Psychological evaluations and testing using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) among other instruments have been used to screen clerical and religious life applicants for decades. While much research has been conducted and published regarding these evaluations, the newer MMPI-3 has not been examined among this population. This study reviewed MMPI-3 results from 18 applicants to seminary and religious life from the Roman Catholic and Episcopal faith traditions to determine if the participants are generally psychological healthy and if they have any consistent elevations in their MMPI-3 testing scores. Additionally, we examined MMPI-3 differences among Catholics versus Episcopal applicants. Our preliminary results using a small sample suggest that applicants to seminary and religious life are generally psychologically healthy but tend to be defensive, presenting themselves in a favorable and virtuous manner. Additionally, Catholics tend to score higher on inconsistent responses but lower on psychoticism than Episcopalians. Further research should use larger and more diverse sample sizes to better understand how the MMPI-3 performs among this population.
Plante, T. G., & Peng, E. (2023). Use of the MMPI-3 with Catholic and Episcopal Seminary and Religious Life Applicants. Pastoral Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-023-01118-3