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Clergy are formal leaders within established
religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain v ...

religion
s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's
doctrine Doctrine (from la, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification Codification may refer to: *Codification (law), the process of preparing and enacting a legal code *Codification (linguistics), the process of selecting, developing ...

doctrine
s and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, clergyperson, churchman (in churches), and cleric, while clerk in holy orders has a long history but is rarely used. In
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, the specific names and roles of the clergy vary by
denomination Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu denominations ** Schools of Buddhism, Buddhist denomination * Denomination (currency) * Denomination ( ...
and there is a wide range of formal and informal clergy positions, including
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
s,
elders An elder is someone with a degree of seniority or authority. Elder or elders may refer to: Positions Administrative * Elder (administrative title), a position of authority Cultural * American Indian elder, a person who has and transmits cul ...
,
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

priest
s,
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chur ...

bishop
s,
preacher A preacher is a person who delivers s or on topics to an assembly of people. Less common are preachers who , or those whose message is not necessarily religious, but who preach components such as a moral or social or . History Preachers are ...

preacher
s,
pastor A pastor (abbreviated as "Pr" or "Ptr" , or "Ps" ) is the leader of a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus ...

pastor
s,
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
s,
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
s and the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
. In
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an religion teaching that is a of .Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edited by J. L. Esposito. Oxford: . . (See alsoquick reference) " e Muslims' und ...
, a religious leader is often known formally or informally as an
imam Imam (; ar, إمام '; plural: ') is an Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah ...
,
caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
,
qadi A Qadi ( ar, قاضي, Qāḍī; also Qazi, cadi, kadi or kazi) is the magistrate or judge of a Sharia Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the rel ...
,
mufti A Mufti (; ar, مفتي) is an Islamic jurist qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion (''fatwa A fatwā (, also ; ar, فتوىٰ; plural ''fatāwā'' ) is a nonbinding legal opinion In law, a legal opinion is in certain jurisdictions ...

mufti
,
mullah Mullah (; ) is an honorific title for Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, ...

mullah
,
muezzin The muezzin is the person who gives the call to prayer at a mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that fol ...

muezzin
, or
ayatollah Ayatollah ( or ; fa, آیت‌الله, āyatollāh) is an Honorific, honorific title for high-ranking Twelver Shia clergy in Iran that came into widespread usage in the 20th century. Etymology The title is originally derived from Arabic word ' ...

ayatollah
. In the
Jewish tradition Jewish culture is the culture of the Jewish people Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2International Organization for Standardization, ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew, romanization of ...
, a religious leader is often a
rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisees, Phar ...

rabbi
(teacher) or
hazzan Cantor-concert in the Vienna ''300px 3 (three) is a number, numeral (linguistics), numeral and numerical digit, digit. It is the natural number following 2 and preceding 4, and is the smallest odd prime number and the only prime preceding a s ...
(cantor).


Etymology

The word ''cleric'' comes from the
ecclesiastical Latin Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italianate Latin, is a form of Latin initially developed to discuss Christian theology, Christian thought and later used as a lingua franca by the Medieval Latin, Medieval and Earl ...
''Clericus'', for those belonging to the priestly class. In turn, the source of the Latin word is from the
Ecclesiastical Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
''Klerikos'' (κληρικός), meaning appertaining to an inheritance, in reference to the fact that the
Levitical A Levite (or Levi) (, ) is a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in ...
priests of the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon, which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, a collection of ancient religious Hebrew writings by the Israelites. The ...
had no inheritance except the Lord. "Clergy" is from two
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
words, ''clergié'' and ''clergie'', which refer to those with learning and derive from
Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
''clericatus'', from
Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kn ...
''clericus'' (the same word from which "cleric" is derived). "Clerk", which used to mean one ordained to the ministry, also derives from ''clericus''. In the Middle Ages, reading and writing were almost exclusively the domain of the priestly class, and this is the reason for the close relationship of these words. Within
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, especially in
Eastern Christianity Eastern Christianity comprises Christianity, Christian traditions and Christian denomination, church families that originally developed during Classical antiquity, classical and late antiquity in Western Asia, Northeast Africa, Eastern Europe, ...
and formerly in Western
Roman Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian r ...
, the term ''cleric'' refers to any individual who has been ordained, including
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
s,
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

priest
s, and
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chur ...

bishop
s. In Latin Roman Catholicism, the
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of ...

tonsure
was a prerequisite for receiving any of the
minor orders Minor orders are ranks of church ministry lower than major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Co ...
or
major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Council of Trent also called Holy Orders (Catholic Church), holy order ...
before the tonsure,
minor orders Minor orders are ranks of church ministry lower than major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Co ...
, and the
subdiaconate Subdeacon (or sub-deacon) is a minor order or ministry for men in various branches of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teac ...
were abolished following the
Second Vatican Council The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
. Now, the clerical state is tied to reception of the diaconate.
Minor Orders Minor orders are ranks of church ministry lower than major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Co ...
are still given in the
Eastern Catholic Churches The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christi ...
, and those who receive those orders are 'minor clerics.' The use of the word ''cleric'' is also appropriate for
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
minor clergy who are tonsured in order not to trivialize orders such as those of Reader in the
Eastern Church Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part ...
, or for those who are tonsured yet have no minor or major orders. It is in this sense that the word entered the Arabic language, most commonly in Lebanon from the French, as ''kleriki'' (or, alternatively, ''cleriki'') meaning "
seminarian A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture Religious texts are texts related to a religious tradition. They differ ...
." This is all in keeping with Eastern Orthodox concepts of clergy, which still include those who have not yet received, or do not plan to receive, the diaconate. A priesthood is a body of
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

priest
s,
shaman Shamanism is a religious practice that involves a practitioner (shaman) interacting with what they believe to be a spirit world through altered states of consciousness An altered state of consciousness (ASC), also called altered state of mind ...

shaman
s, or
oracle An oracle is a person or agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which go ...

oracle
s who have special religious authority or function. The term priest is derived from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
(πρεσβύτερος, ''presbýteros'', elder or senior), but is often used in the sense of sacerdos in particular, i.e., for clergy performing
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized, ...

ritual
within the sphere of the
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male ...
or
numinous Numinous () is a term derived from the Latin '' numen'', meaning "arousing spiritual or religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring."Collins English Dictionary -7th ed. - 2005 The term was given its present sense by the German theologian and ph ...
communicating with the
gods A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...

gods
on behalf of the community.


