Pastoral Compensation Trends

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DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I was researching the topic for other reasons and came across some interesting conclusions based on a recent Compensation Handbook for Church and Staff.

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.
Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

2. Female solo pastors earn more than male solo pastors.
Okay, so there aren’t many female solo pastors; in American churches responding to our survey, only 6 percent of solo pastors are women. Still, it’s intriguing that female solo pastors reported 10.4 percent higher total compensation. Their average salary was 8.6 percent higher than men’s; and better housing and retirement benefits made up the rest.

3. That additional degree is probably worth it.
Wondering whether to finish your master’s or doctorate? Even in pastoral ministry, from a financial standpoint, the answer is yes.

Roughly stated, moving from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree boosts your income from 10 to 20 percent, and getting your doctorate gets you 15 percent more on top of that. Or here’s another way of looking at it . . . if you’re going to serve with that degree for five or more years, you’ll probably end up ahead.

Comments? Interpretations? :confused:
 

Ivan

Pastor
I was researching the topic for other reasons and came across some interesting conclusions based on a recent Compensation Handbook for Church and Staff.

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.
Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

2. Female solo pastors earn more than male solo pastors.
Okay, so there aren’t many female solo pastors; in American churches responding to our survey, only 6 percent of solo pastors are women. Still, it’s intriguing that female solo pastors reported 10.4 percent higher total compensation. Their average salary was 8.6 percent higher than men’s; and better housing and retirement benefits made up the rest.

3. That additional degree is probably worth it.
Wondering whether to finish your master’s or doctorate? Even in pastoral ministry, from a financial standpoint, the answer is yes.

Roughly stated, moving from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree boosts your income from 10 to 20 percent, and getting your doctorate gets you 15 percent more on top of that. Or here’s another way of looking at it . . . if you’re going to serve with that degree for five or more years, you’ll probably end up ahead.

Comments? Interpretations? :confused:

Presbyterian ministers make more than Baptist ministers...hmmm...:wow::think:

NAH!! :lol:
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I was researching the topic for other reasons and came across some interesting conclusions based on a recent Compensation Handbook for Church and Staff.

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.
Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

2. Female solo pastors earn more than male solo pastors.
Okay, so there aren’t many female solo pastors; in American churches responding to our survey, only 6 percent of solo pastors are women. Still, it’s intriguing that female solo pastors reported 10.4 percent higher total compensation. Their average salary was 8.6 percent higher than men’s; and better housing and retirement benefits made up the rest.

3. That additional degree is probably worth it.
Wondering whether to finish your master’s or doctorate? Even in pastoral ministry, from a financial standpoint, the answer is yes.

Roughly stated, moving from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree boosts your income from 10 to 20 percent, and getting your doctorate gets you 15 percent more on top of that. Or here’s another way of looking at it . . . if you’re going to serve with that degree for five or more years, you’ll probably end up ahead.

Comments? Interpretations? :confused:

Presbyterian ministers make more than Baptist ministers...hmmm...:wow::think:

NAH!! :lol:

Yo, Ivan, re-read the quote.

Presbyterian SENIOR pastors make more than Baptist SENIOR Pastors (by about $10+k).

Baptist YOUTH pastors make more than Presbyterian YOUTH pastors (by about $8+k).

The writer speculates in the explanation this way:

The answer comes from two factors: church income and denominational values.

Our research consistently shows that the biggest single factor in determining any pastor's pay is the church's income. And among churches with senior pastors, Presbyterian churches have the highest-reported church income, so some of that gets passed along to their senior pastors.

But among churches with youth pastors, Baptist churches and Presbyterian churches have virtually identical church income. So they could pay their youth pastors equally, if they wished. Apparently, though, Baptist churches value youth ministry more, because they pay their youth pastors 20 percent more.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Am I a youth pastor? Last I checked, no. Neither am I a Presbyterian.

I'll just stay a poorly paid Baptist Senior Pastor, but thanks for thinking I'm a youth!
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'll just stay a poorly paid Baptist Senior Pastor, but thanks for thinking I'm a youth!

"Poorly paid"? Oh, that must be what your people meant when they said you were a poor pastor. :rofl: Sorry. That fruit was so low hanging that it was touching the ground!

Actually, I always thought that the Episcopalians drop the most scratch on their pastors. But, yes, your experience in the midwest tallies with mine out here in California. It may also be due to the fact that more Baptists are probably bi-vocational (just a gut level guess?) than some of our more "proper" brethren.

