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Churches Pay the Average Senior Pastor More Than $80,000 Per Year

Contact: Ryan R. Ellis, Christianity Today, 630-260-6200 ext 4224, rellis@christianitytoday.com 

CAROL STREAM, Ill., Aug. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- A recent national survey of pastors and church staff shows the compensation and benefits paid to the average Senior Pastor has risen to $81,113 per year, with the highest 25% of Senior Pastors making more than $97,000 each year. This annual survey, conducted and compiled by the Your Church Media Group at Christianity Today International, is based on a staff member's total compensation package, including: salary, housing allowance/parsonage, retirement, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance and continuing education allowances.

The survey also showed significantly increased benefits across all staff categories and denominations for those with an advanced education. The difference in compensation between pastors (Senior, Solo, Associate and Children's) holding a Doctorate is $14,000-$24,000 more per year compared to those with a Bachelor's degree in similar positions and up to $30,000 more per year than pastors without any post-secondary education.

Of added interest, the location and municipal setting of a given church also played a key role in determining a pastor's level of compensation, with suburban Senior Pastors making an average of 50% more than their rural counterparts. This general trend holds true across all surveyed positions with suburban churches providing the highest level of compensation, followed by churches in metropolitan areas, churches in small towns, and finally churches in rural farming communities.

The comprehensive results and analysis for this year's survey of 13 distinct church positions, ranging from senior pastor to church secretary, can be found in The 2009 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff. The complete analysis includes breakdowns based on church denomination, income budget, size, and geographical setting. To pre-order a copy that will ship in October, call 1-800-222-1840 or visit http://www.YourChurchResources.com.

Christianity Today International is a Christian media ministry founded by Billy Graham in 1956. This ministry now produces 12 publications, an award-winning website with more than 30 online magazine channels and 2.5 million unique visitors per month, and a wide array of Internet resources for people of faith.