a peer support community and identify some of the struggles that our members face.
- Each member of The Clergy Project must be identified as a nonbeliever before becoming a Participant.
- We do not proselytize, nor recruit active or former clergy to non-belief.
- We work to assist our Current ministers as they take steps to transition out of ministry.
- Clergy Project Participants include current or former; pastors, ministers, priests, nuns, monks, rabbis, imams, Mormon leaders, chaplains, and theologians.
- Our Participants face many challenges including; adjusting to life after the ministry, telling their families about their loss of faith, and living as a nonbeliever with a religious spouses and/or family.
- The Clergy Project’s public and private websites were originally made possible through the assistance of Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
Now approved as a 501 (c) (3) we have complete fiscal responsibility for the organization. Those interested in making a donation to support the efforts of the Clergy Project can contribute thorough PayPal or by mailing a check
General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media and Press: email@example.com
1An Explanation of Supernatural & Naturalistic Worldviews
To participate in the Clergy Project Forum, current or former religious leaders are required to have actively rejected a belief in a supernatural worldview and now accept a naturalistic one.
A supernatural worldview is one that accepts an order of existence that is beyond the visible and observable universe, appearing to transcend the laws of nature, what can be explained by nature, accepted scientific understanding, or the application of the scientific method.
This view is usually attributed to an invisible agent, especially of or relating to a god, demigod, spirit, ghosts, or devils. However, it can refer to anything that is above or beyond the natural world, and attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding.
A naturalistic worldview is explained well by Robert T. Carroll in the Skeptics Dictionary as “…one that has no supernatural or mystical element to it. The universe is all we can ever hope to know and there is no compelling reason to posit a supernatural world beyond and in addition to the natural world. The infusion of supernatural elements into human societies is itself a natural phenomenon that has a naturalistic origin and history. There may be elements or forces in nature that are not understood, but there is nothing that requires magical thinking or superstitious positing of transcendent beings to account for them.” [http://www.skepdic.com/naturalism.html]
TCP members no longer hold supernatural beliefs. This is reflected in the following statement:
We do not believe in:
- A sentient universe
- Psychic power
- Mystical forces
Practices that emanate from belief in mystical forces such as:
- Feng shui
As well as using the following as a method of disease prevention:
The above list is not intended to be comprehensive. A Clergy Project Forum Member necessarily holds a naturalistic worldview as explained above