Buddhism

Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitu ...

Buddhist
clergy are often collectively referred to as the
Sangha Sangha is a Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European langua ...
, and consist of various orders of male and female monks (originally called
bhikshu A ''bhikkhu'' (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' Thera ...

bhikshu
s and bhikshunis respectively). This diversity of monastic orders and styles was originally one community founded by
Gautama Buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an , a religious leader and teacher who lived in (c. 6th to 5th century BCE or c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He ...

Gautama Buddha
during the 5th century BC living under a common set of rules (called the
Vinaya The Vinaya (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the ''Pāli Canon The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scripture ...

Vinaya
). According to scriptural records, these celibate monks and nuns in the time of the Buddha lived an austere life of meditation, living as wandering beggars for nine months out of the year and remaining in retreat during the rainy season (although such a unified condition of Pre-sectarian Buddhism is questioned by some scholars). However, as Buddhism spread geographically over time – encountering different cultures, responding to new social, political, and physical environments – this single form of Buddhist monasticism diversified. The interaction between Buddhism and Tibetan
Bon Bon, also spelled Bön () is considered to be the native pre-Buddhist religious tradition of Tibet. A distinction is sometimes made between: # the Old Bon or Bön nying (), dating back to the pre-dynastic era; # the Eternal Bon or Yungdrung B ...

Bon
led to a uniquely
Tibetan Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism (also referred to as Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism, and Northern Buddhism) is the form of practiced in and , where it is the dominant religion. It also has adherents in the regions surrounding the (such as and ...
, within which various sects, based upon certain teacher-student lineages arose. Similarly, the interaction between Indian Buddhist monks (particularly of the Southern
Madhyamika Madhyamaka ("middle way" or "centrism"; ; Tibetan: ''dbu ma pa'') also known as ''śūnyavāda'' (the emptiness doctrine) and ''niḥsvabhāvavāda'' (the no ''svabhāva'' doctrine) refers to a tradition of Buddhist philosophy and practice fo ...
School) and Chinese
Confucian , Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of th ...

Confucian
and
Taoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of c ...
monks from c200-c900AD produced the distinctive
Ch'an Chan (; of ), from Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Europe ...
Buddhism. Ch'an, like the Tibetan style, further diversified into various sects based upon the transmission style of certain teachers (one of the most well known being the 'rapid enlightenment' style of
Linji Yixuan Linji Yixuan (; ja, 臨済義玄 ''Rinzai Gigen''; died 866 CE) was the founder of the Linji school The Línjì school () is a school of Chan Buddhism named after Linji Yixuan (d. 866). It took prominence in Song dynasty, Song China (960–1279) ...
), as well as in response to particular political developments such as the
An Lushan Rebellion The An Lushan Rebellion was an uprising against the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dy ...

An Lushan Rebellion
and the Buddhist persecutions of Emperor Wuzong. In these ways, manual labour was introduced to a practice where monks originally survived on alms; layers of garments were added where originally a single thin robe sufficed; etc. This adaptation of form and roles of Buddhist monastic practice continued after the transmission to Japan. For example, monks took on administrative functions for the Emperor in particular secular communities (registering births, marriages, deaths), thereby creating Buddhist 'priests'. Again, in response to various historic attempts to suppress Buddhism (most recently during the
Meiji Era The is an era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the hi ...
), the practice of celibacy was relaxed and Japanese monks allowed to marry. This form was then transmitted to
Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at or near the 38th parallel north, 38th parallel, North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (the Republic of Korea). Korea co ...

Korea
, during later Japanese occupation, where celibate and non-celibate monks today exist in the same sects. (Similar patterns can also be observed in Tibet during various historic periods multiple forms of monasticism have co-existed such as "
ngagpa In and , a Ngagpa (male), or a Ngagmo (Female) (; ''mantrī'') is an ordained non-monastic practitioner of and . The Ngagmapa are widely credited with protecting the Nyingma school and its teachings during the persecution of Buddhists in the ...
" lamas, and times at which celibacy was relaxed). As these varied styles of Buddhist monasticism are transmitted to Western cultures, still more new forms are being created. In general, the
Mahayana in Shishoin Temple (Tokyo). A unique feature of Mahāyāna is the belief that there are multiple Buddhas which are currently teaching the Dharma. Mahāyāna (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, text ...
schools of Buddhism tend to be more culturally adaptive and innovative with forms, while
Theravada Theravāda (; , lit. "School of the ", borrowed from Sanskrit स्थविरवाद (sthaviravāda, literally “doctrine of the elders”) is the most commonly accepted name of 's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Th ...
schools (the form generally practised in
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
,
Burma Myanmar (; my, မြန်မာ ) or Burma ( my, ဗမာ ), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos a ...

Burma
,
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
) tend to take a much more conservative view of monastic life, and continue to observe precepts that forbid monks from touching women or working in certain secular roles. This broad difference in approach led to a major schism among Buddhist monastics in about the 4th century BCE, creating the
Early Buddhist Schools The early Buddhist schools are those schools into which the Buddhist monasticism, monastic Sangha (Buddhism), saṅgha split early in the history of Buddhism. The divisions were originally due to differences in Vinaya and later also due to doctr ...
. While female monastic (''
bhikkhuni
bhikkhuni
'') lineages existed in most Buddhist countries at one time, the
Theravada Theravāda (; , lit. "School of the ", borrowed from Sanskrit स्थविरवाद (sthaviravāda, literally “doctrine of the elders”) is the most commonly accepted name of 's oldest existing school. The school's adherents, termed Th ...
lineages of Southeast Asia died out during the 14th-15th Century AD. As there is some debate about whether the bhikkhuni lineage (in the more expansive Vinaya forms) was transmitted to Tibet, the status and future of female Buddhist clergy in this tradition is sometimes disputed by strict adherents to the Theravadan style. Some Mahayana sects, notably in the United States (such as
San Francisco Zen Center San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), is a network of affiliated Sōtō Zen practice and retreat centers in the San Francisco Bay area, comprising City Center or Beginner's Mind Temple, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. The ...

