The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides critical financial assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their families, and to qualifying retired church workers and their families. The Assistance Program also sponsors grants for vocational training of clergy.
Rooted in a nearly 300-year-old tradition, the Assistance Program embodies the connectional Church at its best. As the Assistance Program relies on voluntary gifts, legacies, endowments, and one-half of the Christmas Joy Offering — not dues — for its funding, it provides a way for caring Presbyterians to support those who serve the Church during their times of need. Assistance is granted for needs that lie beyond the scope of the Benefits Plan.
In 2012, the Assistance Program distributed 1,355 grants and more than $5.6 million to qualifying pastors, missionaries, other church workers, and their families.
The Assistance Program offers nine distinct programs in one of these three categories:
- church workers with urgent financial needs
- retired church workers with financial and housing needs
- pastors with vocational leadership needs
Each program has its own eligibility criteria, and generally, you must participate, or have participated, in the Benefits Plan to qualify. Some programs work in cooperation with mid councils and employing organizations, which may recommend individuals for assistance and share in the costs.
The Board considers each applicant’s financial, health, and personal needs when considering requests for assistance. Applicants must complete the appropriate forms, most of which are available on this website.
While not expected to repay any grants received, recipients are encouraged to promote support for the Assistance Program in their congregations and mid councils.
How You Can Help
The need for assistance by church workers and their families is real and growing. To join in supporting the ministry of the Assistance Program:
- Encourage your congregations’ support of the Assistance Program.
- Increase your support of the Christmas Joy Offering.
- Make a personal gift. You can securely make a gift online or send a check to the address listed under Contacts. Your contribution will help people who have dedicated their lives to the PC(USA).
Attn: The Assistance Program
2000 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3298
Rev. Peter C. S. Sime
Vice President, Assistance, CREDO & Funds Development
Manager, Assistance Program
Manager, Presbyterian CREDO