I've just begun a new Seminary class on Pastoral Counseling. It's an intensive course, consisting of four all-day class meetings as opposed to six or eight short ones spread over the semester. So these last two days, I've been in class from 9-4:30.
It's been pretty painless, since the prof gives us a break pretty much every hour. And the material has been really interesting so far. We've delved into reasons for pastors to counsel, obstacles they encounter, and dangers that loom over them. We've also begun to work on counseling skills like tracking a conversation and asking good questions.
Along the way, our prof shared with us a number of interesting statistics. I'd like to pass them on here. I don't claim these prove anything, nor do I vouch for their accuracy. But our prof is kind of a research nut, so the numbers are probably pretty good. So read these over, and let the wild conjecture begin!
- 25% of people in the world today live in cities. In 25 years, that number will increase to 75%.
- 3000 books are published daily in the U.S.
- The amount of printed information in the U.S. doubles every 8 years.
- There is more information presented in one week of the New York Times than you would encounter in a lifetime in 1850.
- The ten most popular jobs in 2010 will not have existed in 2004.
- 80% of all health problems in the U.S. are caused by lifestyle (nutrition, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking, etc.)
- 1 out of every 8 marriages in the U.S. began on the internet.
- 1 in 10 Americans will experience a severe depression this year.
- 1 in 2 Americans will experience a major mental health issue in their lifetime.
- In a survey of American clergy, only 13% said they felt prepared for the counseling needs of their congregation. 85% wanted more training in counseling.
- Only 2 professions are equally distributed across America: teacher and pastor. There may not be a doctor within 100 miles, but there's always a school and a church.
- Your liklihood of having an affair as a psychologist is 3-5%. Your liklihood of having an affair as a pastor is 15%.