The Truth about Debt and Salaries

You were young then.

While your friends applied to law, medical, or business school, you applied to theological school.

Now, years later, your friends drive Eddie Bauer edition Ford Explorers; you drive used, four-door sedans. Your friends take winter vacations in Colorado; you take road trips to your in-laws. Your friends sock away money for their children's college tuition and for retirement; you can do neither adequately.

Just to confirm the obvious, here are several average or median salaries of professionals in 1996:

—director of engineering: $100,000
—school superintendent: $96,229
—manufacturing vice-president: $97,000
—top executive officer (nonprofit administration): $160,000

Some pastors, but only a few, command such salaries. An associate pastor of a suburban congregation in the South earns $100,000.

Meanwhile, an acquaintance pastors a rural, western congregation of 200. He, his wife, and his four children live in a double-wide ...

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