David Eagle, PhD

I am an Associate in Research at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University. I am an expert on the health of religious clergy, the changing shape of the churches in North American society, and the implications of these trends for the professional training of ministers.

I am skilled in the collection and analysis of survey data, including longitudinal data and social network information.

I hold a PhD in Sociology from Duke University with a focus on the sociology of religion and quantitative research methods. My dissertation looked at the causes and consequences of the increasing prevalence of very large churches in the United States.

My research is published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Social Networks, the Journal of Social History, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Review of Religious Research and Research in the Sociology of Work.

Methodological Skills

  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Time Series/Longitudinal Modeling
  • Structural Equation Modeling
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Survey Design and Administration

Past Research

  • Evaluation of a holistic health intervention among clergy
  • Prospective relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome
  • Impact of relocation on clergy health
  • Panel conditioning in social network surveys
  • Church size and the likelihood of attendance
  • Gender/marital differences of charitable giving
  • Concentration of affluent individuals in large churches
  • The history of the modern megachurch.

Current Research

  • The processes which protects white privilege in the United Methodist appointment process
  • Black-white differences in mental and physical health of clergy
  • Perceived and received social support and their impact on mental health
  • How intra-denominational social networks impact the health of clergy
  • The role of selection processes in explaining poor clergy health


David Eagle, PhD

PO Box 90392, Durham, NC 27708919.699.6321david.eagle@duke.edu