Grant awards

A one-time grant of up to $10,000 is available to eligible pastors after the pastor and congregational leaders have completed their educational sessions and the pastor has received financial counseling through Ernst & Young Employee Financial Services. 

Pastors who covenant with their congregational leadership to complete the Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations program receive individual financial counseling with Ernst & Young Employee Financial Services, a provider of independent, objective employee financial education and counseling.

To qualify, the pastor must

  • be a PC(USA) ordained pastor serving a PC(USA) congregation;
  • be enrolled in Pastor's Participation in the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.);
  • have a total household adjusted gross income* of less than $121,600 (twice the median effective salary for congregational ministers);
  • have a total net worth of less than $250,000 (excluding value of home and auto); and
  • not currently be receiving Minister Educational Debt Assistance** from the Assistance Program.

*Adjusted gross income is the total income you and your spouse report on your federal tax form. It may include earnings from you and your spouse's job, self-employment, alimony income, and interest from a bank account — minus specific deductions, such as housing allowance, or adjustments, you're eligible to take.
**Qualifying pastors may participate in both Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations and the Minister Educational Debt Assistance program, but not concurrently. You must complete one program before applying for the other, and the combined grants may not exceed $25,000.

Grant awards

The Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations grant is available through the Ministerial Excellence Fund of the Assistance Program. Primary support for the fund comes from the Board of Pensions, with additional support from Lilly Endowment Inc. and participating churches.

The grant can be applied to the following:       

  • Personal loan debt. To help reduce or eliminate the pastor’s personal debt, a payment is sent directly to the pastor. This option may require verification of payment.
  • Student loan debt. To help reduce or eliminate the pastor’s educational debt, a representative from PeopleJoy Educational Debt Reduction Firm contacts the pastor via email, and a one-time payment is made directly to the educational lender. Further financial counseling through PeopleJoy, specific to student loan debt, is available at no cost
  • Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a 403(b)(9) plan. To boost personal savings in the Retirement Savings Plan, a check is issued to the pastor's church for an employer contribution.

Pastor welcomes financial education, her ‘growing edge’

​Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations gave the Reverend Esta Jarrett not only financial knowledge and practical experience but also greater confidence in managing her finances.

Read Rev. Jarrett's story.