Minister Educational Debt Assistance Grants

​The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions helps ministers repay educational debt through Minister Educational Debt Assistance Grants.

Minister Educational Debt Assistance Grants make it easier for ministers to accept a wide range of positions and wholly commit their best gifts to ministry.​

Who's eligible

To qualify, you must

  • be a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister enrolled in Pastor's Participation in the Benefits Plan;
  • have completed a CREDO conference or the Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations program*;
  • have an effective salary below $80,000 and a total household adjusted gross income** of less than twice the national median for pastors (currently $118,200) as reported on the most recent income tax return;
  • meet criteria established by the Board to ensure the need-based nature of the program;
  • meet a student loan debt coaching requirement; and
  • repay your documented, interest-bearing educational debt by a specified monthly amount based on your effective salary and the amount of debt (see Grant recipient educational debt repayment commitment chart).

*If the minister also receives a Ministerial Excellence Fund grant through Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations, the combined grants may not exceed $25,000, and the maximum amount an individual can receive in a given year is $10,000.

**Adjusted gross income is the total income you and your spouse report on federal tax form 1040 that's subject to income tax. It may include earnings from your and your spouse's job, self-employment, alimony income, and interest from a bank account — minus specific deductions, or adjustments, you're eligible to take.

Amount

$5,000 per year, for up to five years. Total awards may not exceed $25,000 over five years.

The funds available and number of grants awarded each year are limited. Awards are at the discretion of the Board of Pensions. The Board considers your financial means, the nature and amount of your debt, and other factors, as appropriate.

Participant contribution and coaching

The Board's contribution of $5,000 a year for five years or until your debt is eliminated, whichever comes first, is contingent upon your paying your loan servicer a specified amount monthly  and your receiving student loan debt coaching from PeopleJoy, a financial wellness/educational debt reduction firm with which the Board has partnered.

The amount you must commit to pay is based on your effective salary and the amount of your educational debt, as shown below: 

​Grant recipient education debt repayment commitment ​ ​
​Effective salary​Debt up to $28,000
You pay the lesser of:
​Debt > $28,000
You pay:
​< $40,000​3% or MMP*​MMP
​$40,000-$49,999​4% or MMP​MMP
​$50,000-$59,999​5% or MMP​MMP
$60,000-$69,999​​6% or MMP​MMP
​$70,000-$79,999​7% or MMP​MMP
​> $80,000​not eligible​not eligible
​*MMP = minimum monthly payment ​ ​

Participant contributions will be verified.

How to apply

 

Need help?

​Call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and ask for the Assistance team.