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Ministers/ Teaching Elders

Just compensation


One of the questions asked of a congregation at the installation of a pastor is, “Do we promise to pay him (her) fairly and provide for his (her) welfare as he (she) works among us?”  The expectation is that the congregation will answer with a whole-hearted, “Yes!” but there is often uncertainty, on both sides, about what is considered fair compensation.  Below are resources and tools for synods, presbyteries, congregations and church professions to analyze clergy terms of call and compensation offers for pay equity purposes.    

Commitment to Just Hiring and Compensation

God’s Work in Women’s Hands: Pay Equity and Just Compensation - Approved by the 218th General Assembly (2008), this resolution explores equal pay for comparable work concerns. Recognizing that "the new reality in Christ" should be reflected in the quality of the church's common life and witness," this resolution encourages all Presbyterians to uncover and correct unjustified pay disparities.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

 Presbytery Committees on Ministry have a responsibility to help congregations understand and adhere to the church’s commitment to equal employment opportunity.  All candidates should be considered for positions within the church based on the gifts they bring to ministry and not be based on gender, race, ethnic background, age, disability or marital status.

Equal Employment Opportunity in Ministry Report for Search Process (AAEEO)


Presbytery Pay Equity Study

Presbyteries are encouraged to gather and analyze data about all clergy positions and compensation within your presbytery, broken down by gender and racial/ethnic status.  Evaluate the differences in positions and earnings of women compared to men and of racial/ethnic persons as a way to identify and correct pay equity within the presbytery. 

Presbytery Pay Equity Study Chart Example


What Would Be a Just Salary?

There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining fair and just compensation.

Understanding Effective Salary

Using the Board of Pensions definition of Effective Salary can help alleviate confusions about what is included in salary. 

Presbytery Minimums and Policies

Every presbytery sets presbytery minimum salary requirements and other policies that relate to compensation.  Check with the presbytery for current minimums and relevant policies.  Presbytery Contact Information.

Church Leadership Connection Opportunity Search

Church Information Forms for open positions within the PC(USA) are available for viewing, including the minimum salary being offered for the position. Comparisons of similar positions and positions in similar presbyteries are possible.  Find out more.

Cost of Living Comparison Calculator

This calculator compares the differences in the cost of living as you move from one area of the country to another. 

Understanding Pay Inequity for Presbyteries Education Module

An eleven minute resource for presbytery committees on ministries and councils on gender and racial/ethnic sensitivity in hiring and employment practices. Watch this module


  1. For each position you are considering, review the salary information under “What Would Be a Just Salary?”
  2. Consider your own financial needs and situation alongside the salary information gathered in the first step.
  3. Determine what would be a just salary range for the position you are considering and compare it to the minimum salary being offered for the position.
  4. Consider discussing your salary range with presbytery staff and/or committee on ministry as conversations with a pastor nominating committee/search committee become more serious.
  5. Be prepared to negotiate a just salary for your call and to ask for presbytery assistance if need be.

Other Church Professionals

PAM (Presbyterian Association of Musicians) Salary Guidelines

Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) publishesGuidelines for the Employment of Church Musicians in Presbyterian Churches” including information about compensation for church musicians and suggested salary ranges.

Christian Educators Suggested Compensation Guidelines

“Suggested Compensation Guidelines” for Establishing an Educator’s Salary and an accompanying worksheet can be found on pages 22-24 in Calling to Educational Ministry.