The one that really baffles me, however, is the women pastors. It must relate to pastoral salaries in the northeast where women are more accepted as solo pastors.
 

Ivan

Pastor
"Poorly paid"? Oh, that must be what your people meant when they said you were a poor pastor. :rofl: Sorry. That fruit was so low hanging that it was touching the ground!

:rofl:....you slay me!! Old one, but a good one!!

It may also be due to the fact that more Baptists are probably bi-vocational (just a gut level guess?) than some of our more "proper" brethren.

I think you're on target with that. I have to be honest. At least in the state of Illinois I'm a better than average paid bivocational pastor. I really don't have a thing to complain about.

The one that really baffles me, however, is the women pastors. It must relate to pastoral salaries in the northeast where women are more accepted as solo pastors.

Bubba say that he cain't do a thang 'bout dem thar womin pasturs. He jist let 'em be!
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
What is the normal time at a church now. I read 19 months last year. That's a lot of pastor changes.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Pergy,

Here is what the Barna people said a while back:

Female pastors are much more likely to be seminary-trained (86% have a seminary degree, compared to 60% of male pastors); are more than twice as likely to have been divorced (31%, compared to 12% among male pastors); have less experience in the pastorate (9 years in full-time paid ministry, compared to a median of 17 years among men); last less time in a given church than do men (three years per pastorate, compared to almost six years among men); are almost four times more likely to describe themselves as theologically liberal (39% vs. 11%, respectively); much less likely to embrace the label of "evangelical" (58%, vs. 85% among male pastors);

More recent Ellison research findings are as follows:

Ministers at larger churches tended to have a longer tenure – an average of 8.7 years in their current position, compared to 7.2 years among small churches.

Another interesting finding relates to the reasons different pastors leave their current place of ministry. Also culled from the Ellison research:

Reasons for leaving a job as senior pastor of a church vary quite a bit by denominational groups:

Among Methodists, by far the most common reason for a job change is being transferred by the denomination (80%). Switching denominations is also more common among pastors who are currently Methodists than among other denominational groups, as is wanting to move to a larger church. Methodists are much less likely than average to have left a job to start a new church, to have felt God’s call to go to another church, or to have been fired.

Presbyterian ministers are much less likely than average to leave to start a new church, but are about average in most of their other reasons for having changed jobs. Their most common reason for changing jobs has been a desire to live and work in a different region or type of community.

Lutherans
are almost twice as likely as average to change jobs because they want to minister in a different region or type of community, which is also their number one reason for having left a church.

Pentecostal and charismatic clergy are much more likely than average to leave an existing church in order to start a new church, and about half as likely as average to leave in order to move to a larger church. Planting new churches is the top reason for job changes among Pentecostal/charismatic clergy.

Southern Baptists
are about twice as likely as the average minister to have left a church because they felt God was calling them to a different church, although the most common reason for a job change is still a desire to minister in a different region or type of community.

Baptist ministers outside of the Southern Baptist Convention
(e.g. American Baptist, National Baptist, Conservative Baptist) are less likely than others to have left a church because they wanted to work in a different region of the country or a different type of community. Their number one reason for switching jobs is getting promoted to a higher position.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
I was researching the topic for other reasons and came across some interesting conclusions based on a recent Compensation Handbook for Church and Staff.

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.
Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

2. Female solo pastors earn more than male solo pastors.
Okay, so there aren’t many female solo pastors; in American churches responding to our survey, only 6 percent of solo pastors are women. Still, it’s intriguing that female solo pastors reported 10.4 percent higher total compensation. Their average salary was 8.6 percent higher than men’s; and better housing and retirement benefits made up the rest.

3. That additional degree is probably worth it.
Wondering whether to finish your master’s or doctorate? Even in pastoral ministry, from a financial standpoint, the answer is yes.

Roughly stated, moving from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree boosts your income from 10 to 20 percent, and getting your doctorate gets you 15 percent more on top of that. Or here’s another way of looking at it . . . if you’re going to serve with that degree for five or more years, you’ll probably end up ahead.

Comments? Interpretations? :confused:

Dennis,

Women pastors probably make more, because they would most likely be in large metropolitan (liberal, God hating) areas, such as San Francisco, New York, etc. Makes sense such areas would pay more; they pay more for all careers.