San Francisco Zen Center
) are working to reconstruct the female branches of what they consider a common, interwoven lineage. The diversity of Buddhist traditions makes it difficult to generalize about Buddhist clergy. In the United States,
Pure Land A pure land is the celestial realm of a buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an Śramaṇa, ascetic, a religious leader and teacher who ...

Pure Land
priests of the Japanese diaspora serve a role very similar to Protestant ministers of the Christian tradition. Meanwhile, reclusive Theravada forest monks in Thailand live a life devoted to meditation and the practice of austerities in small communities in rural Thailand- a very different life from even their city-dwelling counterparts, who may be involved primarily in teaching, the study of scripture, and the administration of the nationally organized (and government sponsored) Sangha. In the Zen traditions of China, Korea and Japan, manual labor is an important part of religious discipline; meanwhile, in the Theravada tradition, prohibitions against monks working as laborers and farmers continue to be generally observed. Currently in North America, there are both celibate and non-celibate clergy in a variety of Buddhist traditions from around the world. In some cases they are forest dwelling monks of the Theravada tradition and in other cases they are married clergy of a Japanese Zen lineage and may work a secular job in addition to their role in the Buddhist community. There is also a growing realization that traditional training in ritual and meditation as well as philosophy may not be sufficient to meet the needs and expectations of American lay people. Some communities have begun exploring the need for training in counseling skills as well. Along these lines, at least two fully accredited Master of Divinity programs are currently available: one at Naropa University in Boulder, CO and one at the University of the West in Rosemead, CA. Titles for Buddhist clergy include: *
Bhikkhu A ''bhikkhu'' (Pali: भिक्खु, Sanskrit: भिक्षु, ''bhikṣu'') is an ordained male monastic ("monk") in Buddhism. Male and female monastics ("nun", ''bhikkhunī'', Sanskrit ''bhikṣuṇī'') are members of the Sangha, Buddh ...
/ Bhikṣu and Bhikkhuṇī/ Bhikṣuṇī * Sāmaṇera/ Śrāmaṇera and Sāmaṇerī/
Śrāmaṇerī A sāmaṇera (Pali); sa, श्रामणेर (), is a novice male monastic in a Buddhism, Buddhist context. A female novice is a ''śrāmaṇerī'' or ''śrāmaṇerikā'' (Sanskrit; Pāli: ''sāmaṇerī''). Etymology The ''sāmaṇera ...
or Śrāmaṇerikā In Theravada: *
Acharya In Indian religions Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism,Adams ...
*
Ajahn Ajahn ( th, อาจารย์, , , also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language Thai,In Thai: ''Phasa Thai'' Central Thai (historically Siamese;Although "Thai" and "Central Thai" has become more common ...
* Anagarika * Ayya *
BhanteBhante (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the '' Pāli Canon'' or '' Tipiṭaka'' and is the sacred language of '' Theravāda'' Bud ...
*
Dasa sil mata A dasa sil mata (Sinhala: දස සිල් මාතා ) is an Eight- or Ten Precepts-holding anagārikā (lay renunciant) in Buddhism in Sri Lanka, where the newly reestablished bhikkhuni (nun's) lineage is not officially recognized yet. ...
*
Luang Por Luang por (; , ) means "venerable father" and is used as a title for respected senior Buddhist monastics. ''Luang'' is a Thai language, Thai word meaning "royal" or "venerable". It is used in both family context and to express respect for monastics ...
* Maechi or Mae chee * Buddhist monk, Phra * Sayadaw * Śikṣamāṇā, Sikkhamānā * Thilashin In Mahayana: * Rōshi * Zen master In Vajrayana: * Ayya * Geshe * Guru * Karmapa * Lama ** Dalai Lama ** Panchen Lama * Rinpoche/Rinpoche, Rimpoche * Tertön * Tulku


Christianity

In general, Christian clergy are ordained; that is, they are set apart for specific Catholic ministry, ministry in religious rites. Others who have definite roles in worship but who are not ordained (e.g. Laity, laypeople acting as acolytes) are generally not considered clergy, even though they may require some sort of official approval to exercise these ministries. Types of clerics are distinguished from offices, even when the latter are commonly or exclusively occupied by clerics. A Roman Catholic cardinal, for instance, is almost without exception a cleric, but a cardinal is not a type of cleric. An archbishop is not a distinct type of cleric, but is simply a bishop who occupies a particular position with special authority. Conversely, a youth minister at a parish may or may not be a cleric. Different churches have different systems of clergy, though churches with similar ecclesiastical polity, polity have similar systems.


Anglicanism

In Anglicanism, clergy consist of the orders of
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
s,
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious ...

priest
s (presbyters) and
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chur ...

bishop
s in ascending order of seniority. ''Canon (priest), Canon'', ''archdeacon'', ''archbishop'' and the like are specific positions within these orders. Bishops are typically overseers, presiding over a diocese composed of many parishes, with an archbishop presiding over a province, which is a group of dioceses. A parish (generally a single church) is looked after by one or more priests, although one priest may be responsible for several parishes. New clergy are ordained deacons. Those seeking to become priests are usually ordained priest after a year. Since the 1960s some Anglican churches have reinstituted the permanent diaconate also in addition to the transitional, order of ministry focused on ministry that bridges the church and the world, especially ministry to those on the margins of society. For the forms of address for Anglican clergy, see Forms of address in the United Kingdom. For a short period of history before the ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops began within Anglicanism they could be "deaconesses". Although they were usually considered having a ministry distinct from deacons they often had similar ministerial responsibilities. In Anglican churches all clergy are permitted to marry. In most national churches women may become deacons or priests, but while fifteen out of 38 national churches allow for the consecration of women as bishops, only five have ordained any. Celebration of the Eucharist is reserved for priests and bishops. National Anglican churches are presided over by one or more primate (bishop), primates or metropolitan bishop, metropolitans (archbishops or presiding bishops). The senior archbishop of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who acts as leader of the Church of England and 'first among equals' of the primates of all Anglican churches. Being a deacon, priest or bishop is considered a function of the person and not a job. When priests retire they are still priests even if they no longer have any active ministry. However, they only hold the basic rank after retirement. Thus a retired archbishop can only be considered a bishop (though it is possible to refer to 'Bishop John Smith, the former Archbishop of York'), a canon or archdeacon is a priest on retirement and does not hold any additional honorifics. File:SirGeorgeFlemingBt2.jpg, Sir George Fleming, 2nd Baronet, British churchman. File:CWLeffingwell.JPG, Charles Wesley Leffingwell, Episcopal priest


