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Assistance Program

The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides critical financial and housing assistance to qualifying retired members of the Benefits Plan, and financial and vocational assistance to eligible workers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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 2016, the Assistance Program distributed 1,389 grants — for a total of more than $5.5 million — to qualifying PC(USA) pastors, missionaries, other church workers, and their families.

The Assistance Program offers eight distinct programs in one of two categories:

  • retired church workers with financial and housing needs
  • church workers with financial and vocational needs

Who's Eligible

Each program has its own eligibility criteria, and generally to qualify you must participate, or have participated, in the Benefits Plan (in some cases, in Pastor's Participation or its equivalent). 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.) 

Recipients are not expected to repay any grants received, although they 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:

  • Make a personal gift and/or include the Assistance Program in your will. You can securely make a gift online or send a check to the address listed under Contacts. Your contribution will help people who have faithfully served the PC(USA).
  • Encourage your congregations’ support of the Assistance Program.
  • Increase your support of the Christmas Joy Offering.

Contacts

Attn: The Assistance Program
2000 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3298

800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN)

Dick Liberty
Manager, Assistance Program
Ext. 7222

Martha Heuser
Funds Development Office
Ext. 7300

Hear from grant recipients about the many good works of the Assistance Program.