Receiving assistance

The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provides financial assistance to promote the health and wholeness of our plan members.

The Assistance Program expresses our care for one another by helping active and retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers, employees, and their families in need with financial assistance. Each year, the Assistance Program gives out more than 1,000 grants, for a total of more than $5 million.


Eligibility requirements vary by grant; see the individual grant pages for details. Generally, grants are available to ministers, employees, spouses, and surviving spouses participating in the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). 

Grant opportunities

Ministers in active service

Minister Educational Debt Assistance helps eligible ministers repay educational debt of up to $25,000 over five years. This makes it easier for them to accept a wide range of positions and wholly commit their best gifts to ministry.

Sabbath Sabbatical Support Grants provide eligible ministers with a portion of the support they need — up to $3,000 — to engage in planned activities for personal and professional renewal.

All active members

Adoption Assistance Grants of $3,000 per child are provided at the completion of an adoption to eligible members to help with a portion of their adoption-related expenses, such as agency and attorney fees.  

Emergency Assistance Grants* are one-time grants that address an emergency or unexpected need facing a minister or employee. Groups of ministers and employees affected by natural disasters may also qualify. The grant is initiated by a mid council, employer, or multiple bodies of the Church, which typically share in its cost with the Assistance Program.

Transition-to-College Assistance Grants help eligible members with children entering college. They can receive a grant of up to $1,000 to pay for transitional expenses, such as a computer purchase.


Housing Supplements help eligible retirees and surviving spouses with the cost of remaining in their homes or moving to retirement facilities. Supplements are ongoing unless financial circumstances change.         

Income Supplements help eligible retirees and surviving spouses in need by raising to certain levels the monthly income for those who had earned modest wages. Supplements are ongoing unless financial circumstances change.            

Retiree Medical Grants, in amounts up to $2,500, reimburse retirees, spouses, and surviving spouses who are age 65 or older for dental services and/or hearing aids once every three years.


    *Retirees also have access to Emergency Assistance Grants.


Receiving a grant

If you represent a mid council or employer and know of a PC(USA) minister, employee, or survivor with a financial need, or if you are a plan member and unsure if you are eligible for assistance, call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) to discuss how we might help

Giving to the Assistance Program

If you don't need financial assistance and are able to help others who do, we welcome your gift.


Grant for motorized wheelchair transforms pastor’s ministry and life

The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and the Presbytery of Chicago provided a Shared Grant for the purchase of a scooter, enabling Rev. Pattison to continue in full-time ministry.

Read Rev. Pattison's story

A life and family restored, thanks to the Assistance Program

A grant through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, the Presbytery of Wyoming, and the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole helped restore a family member to health and wholeness.

Read Mandy Hadden's story

Couple ‘so grateful’ for adoption grant from Assistance Program

Associate pastor is thankful to receive Assistance Program support upon adopting spouse’s nephews.

Read Rev. Gaeta-Symonds' story

Emergency assistance helps pastor, family with hurricane relief

The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and the Presbytery of New Covenant provided Emergency Assistance Grants to Rev. Umbenhaur and his family after their home was flooded by Hurricane Harvey.

Read Rev. Umbenhauer's story