From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bi-vocational clergy: A growing trend

(Public Domain)
Gone are the days when a seminary graduate could pretty much count on a full-time ministry job, complete with benefits and housing expenses.

Unfortunately, the days when a seminary graduate could count upon heavy student-loan debts are still all too present.

Which doesn't add up to a financially viable situation...  Nor does it entice would-be clergy into the profession.

David R. Wheeler of The Atlantic explains that “more and more seminary grads are taking on secular jobs to supplement their income”  (a practice that is euphemistically referred to as “bi-vocational ministry”). 

More and more Protestant churches are downsizing from full-time to part-time pastors.  Some pastors are being subsidized by friends and relatives, while others are serving more than one congregation.

More than a quarter of the 2011 Masters of Divinity graduates are carrying over $40,000 in educational
debt, and five percent are facing over $80,000.  The median wage of those full-time pastoral jobs that do exist is $43,800.

Struggling graduate, Justin Barringer, states:  …I would love to see denominations and seminaries work out new and creative ways to train clergy at a more reasonable financial cost.


Copyright July 30, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment