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Clergy Compensation Guidelines PDF Print E-mail

Minimum Clergy Compensation

This is to announce new minimum clergy compensation guidelines, effective January 1, 2010.   As some of you are aware, these guidelines have not been updated since 2000.  While the vast majority of parishes have been diligent in keeping up with the cost of living increases in the interim, a few have gotten behind.   With that in mind, these guidelines are being offered well in advance of the budgeting process for 2010 to allow planning for appropriate adjustments for the coming year.

“Compensation” is constituted as the combination of all cash compensation, as defined below, and housing. The two combined represent the figure reported to the Church Pension Fund and are the basis on which those premiums are computed.  NOT included in that amount are “benefits” (pension premiums and health insurance) nor “church expenses” (travel reimbursement, continuing education, etc…):

A.  Cash compensation: 

Salary, social security allowance, utilities/household allowances, and contributions to tax deferred plans.  

B. Housing: 

-  If a rectory is provided, it is defined to be worth 30% of the cash compensation reported above.
- When a housing allowance is provided, it should be at least 30% of cash compensation and determined based on the actual cost of housing in your area.

While experience is an important factor in determining appropriate compensation, the following guidelines are meant only to provide minimum values.  The ranges adopted represent common practice in most churches today, where compensation is determined primarily by the size and complexity of the position. The leadership of a large, “corporate” size parish deserves a different level of compensation than that prevailing in a “family” size church.

Further, the most straightforward and broadly accepted way to rank churches according to complexity is by comparing average Sunday attendance (ASA) rather than membership and/or financial statistics.  For those unsure of your ASA, please consult your annual parochial report.   The number reported there should be the basis for determining which of the following salary ranges you should use to determine where you stand in comparison to the minimums.

New Guidelines as of January 1, 2010

Family size congregation: ASA (0-50)   Min. Compensation $ 51,634

Pastoral size congregation: ASA (51-150)   Min. Compensation $ 59,010
Small Program size congregation: ASA (151-250)  Min. Compensation  $ 66,386

Large Program size congregation: ASA (251-350)  Min. Compensation $ 73,767
Corporate size congregation: ASA (351 and above)  Min. Compensation $ 81,139

Compensation for assistant clergy needs to be set on a case by case basis, since there is a difference, for instance, between a newly ordained curate and a senior associate.  Skills and responsibilities also vary greatly. The minimum, in any case, will remain $51,634 for any clergy of the diocese with full time employment

The diocesan Clergy Salary and Allowance worksheet is suggested as an appropriate tool for determining both total compensation and cost of the position.

If you have questions regarding the new guidelines and their implementation, feel free to call either Canon Jim Lewis or Nancy Armstrong at the Diocesan House.   We would be glad to assist you.

* Approved at Diocesan Council [6-17-09]



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