As for Presbyterians making more; probably education, and tithing make the difference. Presbyterians are "supposed to" tithe; some baptists aren't so sure.

Cheers,
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I'm interested to know if by "Presbyterian" the authors of this book refer to the PCUSA.

I've been told that the PCUSA is the wealthiest denomination in the USA and that as a result they can pay their pastors exhorbitantly even as they're killing off their churches.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The minimum compensation (including housing, medical, etc...) in the Presbytery of West Virginia (probably the poorest PC(USA) presbytery) for a full-time solo Pastor straight out of seminary is around $32,000.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We did a big job for an Eastern Rite Catholic church, and the Priest there gets 800 per month and the small mobile home next to the church. We're in a rich area.
 

Ivan

Pastor
What is the normal time at a church now. I read 19 months last year. That's a lot of pastor changes.

I've been at my church for 24 months as of next Sunday with no end in sight. I haven't put any time frame in mind. If the LORD wills, I'll stay here the rest of my life.

Walmart? Although things are going fine I intend to be out ASAP so I can give myself totally to the LORD's work.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Ivan,

One of sons is a lawyer in Northwest Arkansas (i.e., Walmart Corporate Headquarters = Walmart Heaven). According to what he says the locals there think, I thought working at Walmart WAS the Lord's work? :lol:
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
What is the normal time at a church now. I read 19 months last year. That's a lot of pastor changes.

Interesting, our former pastor who retired a few years back was at the church since it's inception, he was the founding pastor, so some 18+ years he was there.

The pastor who replaced him had been at his former church about the same length of time, but only at our church for about 2 1/2 years..and will be leaving soon.

Many of the churches I've been to over the years the pastors had been there for many years, so what is bringing about this change of only serving for a year or two? I guess the better question is (at lease in some cases) what is causing the discontent?
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Bobbi,

I don't think that there has been much of a change. In my youth, many pastors had decades of pastoring and only a couple of years of "experience." They simply took their show on the road every couple of years and repeated it in a new venue. As long as I can remember, we have had both types of tenures (long and short).

If anything, the shift from parsonages and the advent of working wives has increased pastoral tenures for the most practical and unspiritual of reasons: the difficulty and expense in selling houses and relocating working spouses.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
How many churches help their pastors get higher education? Those with higher education get paid more it seems, but can we tell where they got the money to go back to school?
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
I'm interested to know if by "Presbyterian" the authors of this book refer to the PCUSA.

I've been told that the PCUSA is the wealthiest denomination in the USA and that as a result they can pay their pastors exhorbitantly even as they're killing off their churches.

The PCA, by and large, is pretty rich as well.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
How many churches help their pastors get higher education? Those with higher education get paid more it seems, but can we tell where they got the money to go back to school?

Here's how the churches I've been to do it. First, you start off with a core of extremely zealous, dedicated people who have never read a theology book outside of the Bible in their life.

Next, they knock on doors and hand out tracts and preach in jails and schools and parks and so forth until the church reaches 1,000 people (out of 34,000 people led to Christ).

Then the church is big enough that it sends the staff off to seminary.

Staff becomes Calvinist and slips into into the congregation slowly enough that the congregation can't remember not being Calvinist.

Ta da! Big, rich, well-educated Calvinist church!

Note: Having a yearly influx of feed - er, Bible college grads - pop in your doors helps.
 

Broadus

Puritan Board Freshman
A surefire way not to have to worry about making more than you know what to do with it is to pastor a Calvinistic SBC church in a rural town situation, even with a fully-accredited PhD. ;)

Bill
 

Ivan

Pastor
Ivan,

One of sons is a lawyer in Northwest Arkansas (i.e., Walmart Corporate Headquarters = Walmart Heaven). According to what he says the locals there think, I thought working at Walmart WAS the Lord's work? :lol:

I guess that hasn't gotten down to our store nor our area in the midwest. Now if Walmart wants me to preach the Gospel every day, I'd consider staying long term.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Ivan,

One of sons is a lawyer in Northwest Arkansas (i.e., Walmart Corporate Headquarters = Walmart Heaven). According to what he says the locals there think, I thought working at Walmart WAS the Lord's work? :lol:

I guess that hasn't gotten down to our store nor our area in the midwest. Now if Walmart wants me to preach the Gospel every day, I'd consider staying long term.

What? You mean "save money, live better" is NOT the Gospel? :eek:
 
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