How Much Should We Pay the Pastor?: A Fresh Look at Clergy Salaries in the 21st Century | Pulpit and Pew
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How Much Should We Pay the Pastor?: A Fresh Look at Clergy Salaries
in the 21st Century

Becky R. McMillan and Matthew J. Price

Competitive, free-market approaches to determining clergy compensation are harming the church and distorting its mission, according to Becky McMillan and Matthew J. Price, Such approaches, they conclude, leave most pastors financially vulnerable, change ministry from a quot;calling" to a "career," encourage congregations to grow for purely economic reasons, and make it more difficult for pastors to offer "prophetic" leadership that challenges and transforms congregations.

Rather than relying upon the free market for guidance, Protestant churches should instead narrow the salary gap between pastors at small and large churches and provide all pastors with sufficient compensation to enable them and their families to live a decent life-in essence, providing them with a "living wage."

The associate director of Pulpit & Pew, McMillan is a labor economist with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and an M.Div. from Duke. The former associate director of Pulpit & Pew, Price is director of analytical research at the Episcopal Church Pension Group in New York City and has a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.



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