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The Financial Health of Pastors

Study points out key issues as churches seek long-term solutions.

Last Reviewed: August 4, 2021
The Financial Health of Pastors
Image: Getty

At any given moment, there are people in a church congregation who are in the grip of a financial crisis. One of them could be the pastor.

In a 2015 study by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), more than four thousand pastors were surveyed about their financial health. This study reveals the depth of a situation that reaches across boundaries of theology, governance, and polity. Among the findings:

  • 30 percent of pastors have student loan debt averaging $36,000;
  • 3 out of 4 carry some type of nonmortgage debt (student, medical, or other debt) averaging $31,593;
  • 33 percent have less than $10,000 in retirement funds, and 29 percent have no retirement savings;
  • 84 percent do not have funds to cover emergencies and major purchases; and
  • 31 percent work second jobs.

The NAE survey was made possible through a nationwide, multiyear initiative by the Lilly Endowment to strengthen the finances of ...

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Related Topics:
  • August 15, 2016
  • Last Reviewed: August 4, 2021

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