Case studies

​The following series of case studies helps to illustrate the values and flexibility of the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Board of Pensions has provided this series as a resource for employers as they consider benefits selections for a variety of minister and other employee positions.

Minister positions

Installed pastor

First Presbyterian Church is a 150-member congregation with relatively limited resources. The congregation called and installed 25-year-old Sheila, a recent seminary graduate with no prior pastoral experience.

Interim pastor

Jim is being offered a full-time position as interim pastor of a 500-member congregation. He is 36 years old with 10 years of experience as a pastor. His wife does not work outside the home.

Installed pastor in Pathways to Renewal

Faith Presbyterian Church has not had an installed pastor in four years, utilizing a succession of temporary supply ministers. The presbytery’s Committee on Ministry meets with the session to explore the possibility of calling a pastor in the Pathways to Renewal program of the Board of Pensions.

Presbytery executive

Susan is a minister who serves as full-time executive leader of a large programmatic presbytery with three ministers on staff. She has 32 years of experience as a pastor and mid council staff. Her salary is twice the national median.

Part-time stated supply

Wilson is a 62-year-old minister with 34 years of experience in churches of various sizes. Trinity Presbyterian Church is an 80-member church with modest resources. They cannot afford a full-time pastor, but Wilson feels compelled by the warmth of their fellowship, their love of worship, and a genuine commitment to serving their small-town community.

Non-minister positions

Emerging ministry leaders and self-employment

Joshua, a recent seminary graduate, is a candidate preparing for ordination. Joshua gathers a group of about 20 young adults weekly for Bible study on Thursday nights at a coffeehouse after it closes. Joshua approaches the Committee on Preparation for Ministry with the proposal that he be ordained to lead this emerging ministry.

Presbytery stated clerk

Calvin is an elder with 20 years’ experience as a corporate archivist. He is the finalist in the search for a Stated Clerk. It is a full-time position with a salary of $64,000. He is 42 years old, married, and has three children, ages 9 to 16.

Full-time music director

The session of Hosanna Presbyterian Church, a 650-member church with moderate resources, is adding a new position to the staff: a full-time Music Director. For years the church has had a part-time choir director, who worked 15 hours per week for a $15,000 salary with no benefits.

Full-time Christian educator

Redeemer Presbyterian Church is a 1,200-member congregation with relatively strong resources. The session wants to provide a benefits package through the Board of Pensions for lay employees.

Part-time day care program director

Tabernacle Presbyterian Church is a 1,600-member church with moderate resources. It operates a morning day care program. The Director, Patricia, reviews benefit coverage options and related costs.