Chicks in collars earn more dollars?


Women may be at a disadvantage when it comes to landing a gig as a pastor in most churches, but according to a recent study those who do fill that role earn signifcantly more than their male counterparts.

Researchers evaluated over 5,750 surveys that measured compensation for 13 different “positions” in the church – everything from bookkeepers to youth pastors and senior pastors. According to the study, female “solo pastors” earned about 10% more than males in terms of total compensation. While their salaries were 8.4% more than men, their benefits were signifcantly higher. For example, housing allowances were about 20% more for female pastors, and retirement benefits were better by nearly 25%!

According to the article, the pastorate is one of only two professions where women outearn their male counterparts. The other is the traditionally female dominated Secretary/Administrative Assistant position.

I’m not entirely sure what this tells us about the state of affairs for women seeking pastoral positions in the church. Progressive churches that are willing to hire women are providing them with significantly more in terms of compensation than they are men who fill the same role. However, the fact that over 97% of the “solo pastors” surveyed were men proves that it’s still nearly impossible for a woman to enter the field in the first place.


6 thoughts on “Chicks in collars earn more dollars?

  1. i remember a “pastor” i once had (reasons for the quotes are numerous and i won’t go into it for the sake of…well, i go on too much as is!) had mentioned how women cannot be pastors, b/c paul said so. he sported a shaved head at the time, but prior to that rocked a sweet mullet, which apparently was not contradicting paul saying that it’s “dishonoring him”. hmmmmm. my thing with the whole no female pastors is at least the fundies aren’t grabbing it out of leviticus! luther wanted to omit james b/c it contradicted his personal beliefs, and revelations b/c (to paraphrase) it “makes everyone crazy” (very true, martin!), but i wish he’d tried to get leviticus out. sorry matisyahu, but that torah is full o’ craaaaaaaaaziness!!! 🙂

  2. Speaking of Torah craziness, I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but there’s a book out called “My Biblical Year” where this dude follows the Levitical code “to the t” for a year and writes about his experience. Seems interesting.

    Back to women. My big thing is this…

    I don’t so much have a problem with the idea of a woman pastor as a concept. I can see both arguments from a biblical standpoint. But when I hear of a church with a woman pastor, my initial inclination is “What’s going on here? Where are all the dudes? Something’s fishy.”

    My dad’s church has a female pastor. But she’s not the lead pastor, she’s functionally more of a woman’s pastor. I think she has something to do with their small group ministry as well. I’ve never had a problem with that.

    I just think it’s gotta add insult to injury that the one job where women earn significantly more than men is also the same job that “the man” pretty much keeps women from filling. 😆

  3. Interesting point. However that only applies to those groups willing to ordain women. In my demonation women rarely serve as senior pastors but rather serve as childern’s minister, youth pastors, education ministers, etc. Becuase our demonation doesn’t want to ordain women. Women serving in these positons earn less than male counter parts because they do not have the same tax breaks.

  4. A Southern Baptist friend told me that she was not in favor of women serving as deacons or pastors because then the men would be left with nothing to do. Women already do all the other work.

  5. Shane, I heard an interview with the fellow who wrote that book (“My Biblical Year”). His experience was fascinating, but he sounds like he has a major chip on his shoulder about the Bible in general. The book is apparently very satirical.

  6. Dee: Ah yes, that good ol’ “pastoral tax break.” The greatest scam ever devised by man! 😆

    Cathy: Good point. The men could still be trustees! Better leave the heavy lifting to the fellas.

    JoshWay: That guy writes an article in the latest issue of RELEVANT Magazine. He’s definitely not a Christian, I think he’s agnostic. Although, he did offer some kind words to the different “expressions” of Christianity that he encountered during his experiment.

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