Baptist

The Baptist tradition only recognizes two ordained positions in the church as being the elders (pastors) and deacons as outlined in the third chapter of I Timothy in the Bible.


Catholicism

Holy Orders, Ordained clergy in the Catholic Church are either deacons, priests, or bishops belonging to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopate, respectively. Among bishops, some are metropolitan bishop, metropolitans, archbishops, or patriarchs. The
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
is the bishop of Rome, the supreme and universal hierarch of the Church, and his authorization is now required for the ordination of all Catholic bishops. With rare exceptions, cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals are bishops, although it was not always so; formerly, some cardinals were people who had received clerical tonsure, but not Holy Orders (Catholic Church), Holy Orders. Secular clergy are ministers, such as deacons and priests, who do not belong to a religious institute and live in the world at large, rather than a religious institute (Secularity, ''saeculum''). The Holy See supports the activity of its clergy by the Congregation for the Clergy

, a dicastery of Roman curia. Canon law (Catholic Church), Canon Law indicates (canon 207) that "[b]y divine institution, there are among the Christian faithful in the Church sacred ministers who in law are also called clerics; the other members of the Christian faithful are called lay persons". This distinction of a separate ministry was formed in the early times of Christianity; one early source reflecting this distinction, with the three ranks or orders of bishop (Catholic Church), bishop, presbyter, priest and
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
, is the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Holy Orders is one of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, Seven Sacraments, enumerated at the Council of Trent, that the Magisterium considers to be of divine institution. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men are permitted to be clerics, although in antiquity women were ordained to the diaconate. In the Latin Church before 1972,
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of ...

tonsure
admitted someone to the clerical state, after which he could receive the four
minor orders Minor orders are ranks of church ministry lower than major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Co ...
(ostiary, lectorate, order of exorcists, order of acolytes) and then the
major ordersImage:Priestly ordination.jpg, Ordination of a priest The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Council of Trent also called Holy Orders (Catholic Church), holy order ...
of subdeacon, subdiaconate, diaconate, presbyterate, and finally the episcopate, which according to Roman Catholic doctrine is "the fullness of Holy Orders". Since 1972 the minor orders and the subdiaconate have been replaced by Catholic ministry, lay ministries and clerical tonsure no longer takes place, except in some Traditionalist Catholic groups, and the clerical state is acquired, even in those groups, by Holy Orders. In the Latin Church the initial level of the three ranks of Holy Orders is that of the diaconate. In addition to these three orders of clerics, some Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Catholic, or "Uniate", Churches have what are called "minor clerics". Members of institute of consecrated life, institutes of consecrated life and society of apostolic life, societies of apostolic life are clerics only if they have received Holy Orders. Thus, unordained monks, friars, nuns, and religious brothers and Nun#Distinction between a nun and a religious sister, sisters are not part of the clergy. The Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches prescribe that every cleric must be enrolled or "incardination and excardination, incardinated" in a diocese or its equivalent (an apostolic vicariate, territorial abbey, personal prelature, etc.) or in a religious institute, society of apostolic life or secular institute. The need for this requirement arose because of the trouble caused from the earliest years of the Church by unattached or vagrant clergy subject to no ecclesiastical authority and often causing scandal wherever they went. Current canon law prescribes that to be ordained a priest, an education is required of two years of philosophy and four of theology, including study of dogmatic and moral theology, the Holy Scriptures, and canon law have to be studied within a seminary or an ecclesiastical faculty at a university. Roman Catholicism mandates clerical celibacy for all clergy in the predominant Latin Church, Latin Rite, with the exception of deacons who do not intend to become priests. Exceptions are sometimes admitted for ordination to transitional diaconate and priesthood on a case-by-case basis for married clergymen of other churches or communities who become Catholics, but ordination of married men to the bishop (Catholic Church), episcopacy is excluded (see Personal ordinariate#Married former Anglican clergy and rules on celibacy, personal ordinariate). Clerical marriage is not allowed and therefore, if those for whom in some particular Church celibacy is optional (such as permanent deacons in the Latin Church) wish to marry, they must do so before ordination.
Eastern Catholic Churches The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christi ...
either follow the same rules as the Latin Church or require celibacy only for bishops. In the High Middle Ages, clergy in Western Europe had four privileges: # Right of Canon: whoever committed real violence on the person of a cleric committed a sacrilege. This decree was issued in a Lateran Council of 1097 (requested by Pope Urban II), then renewed in the Second Council of the Lateran, Lateran Council II (1139) # Right of Forum: by this right clergy could be judged by ecclesiastical tribunals only. Constantine I of the Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine I granted this right for bishops, which was subsequently extended to the rest of the clergy by Imperial Decree # Right of Immunity: clergy could not be called for military service or other duties or charges incompatible with their role # Right of Competence: a certain part of the income of clergy, necessary for sustenance, could not be sequestered by any action of creditors


Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eastern Orthodox Church has three ranks of holy orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. These are the same offices identified in the New Testament and found in the Early Church, as testified by the writings of the Holy Fathers. Each of these ranks is ordained through the Sacred Mystery (sacrament) of the laying on of hands (called ''Christian laying on of hands, cheirotonia'') by bishops. Priests and deacons are ordained by their own diocesan bishop, while bishops are consecration, consecrated through the laying on of hands of at least three other bishops. Within each of these three ranks there are found a number of titles. Bishops may have the title of archbishop, metropolitan bishop, metropolitan, and patriarch, all of which are considered honorifics. Among the Orthodox, all bishops are considered equal, though an individual may have a place of higher or lower honor, and each has his place within the order of precedence. Priests (also called
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
s) may (or may not) have the title of archpriest, protopresbyter (also called "protopriest", or "protopope"), hieromonk (a monk who has been ordained to the priesthood) archimandrite (a senior hieromonk) and hegumen (abbot). Deacons may have the title of hierodeacon (a monk who has been ordained to the deaconate), archdeacon or protodeacon. The lower clergy are not ordained through ''cheirotonia'' (laying on of hands) but through a blessing known as ''cheirothesia'' (setting-aside). These clerical ranks are subdeacon, Reader (liturgy), reader and altar server (also known as taper-bearer). Some churches have a separate service for the blessing of a cantor (church), cantor. Ordination of a bishop, priest, deacon or subdeacon must be conferred during the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist)—though in some churches it is permitted to ordain up through deacon during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts—and no more than a single individual can be ordained to the same rank in any one service. Numerous members of the lower clergy may be ordained at the same service, and their blessing usually takes place during the Little Hours prior to Liturgy, or may take place as a separate service. The blessing of readers and taper-bearers is usually combined into a single service. Subdeacons are ordained during the Little Hours, but the ceremonies surrounding his blessing continue through the Divine Liturgy, specifically during the Great Entrance. Bishops are usually drawn from the ranks of the archimandrites, and are required to be celibate; however, a non-monastic priest may be ordained to the episcopate if he no longer lives with his wife (following Canon XII of the Quinisext Council, Quinisext Council of Trullo) In contemporary usage such a non-monastic priest is usually
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The human body, apart from areas of ...

tonsure
d to the monastic state, and then elevated to archimandrite, at some point prior to his consecration to the episcopacy. Although not a formal or canonical prerequisite, at present bishops are often required to have earned a university degree, typically but not necessarily in theology. Usual titles are ''Your Holiness'' for a patriarch (with ''Your All-Holiness'' reserved for the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople), ''Your Beatitude'' for an archbishop/metropolitan overseeing an autocephaly, autocephalous Church, ''Your Eminence'' for an archbishop/metropolitan generally, ''Master'' or ''Your Grace'' for a bishop and ''Father'' for priests, deacons and monks, although there are variations between the various Orthodox Churches. For instance, in Churches associated with the Greek tradition, while the Ecumenical Patriarch is addressed as "Your All-Holiness," all other Patriarchs (and archbishops/metropolitans who oversee autocephalous Churches) are addressed as "Your Beatitude." Orthodox priests, deacons, and subdeacons must be either married or celibate (preferably monastic) prior to ordination, but may not marry after ordination. ''Re''marriage of clergy following divorce or widowhood is forbidden. Married clergy are considered as best-suited to staff parishes, as a priest with a family is thought better qualified to counsel his flock. It has been common practice in the Russian tradition for unmarried, non-monastic clergy to occupy academic posts.


Methodism

In the Methodist Churches, candidates for ordination are "licensed" to the ministry for a period of time (typically one to three years) prior to being ordained. This period typically is spent performing the duties of ministry under the guidance, supervision, and evaluation of a more senior, ordained minister. In some denominations, however, licensure is a permanent, rather than a transitional state for ministers assigned to certain specialized ministries, such as music ministry or youth ministry.


Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has no dedicated clergy, and is governed instead by a system of lay priesthood leaders. Locally, unpaid and part-time Priesthood (Latter Day Saints), priesthood holders lead the church; the worldwide church is supervised by full-time General authority, general authorities, some of whom receive modest living allowances. No formal theological training is required for any position. All leaders in the church are called by revelation (Latter Day Saints), revelation and the laying on of hands by one who holds authority. Jesus Christ stands at the head of the church and leads the church through revelation given to the President of the Church (LDS Church), President of the Church, the First Presidency (LDS Church), First Presidency, and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church), Twelve Apostles, all of whom are recognized as prophet, seer, and revelator, prophets, seers, and revelators and have lifetime tenure. Below these men in the hierarchy are quorum (Latter Day Saints), quorums of Seventy (LDS Church), seventy, which are assigned geographically over the Area (LDS Church), areas of the church. Locally, the church is divided into stake (Latter Day Saints), stakes; each stake has a stake president, president, who is assisted by two counselors and a high council (Latter Day Saints), high council. The stake is made up of several individual congregations, which are called "ward (LDS Church), wards" or "branches." Wards are led by a Bishop (Latter Day Saints), bishop and his counselors and branches by a branch president, president and his counselors. Local leaders serve in their positions until released by their supervising authorities. Generally, all worthy males age 12 and above receive the priesthood (LDS Church), priesthood. Youth age 12 to 18 are ordained to the Aaronic priesthood (LDS Church), Aaronic priesthood as deacon (Latter Day Saints), deacons, teacher (Latter Day Saints), teachers, or Priest (Latter Day Saints), priests, which authorizes them to perform certain ordinance (Latter Day Saints), ordinances and sacraments. Adult males are ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood (Latter Day Saints), Melchizedek priesthood, as elder (Latter Day Saints), elders, seventies, high priest (Latter Day Saints), high priests, or Patriarch (Latter Day Saints), patriarchs in that priesthood, which is concerned with spiritual leadership of the church. Although the term "clergy" is not typically used in the LDS Church, it would most appropriately apply to local bishops and stake presidents. Merely holding an office in the priesthood does not imply authority over other church members or agency to act on behalf of the entire church.


Lutheranism

The Book of Concord, a compendium of doctrine for the Lutheran Churches allows ordination to be received as a sacrament.


Reformed

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ordains two types of
presbyter In the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christian biblical canon. It discusses the te ...
s or elders, teaching (pastor) and ruling (leaders of the congregation which form a council with the pastors). Teaching elders are seminary trained and ordained as a presbyter and set aside on behalf of the whole denomination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Ordinarily, teaching elders are installed by a presbytery as pastor of a congregation. Ruling elders, after receiving training, may be commissioned by a presbytery to serve as a pastor of a congregation, as well as preach and administer sacraments. In Congregationalist Churches, local churches are free to hire (and often ordain) their own clergy, although the parent denominations typically maintain lists of suitable candidates seeking appointment to local church ministries and encourage local churches to consider these individuals when filling available positions.


