Minister Educational Debt Assistance

Ministers may receive help to repay student loan debt through Minister Educational Debt Assistance. The grant amount is up to $25,000.

Relieving the burden of student loans

Student loan debt can make it challenging for ministers to accept a wider range of positions and wholly commit their best gifts to ministry. Minister Educational Debt Assistance helps eligible ministers repay educational debt through debt coaching and grants of up to $25,000. This coaching is offered through PeopleJoy at no cost to the participant.

EdAssist helps with applications for student loan debt forgiveness

EdAssist through PeopleJoy is a resource provided by the Board of Pensions to help ministers enrolled in the Benefits Plan determine if they are eligible for Public Student Loan Forgiveness and assist in the application process.

You do not have to be a participant in Minister Educational Debt Assistance to apply for EdAssist.


A total award of up to $25,000 is available.

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.

Note: Assistance grants received from Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations; Seminary Debt Assistance (Minister Educational Debt Assistance's predecessor); or Minister Debt Relief will reduce the maximum award amounts of this program.


To qualify, you must:

  • be a PC(USA) minister enrolled in Pastor’s Participation or Minister’s Choice
  • have completed a CREDO conference or online education learning paths on Benefits Connect (Terms of Call Series and Personal Financial Planning Series)
  • have an effective salary below $80,000, excluding manse value
  • not currently be enrolled in school
  • meet criteria established by the Board to ensure the need-based nature of the program
  • meet a student loan debt coaching requirement
  • repay your debt by a specified monthly amount based on the amount of debt

To remain enrolled in the program, you must:

  • continue to remit your specified monthly amount until your loan balance is fully forgiven
  • continue to meet the eligibility qualifications outlined above

Student Loan 101 Webinar

EdAssist through PeopleJoy helps Benefits Plan members apply for PSLF. The Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Mission Agency hold a webinar on student loan repayment, new loan forgiveness programs, consolidation, and how to get started with EdAssist.

View a recording of the September 20, 2023, Student Loan 101 webinar.

Guidance on online education modules

Minister Educational Debt Assistance applicants may complete the Terms of Call and Personal Financial Planning e-learning series through Board University in lieu of completing a CREDO conference. Learn more about these e-learning offerings and how to access them through our benefits management website, Benefits Connect.

Once you have completed these series, you can download a certificate of completion to attach to your Minister Educational Debt Assistance Application. In the Board University e-learning content library, select Achievements from the top menu bar. A list will appear of all the courses and learning paths you have completed to date. Click Download certificate, in green text to the right of the learning path tile, to download a PDF of the certificate of completion. We recommend renaming this file with your name before attaching it to your Minister Educational Debt Assistance application.

How it works

Participant contribution and coaching

The Board will contribute 90% of your minimum monthly payment (MMP) amount until either the maximum total award of $25,000 is reached or your loan balance is fully forgiven, whichever comes first, if you pay your loan servicer a specified amount monthly. You are responsible for paying 10% of your applicable MMP. Additionally, you must receive student loan debt coaching from PeopleJoy, an educational debt reduction firm who partners with the Board.

Once accepted into the program, you will be connected with PeopleJoy.

Participant contributions will be verified.

How to apply

Need help?

Call the Board at 800-PRESPLAN (800-773-7752) (TTY: 711).