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Membership growth in Protestant churches, such as the Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations, has been stagnant in the past few years. Aging membership has caused church budgets and membership to shrink, lessening the demand for full-time ministers. There has also been a significant increase in membership in evangelical churches. Overall, the increased cost of church operations is expected to limit the demand for ministers. The closing or combining of smaller parishes, and the reduced availability of funds, have lessened the need for full-time ministers. And, although the number of ministry graduates is also declining, ministers should expect competition for some parish jobs, especially the more desirable, urban ones.
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