The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides critical financial and housing assistance to qualifying retired members of the Benefits Plan, and financial assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Assistance Program also sponsors grants for vocational training of ministers.
Rooted in a 300-year-old tradition, the Assistance Program embodies the connectional Church at its best. As the Assistance Program relies for its funding not on dues but on voluntary gifts, legacies, endowments, and one-half of the Christmas Joy Offering, 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 2015, the Assistance Program distributed 1,294 grants and approximately $5 million to qualifying PC(USA) pastors, missionaries, other church workers, and their families.
The Assistance Program offers eight distinct programs in one of these three categories:
- retired church workers with financial and housing needs
- church workers with urgent financial needs
- ministers 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 and personal needs when considering requests for assistance. Applicants must complete the appropriate forms, most of which are available on this website. (Others are available from your mid council or employer.)
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
Manager, Assistance Program
Funds Development Office