People have many expectations of pastors of Christian churches. One of those expectations is that pastors possess a philosophy of life that largely reflects biblical principles, a perspective commonly called a biblical worldview.
But a new nationwide survey among a representative sample of America’s Christian pastors shows that a large majority of those pastors do not possess a biblical worldview. In fact, just slightly more than a third (37%) have a biblical worldview and the majority—62%—possess a hybrid worldview known as Syncretism.
The new findings come from the American Worldview Inventory 2022, conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and administered to 1,000 Christian pastors to better understand the worldviews that drive their thinking and behavior.
Pastors and Biblical Worldview
Among all Christian pastors in the United States, slightly more than one out of every three (37%) possesses a biblical worldview.
The proportion varies by the pastoral position held. Among Senior Pastors, four out of 10 (41%) have a biblical worldview—the highest incidence among any of the five pastoral positions studied. Next highest was the 28% among Associate Pastors. Less than half as many Teaching Pastors (13%) and
Children’s and Youth Pastors (12%) have a biblical worldview. The lowest level of biblical worldview was
among Executive Pastors—only 4% have consistently biblical beliefs and behaviors.
Much like other Americans, the pastors who do not have a biblical worldview are unlikely to fully
embrace a competing worldview (such as Secular Humanism, Marxism, or others). In fact, less than 1%
of pastors embody a worldview other than Biblical Theism (i.e., the biblical worldview).
Instead, their prevailing worldview is best described as Syncretism, the blending of ideas and
applications from a variety of holistic worldviews into a unique but inconsistent combination that
represents their personal preferences. More than six out of 10 pastors (62%) have a predominantly
Pastors and Everyone Else
While it is shocking to discover that a large majority of Christian pastors do not possess a biblical
worldview, pastors are more likely than other population segments studied by the Cultural Research
Center at Arizona Christian University to embrace this life philosophy.
For instance, 37% of Christian pastors have a biblical worldview, compared to just 2% of the parents of
preteens. The incidence is similarly low among other key population segments: men (2%), women (4%),
whites (4%), blacks (2%), Hispanics (less than one-half of one percent), and less than one-half of 1%
among those who identify as LGBTQ.
Read more at Arizona Christian University