Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Rev. Dr. Craig Howard, Transitional Leader
68 Cents on the Dollar
Princeton Theological Seminary finds themselves in a bind. In March they awarded the Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness to Rev. Dr. Tim Keller. Keller is the founder of a 4,000 member mega-church in New York city. He is part of the conservative Presbyterian Church in America, a denomination that does not believe in ordaining women, or accepting members of the LGBTQ community. Awarding the prize to someone with such conservative views created a firestorm in social media and on the Princeton campus. After receiving a petition in which over 300 Princeton students and faculty signed, Princeton rescinded the award to Keller.
Princeton’s actions even got the attention of The New York Times. In an article entitled, Is Your Pastor Sexist?, Julia Baird writes, “While women are regarded as equals in many mainline Protestant churches, for women in the conservative denominations that still adhere to male leadership, the fight has been difficult and protracted.”
Baird’s assumption that women are regarded as equal in mainline churches, caused me to look at the pastoral compensation statistics for our presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy. Here is what I found.
- Full-time installed women pastors earn $16,261 less on average than full-time installed men pastors.
- Women earn 75% of what men earn doing full-time installed ministry.
- When looking at full-time solo pastors and head-of-staff, Full-time woman pastors earn $20,329 less on average, than full-time men pastors.
- This means that for every dollar a full-time male solo or head-of-staff pastor earns, a full-time woman counterpart earns 68 cents.
- Female associate pastors earn $8,835 less on average, than their male counterpart.
- Female part-time pastors earn more than male part-time pastors, but that is because the amount of earning is so little compared to full-time pastors.
I am confident the gender inequality in our presbytery is reflected in other presbyteries across the denomination. We can parse these numbers and ask questions which will help us better understand the narrative behind the statistics. But in the end two things are certain. First, women are not regarded as equals when it comes to pay for pastoral ministry. Second, as an ethical presbytery that believes in justice, we are called to fix this problem.
Rev. Craig M. Howard