Islam

Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an religion teaching that is a of .Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edited by J. L. Esposito. Oxford: . . (See alsoquick reference) " e Muslims' und ...
, like Judaism, has no clergy in the sacerdotal sense; there is no institution resembling the Christian priesthood. Islamic religious leaders do not "serve as intermediaries between mankind and God", have "process of ordination", nor "sacramental functions". They have been said to resemble more rabbis, serving as "exemplars, teachers, judges, and community leaders," providing religious rules to the pious on "even the most minor and private" matters. The title ''
mullah Mullah (; ) is an honorific title for Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, ...

mullah
'' (a Persian variation of the Arabic ''maula'', "master"), commonly translated "cleric" in the West and thought to be analogous to "priest" or "rabbi", is a title of address for any educated or respected figure, not even necessarily (though frequently) religious. The title ''sheikh'' ("elder") is used similarly. Most of the religious titles associated with Islam are scholastic or academic in nature: they recognize the holder's exemplary knowledge of the theory and practice of ''ad-dín'' (religion), and do not confer any particular spiritual or sacerdotal authority. The most general such title is ''`alim'' (pl. ''Ulama, `ulamah''), or "scholar". This word describes someone engaged in advanced study of the traditional Islamic sciences ''(`ulum)'' at an Islamic university or ''Madrasa, madrasah jami`ah''. A scholar's opinions may be valuable to others because of his/her knowledge in religious matters; but such opinions should not generally be considered binding, infallible, or absolute, as the individual Muslim is directly responsible to God for his or her own religious beliefs and practice. There is no sacerdotal office corresponding to the Christian priest or Jewish ''kohen'', as there is no sacrificial rite of atonement comparable to the Eucharist or the Korban. Ritual slaughter or ''dhabihah'', including the ''qurban'' at ''Eid al-Adha, `Idu l-Ad'ha,'' may be performed by any adult Muslim who is physically able and properly trained. Professional butchers may be employed, but they are not necessary; in the case of the ''qurban'', it is especially preferable to slaughter one's own animal if possible.


Sunni

The nearest analogue among Sunni Muslims to the parish priest or pastor, or to the "pulpit
rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisees, Phar ...

rabbi
" of a synagogue, is called the ''imam khatib.'' This compound title is merely a common combination of two elementary offices: leader ''(imam)'' of the congregational prayer, which in most mosques is performed at the times of all daily prayers; and preacher ''(khatib)'' of the sermon or ''khutba'' of the obligatory congregational prayer at midday every Friday. Although either duty can be performed by anyone who is regarded as qualified by the congregation, at most well-established mosques ''imam khatib'' is a permanent part-time or full-time position. He may be elected by the local community, or appointed by an outside authority – e.g., the national government, or the waqf that sustains the mosque. There is no ordination as such; the only requirement for appointment as an ''imam khatib'' is recognition as someone of sufficient learning and virtue to perform both duties on a regular basis, and to instruct the congregation in the basics of Islam. The title ''Hafiz (Qur'an), hafiz'' (lit. "preserver") is awarded to one who has memorized the entire Qur'an, often by attending a special course for the purpose; the ''imam khatib'' of a mosque is frequently (though not always) a ''hafiz.'' There are several specialist offices pertaining to the study and administration of Islamic law or ''Sharia, shari`ah.'' A scholar with a specialty in ''fiqh'' or jurisprudence is known as a ''faqih''. A ''
qadi A Qadi ( ar, قاضي, Qāḍī; also Qazi, cadi, kadi or kazi) is the magistrate or judge of a Sharia Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the rel ...
'' is a judge in an Islamic court. A ''
mufti A Mufti (; ar, مفتي) is an Islamic jurist qualified to issue a nonbinding opinion (''fatwa A fatwā (, also ; ar, فتوىٰ; plural ''fatāwā'' ) is a nonbinding legal opinion In law, a legal opinion is in certain jurisdictions ...

mufti
'' is a scholar who has completed an advanced course of study which qualifies him to issue judicial opinions or ''fatwa, fatawah''.


Shia

In modern Shia Islam, scholars play a more prominent role in the daily lives of Muslims than in Sunni Islam; and there is a hierarchy of higher titles of scholastic authority, such as ''Ayatollah''. Since around the mid-19th century, a more complex title has been used in Twelver Shi`ism, namely ''marjaʿ at-taqlid''. ''Marjaʿ'' (pl. ''marajiʿ'') means "source", and ''taqlid'' refers to religious emulation or imitation. Lay Shi`ah must identify a specific ''marjaʿ'' whom they emulate, according to his legal opinions ''(fatawah)'' or other writings. On several occasions, the ''Marjaʿiyyat'' (community of all ''marajiʿ'') has been limited to a single individual, in which case his rulings have been applicable to all those living in the Twelver Shi'ah world. Of broader importance has been the role of the ''mujtahid'', a cleric of superior knowledge who has the authority to perform ''ijtihad'' (independent judgment). Mujtahids are few in number, but it is from their ranks that the ''marajiʿ at-taqlid'' are drawn.


Sufism

The spiritual guidance function known in many Christian denominations as "pastoral care" is fulfilled for many Muslims by a ''murshid'' ("guide"), a master of the spiritual sciences and disciplines known as ''tasawuf'' or Sufism. Sufi guides are commonly styled ''Shaikh'' in both speaking and writing; in North Africa they are sometimes called ''marabouts''. They are traditionally appointed by their predecessors, in an unbroken teaching lineage reaching back to Muhammad. (The lineal succession of guides bears a superficial similarity to Christian ordination and apostolic succession, or to Buddhist dharma transmission; but a Sufi guide is regarded primarily as a specialized teacher and Islam denies the existence of an earthly hierarchy among believers.) Muslims who wish to learn Sufism dedicate themselves to a ''murshids guidance by taking an oath called a ''Bay'ah, bai'ah''. The aspirant is then known as a ''murid'' ("disciple" or "follower"). A ''murid'' who takes on special disciplines under the guide's instruction, ranging from an intensive spiritual retreat to voluntary poverty and homelessness, is sometimes known as a dervish. During the Islamic Golden Age, it was common for scholars to attain recognized mastery of both the "exterior sciences" ''(`ulum az-zahir)'' of the madrasahs as well as the "interior sciences" ''(`ulum al-batin)'' of Sufism. Al-Ghazali and Rumi are two notable examples.


