Our annual compilation of ministry salaries is out, and this year's tally produced a few surprises:

- If you want to make more money, switch denominations.

- Female solo pastors make more.

- The extra degree is worth the money.

Kevin Miller has a report below.

Our research team here at Christianity Today International just finished surveying more than 2,000 churches, and next month, we'll be releasing the most comprehensive, up-to-date church salary survey we've ever done. While The 2008 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff is at the printer, here is a sneak peek at some results:

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.

Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

Presbyterian senior pastors earned the most in our survey - their average salary plus housing/parsonage was $78,000, while Baptist senior pastors earned next to last–$67,000. But virtually the opposite was true for youth pastors. Baptist youth pastors earned near the top–$44,000 in salary plus housing, while Presbyterian youth pastors earned near the bottom–$36,000. Why?

The answer comes from two factors: church income and denominational values.

Our research consistently shows that the biggest single factor in determining any pastor's pay is the church's income. And among churches with senior pastors, Presbyterian churches have the highest-reported church income, so some of that gets passed along to their senior pastors.

But among churches with youth pastors, Baptist churches and Presbyterian churches have virtually identical church income. So they could pay their youth pastors equally, if they wished. Apparently, though, Baptist churches value youth ministry more, ...

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