The Financial Health of Pastors
The Financial Health of Pastors
New study points out key issues as churches seek long-term solutions.

At any given moment, there are people in a church congregation who are in the grip of a financial crisis. One of those people 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 pastors. Numerous organizations have received grants from the endowment to create awareness about this issue and to educate denominations, churches, and pastors about how to respond. Leith Anderson, NAE president, said his organization's three-year project involves three denominations and is already looking to expand.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted: August 15, 2016
View All
from our store
Talking to Your Congregation About Money

Talking to Your Congregation About Money

Helpful insights on talking about money and encouraging people to become generous givers.
How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

This report will give you an inside look at how churches nationwide spend their money.
Church Finance

Church Finance

Learn about budgeting, financial reporting, tax compliance, insurance coverage, and more.
The 2019 State of Church Compensation Report

The 2019 State of Church Compensation Report

Data and statistics about the state of church compensation in the U.S. for 2019.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.