New Report Shows Salaries for Southern Baptist Pastors Are Not Keeping Up With Inflation

Messengers pray together at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, on June 13, 2018.

Salaries for Southern Baptist Convention pastors are not keeping up with the rate of inflation, according to a new report by LifeWay Research.

The biannual study, whose findings were released Thursday, was a joint project in which LifeWay Christian Resources worked alongside GuideStone Financial Resources and state conventions.

For full-time senior pastors in the SBC, compensation, defined as salary plus housing, increased 3.8 percent over the past two years. By contrast, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for the same time period increased 4.6 percent.

Other church positions fared worse in comparison, with a 1.5 percent compensation increase for full-time staff ministers and a 2.3 percent compensation increase for full-time office personnel.

According to LifeWay, factors that contributed to greater compensation included more years of experience, overseeing a larger congregation, and a higher education level.

“Those with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $5,681 more than similarly qualified pastors with no college education or an associate degree,” explained LifeWay.

“Master’s and doctorate degrees correspond with compensation increases of $5,754 and $10,868, respectively, when compared to college graduates.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski