Clergy Health Institute

Refresh. Renew. Rejuvenate.

Clergy members often lack the time or ability to properly manage their personal health and fitness needs, frequently leading to compromised physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. Pfeiffer University, Agapé Senior and Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center combine resources, expertise and knowledge for the Clergy Health Institute at Lake Junaluska, a program to enhance clergy health.

What is the Clergy Health Institute?

A year-long program designed to address health and wellness needs among clergy of the United Methodist denomination. It includes:

  • 7-night retreat for spiritual enrichment, leadership development and renewal at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains for 12-15 clergy members. Program runs from July 24–July 31 (Deadline: June 1). 
  • The retreat hosts two separate yet simultaneous cohorts of 8-10 clergymen and women to come together for spiritual enrichment, wellness training and renewal. 
  • Sessions on improving nutrition and eating behaviors, food shopping and preparation, stress management, occupational relationships, family and social relationships, emotional wellness and physical fitness.
  • Fitness assessments and guided exercise sessions at the Pfeiffer University-Agapé Senior Fitness and Wellness Center.    
  • The program includes follow-up sessions in October, January, April, and July.

Outcomes and Benefits

Participants improve their health, feel better, increase their energy and become better able to continue serving and making a positive impact on the United Methodist community. Participating clergy will lead their congregations by example in encouraging total wellness.

Fees, Payment Options

Participation for the year-long experience is $2,700.

Scholarship assistance is available for qualified participants.

Please contact your health insurance carrier or the SCUMC Conference Benefits office for information about your health plan's policy regarding covering the cost of the Clergy Health Institute.

Churches may sponsor clergy participation through targeted fundraising efforts; continuing education benefits (for programs 10 days and longer); and scholarship support from groups such as United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men or similar supportive ministries within the church, conference or denomination. For further assistance, contact your clergy services director, appointed liaison or Pfeiffer University.

In addition, it might be possible pay the cost of the program (not including room and board, which totals $1,350) over a 10-month period through Pfeiffer University. This arrangement will include a one-time set-up fee and small finance fee.


To participate fully in the Clergy Health Institute, form supportive relationships with participating colleagues and remain focused on the goals of the workshops, all registrants will live and learn at the Lake Junaluska's Conference and Retreat Center for the entire length of the institute. Spouses and other family members are welcome during the "stay-over weekend" that falls in the middle of the institute schedule, specifically, from Friday through Sunday afternoons.


Churches or professional organizations of participants are encouraged to create a support group to assist their colleague or church leader toward a positive outcome. Contact Pfeiffer University for consultation regarding that process.

Program Partners

Pfeiffer University is a globally engaged, regional university with campuses in Misenheimer, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, distinctive for its transformational undergraduate experiences and leadership in professional and graduate programs. A United Methodist-related university that is propelled by innovative faculty and staff, Pfeiffer prepares its students for a lifetime of achievement, scholarship, spirituality and service.

Agapé Senior is South Carolina's premier senior health care provider, whose vision is to provide integrated health services, including assisted living, rehabilitation and nursing, independent living, hospice care and others in strategic markets throughout the state in a way that assures responsive and quality of service for residents and their families. Its CEO, Scott Middleton, is an ordained elder and clergy member of the South Carolina United Methodist Annual Conference, who through his position of leadership possesses a vested interest in clergy wellness.

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, located in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, is known as a place of spiritual enrichment, leader development and transformation. Its mission includes a commitment to meeting the needs of the United Methodist Church and its members, offering opportunities for worship, study, leadership development and events that encourage commitment to Jesus Christ and growth as disciples.

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Program Director

Dr. Dana Martin
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Pfeiffer University
(704) 463-3069