Eligibility at a Glance
• congregations with membership of 150 or fewer that have not had an installed pastor for at least two years and have not elected a Pastor Nominating Committee
• any size congregation that expands ministerial headcount
• newly employed minister must be younger than 40
• newly employed minister may not have been covered under Pastor’s Participation in a previous position
The Church is called to raise up leaders for God's people. Building sustainable ministry is essential to the long-term vitality of congregations. Yet, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is ordaining fewer ministers each year. To help reverse this trend, the Board of Pensions has introduced Pathways to Renewal.
Pathways to Renewal brings young ministers into the Benefits Plan with the full benefits of Pastor's Participation at substantially reduced dues. It is designed to provide hope of renewed leadership to small congregations and nourishment to innovative ministries.
Pathways to Renewal is effective July 1, 2018. Congregations with 150 members or fewer that have been without an installed pastor for at least two years are eligible. And any congregation or emerging ministry that increases headcount may also qualify.
The minister of Word and Sacrament must be under age 40 and never previously enrolled in Pastor's Participation.
For Pathways to Renewal in 2018, Pastor's Participation dues are cut from 37 percent of effective salary to 19.75 percent:
- 2 percent for pension
- 1 percent for death and disability
- 16.75 percent for medical (two-thirds of standard medical dues, with a minimum medical dues rate of $6,000)
Eligibility for the dues discount runs five years or until the end of the employment relationship, whichever comes first.
How to apply
To apply for Pathways to Renewal or for additional information on qualifying for the program, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN), Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, to speak with an employer representative.
Pastor's Participation includes, at no cost to the minister, participation in
- the Pension Plan;
- the Death and Disability Plan; and
- full family medical coverage in the preferred provider organization (PPO).
The minister also has access to
- the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with or without employer contributions;
- the Dental Plan; and
- supplemental death and disability coverage (subject to eligibility).
Ministers enrolled for Pastor's Participation may be eligible for Minister Educational Debt Assistance Grants, totaling up to $5,000 a year for up to five years. To be considered for a grant, a minister must participate in Presbyterian CREDO or Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations.
These case studies present scenarios that illustrate how benefits may be offered to diverse ministries, including an Installed Pastor in Pathways to Renewal.
View this video to hear from seminary students, presbytery executives, and Board President Frank Spencer about how Pathways to Renewal can help support small churches and innovative ministries.