Ahmadiyya

The highest office an Ahmadi can hold is that of Khalifatul Masih, ''Khalifatu l-Masih''. Such a person may appoint amirs who manage regional areas. The consultative body for Ahmadiyya is called the ''Majlis-i-Shura'', which ranks second in importance to the ''Khalifatu l-Masih''. However, the Ahmadiyya community is declared as Persecution of Ahmadis, non-Muslims by many mainstream Muslims and they reject the messianic claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.


Judaism

Rabbinic Judaism does not have clergy as such, although according to the Torah there is a tribe of priests known as the Kohen, Kohanim who were leaders of the religion up to the Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE), destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD when most Sadducees were wiped out; each member of the tribe, a Kohen had priestly duties, many of which centered around the sacrificial duties, atonement and blessings of the Israelite nation. Today, Jewish Kohanim know their status by family tradition, and still offer the priestly blessing during certain services in the synagogue and perform the ''Pidyon haben'' (redemption of the first-born son) ceremony. Since the time of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, the religious leaders of Judaism have often been
rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisees, Phar ...

rabbi
s, who are technically scholars in Jewish law empowered to act as judges in a Beth din, rabbinical court. All types of Judaism except Orthodox Judaism allow women as well as men to be ordained as rabbis and Hazzan, cantors. The leadership of a Jewish congregation is, in fact, in the hands of the laity: the president of a synagogue is its actual leader and any adult male Jew (or adult Jew in non-traditional congregations) can lead prayer services. The rabbi is not an occupation found in the Torah; the first time this word is mentioned is in the Mishnah. The modern form of the rabbi developed in the Talmudic era. Rabbis are given authority to make interpretations of Halakha, Jewish law and custom. Traditionally, a man obtains one of three levels of Semicha (rabbinic ordination) after the completion of an arduous learning program in Torah, Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Mishnah and Talmud, Midrash, Jewish ethics and lore, the codes of halakha, Jewish law and responsa, theology and philosophy. Since the early medieval era an additional communal role, the ''Hazzan'' (cantor) has existed as well. Cantors have sometimes been the only functionaries of a synagogue, empowered to undertake religio-civil functions like witnessing marriages. Cantors do provide leadership of actual services, primarily because of their training and expertise in the music and prayer rituals pertaining to them, rather than because of any spiritual or "sacramental" distinction between them and the laity. Cantors as much as rabbis have been recognized by civil authorities in the United States as clergy for legal purposes, mostly for awarding education degrees and their ability to perform weddings, and certify births and deaths. Additionally, Jewish authorities license ''mohels'', people specially trained by experts in Jewish law and usually also by medical professionals to perform the ritual of circumcision. Traditional Orthodox Judaism does not license women as mohels, but other types of Judaism do. They are appropriately called ''mohelot'' (pl. of ''mohelet,'' f. of mohel). As the ''j., the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California'', states, "...there is no halachic prescription against female mohels, [but] none exist in the Orthodox world, where the preference is that the task be undertaken by a Jewish man.". In many places, mohels are also licensed by civil authorities, as circumcision is technically a surgical procedure. Kohanim, who must avoid contact with dead human body parts (such as the removed foreskin) for ritual purity, cannot act as mohels, but some mohels are also either rabbis or cantors. Another licensed cleric in Judaism is the ''shochet'', who are trained and licensed by religious authorities for kosher slaughter according to ritual law. A Kohen may be a shochet. Most shochetim are ordained rabbis. Then there is the ''mashgiach''. A ''mashgiach'' is someone who supervises the ''kashrut'' status of a kosher establishment. The ''mashgiach'' must know the Torah laws of ''kashrut'', and how they apply in the environment he is supervising. Obviously, this can vary. In many instances, the ''mashgiach'' is a rabbi. This helps, since rabbinical students learn the laws of kosher as part of their syllabus. However, not every ''mashgiach'' is a rabbi, and not every rabbi is qualified to be a ''mashgiach''.


Orthodox Judaism

In contemporary Orthodox Judaism, women are forbidden from becoming rabbis or cantors. Most Orthodox rabbinical seminaries or yeshivas also require dedication of many years to education, but few require a formal degree from a civil education institution that often define Christian clergy. Training is often focused on Jewish law, and some Orthodox Yeshivas forbid secular education. In Hasidic Judaism, generally understood as a branch of Orthodox Judaism, there are dynastic spiritual leaders known as ''Rebbes'', often translated in English as "Grand Rabbi". The office of Rebbe is generally a hereditary one, but may also be passed from Rebbe to student or by recognition of a congregation conferring a sort of coronation to their new Rebbe. Although one does not need to be an ordained Rabbi to be a Rebbe, most Rebbes today are ordained Rabbis. Since one does not need to be an ordained rabbi to be a Rebbe, at some points in history there were female Rebbes as well, particularly the Maiden of Ludmir.


Conservative Judaism

In Conservative Judaism, both men and women are ordained as rabbis and cantors. Conservative Judaism differs with Orthodoxy in that it sees Jewish Law as binding but also as subject to many interpretations, including more liberal interpretations. Academic requirements for becoming a rabbi are rigorous. First earn a bachelor's degree before entering rabbinical school. Studies are mandated in pastoral care and psychology, the historical development of Judaism and most importantly the academic study of Bible, Talmud and rabbinic literature, philosophy and theology, liturgy, Jewish history, and Hebrew literature of all periods.


Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism

Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism do not maintain the traditional requirements for study as rooted in Jewish Law and traditionalist text. Both men and women may be rabbis or cantors. The rabbinical seminaries of these movements hold that one must first earn a bachelor's degree before entering the rabbinate. In addition studies are mandated in pastoral care and psychology, the historical development of Judaism; and academic biblical criticism. Emphasis is placed not on Jewish law, but rather on sociology, modern Jewish philosophy, theology and pastoral care.


Sikhism

Sikh clergy consists of five ''Jathedars'', one each from five ''Takht (Sikhism), takhts'' or sacred seats. The ''Jathedars'' are appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), an elected body of the Sikhs sometimes called the "Parliament of Sikhs." The highest seat of the Sikh religion is called ''Akal Takht'' and the ''Jathedar'' of ''Akal Takht'' makes all the important decisions after consultations with the ''Jathedars'' of the other four ''takhts'' and the SGPC.


Zoroastrianism

Mobad and Magi are Clergy of Zoroastrianism. Kartir was one of the powerful and influential of them.


Traditional religions

Historically Ethnic religion, traditional (or ''pagan'') religions typically combine religious authority and political power. What this means is that the sacred king, sacred king or queen is therefore seen to combine both kingship and priesthood within his or her person, even though he or she is often aided by an actual high priest or priestess (see, for example, the Maya priesthood). When the functions of political ruler and religious leader are combined in this way, Apotheosis, deification could be seen to be the next logical stage of his or her social advancement within his or her native environment, as is found in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Vedic priesthood of India is an early instance of a structured body of clergy organized as a separate and hereditary caste, one that occupied the highest social rung of its nation. A modern example of this phenomenon the priestly monarchs of the Yoruba people, Yoruba holy city of Ile-Ife in Nigeria, whose reigning List of rulers of Ife, Onis have performed ritual ceremonies for centuries for the sustenance of the entire planet and its people.


Health risks for ministry in the United States

In recent years, studies have suggested that American clergy in certain Protestantism, Protestant, Evangelicalism, Evangelical and Judaism, Jewish traditions are more at risk than the general population of obesity, hypertension and depression. Their life expectancies have fallen in recent years and in the last decade their use of antidepressants has risen. Several religious bodies in the United States (United Methodist Church, Methodist, Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopal, Baptists, Baptist and Lutheranism, Lutheran) have implemented measures to address the issue, through Workplace wellness, wellness campaigns, for example – but also by simply ensuring that clergy take more time off. It is unclear whether similar symptoms affect American Islam, Muslim clerics, although an anecdotal comment by one American imam suggested that leaders of mosques may also share these problems. One exception to the findings of these studies is the case of American Catholic Church, Catholic priests, who are required by canon law to take a spiritual retreat each year, and four weeks of vacation. Sociological studies at the University of Chicago have confirmed this exception; the studies also took the results of several earlier studies into consideration and included Roman Catholic priests nationwide. See A. M. Greeley, ''Priests: A Calling in Crisis'' (University of Chicago Press, 2004). It remains unclear whether American clergy in other religious traditions experience the same symptoms, or whether clergy outside the United States are similarly affected.


See also

* Holy orders * Ordination


References


Further reading


Clergy in general

* Aston, Nigel. ''Religion and revolution in France, 1780-1804'' (CUA Press, 2000) * Bremer, Francis J. ''Shaping New Englands: Puritan Clergymen in Seventeenth-Century England and New England'' (Twayne, 1994) * Dutt, Sukumar. ''Buddhist monks and monasteries of India'' (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1962) * Nancy Farriss, Farriss, Nancy Marguerite. ''Crown and clergy in colonial Mexico, 1759-1821: The crisis of ecclesiastical privilege'' (Burns & Oates, 1968) * Ferguson, Everett. ''The Early Church at Work and Worship: Volume 1: Ministry, Ordination, Covenant, and Canon'' (Casemate Publishers, 2014) * Freeze, Gregory L. ''The Parish Clergy in Nineteenth-Century Russia: Crisis, Reform, Counter-Reform'' (Princeton University Press, 1983) * Haig, Alan. ''The Victorian Clergy'' (Routledge, 1984), in England * Holifield, E. Brooks. ''God's ambassadors: a history of the Christian clergy in America'' (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007), a standard scholarly history * Lewis, Bonnie Sue. ''Creating Christian Indians: Native Clergy in the Presbyterian Church'' (University of Oklahoma Press, 2003) * Marshall, Peter. ''The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation'' (Clarendon Press, 1994) * Osborne, Kenan B. ''Priesthood: A history of ordained ministry in the Roman Catholic Church'' (Paulist Press, 1989), a standard scholarly history * Parry, Ken, ed. ''The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity'' (John Wiley & Sons, 2010) * Sanneh, Lamin. "The origins of clericalism in West African Islam." ''The Journal of African History'' 17.01 (1976): 49–72. * Schwarzfuchs, Simon. ''A concise history of the rabbinate'' (Blackwell, 1993), a standard scholarly history * Zucker, David J. ''American rabbis: Facts and fiction'' (Jason Aronson, 1998)


Female clergy

* Amico, Eleanor B., ed. ''Reader's Guide to Women's Studies'' ( Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998), pp 131–33; historiography * Collier-Thomas, Bettye. ''Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons'' (1997). * Flowers, Elizabeth H. ''Into the Pulpit: Southern Baptist Women and Power Since World War II'' (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2012) * Maloney, Linda M. "Women in Ministry in the Early Church." ''New Theology Review'' 16.2 (2013)
online
* Ruether, Rosemary Radford. "Should Women Want Women Priests or Women-Church?." ''Feminist Theology'' 20.1 (2011): 63–72. * Tucker, Ruth A. and Walter L. Liefeld. ''Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present'' (1987), historical survey of female Christian clergy


External links

*
"Church Administration"
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Wlsessays.net
Scholarly articles on Christian Clergy from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Library
University of the West
Buddhist M.Div.
Naropa University
, Buddhist M.Div.
National Association of Christian Ministers
Priesthood of All Believers: Explained and Supported in Scripture {{Authority control Clergy, Religious terminology Religious occupations Estates (social groups) Positions of authority