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Church Salaries for Women

Men still outpace women in pay by 28 percent across all positions.
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Results from Christianity Today's biannual survey of 4,600 churches nationwide, which are featured in the new 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, reveal the top 7 paid positions based on gender.

Even though the top spot for men or women is senior pastor, men typically are compensated more than their female counterparts. Some of this may be explained on the basis of church income, which proved to be the biggest factor affecting compensation and benefits in the study. For example, in churches with male senior pastors, church income (i.e. revenue) averages about $710,000, while church income where women serve as senior pastors hovers at about $487,000. This gap in revenue could explain, in part, why women senior pastors tend to be paid less.

Male executive pastors earn nearly 50 percent more than women in this same role. The gender pay gap closes for solo pastors. Although 92 percent of solo pastors are men (paid an average of $57,452), they earn only slightly more than women solo pastors (paid an average of $54,102).

The only women outpacing men in churches are those who serve as church secretaries and part-time musicians or vocalists. Even though women make up 69 percent of full-time children's pastors, men serving in this role full-time earn nearly $12,000 more on average than women.

Across all paid church positions, men are compensated 28 percent more than women holding the same positions. Although factors such as church income may explain some of this disparity in pay, churches still display a gender gap when it comes to compensating men and women.

The 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff provides valuable, detailed data on 13 church staff positions (including compensation levels based on personnel characteristics like years employed, denomination, region, gender, and education).

Marian V. Liautaud is editor of Church Management Resources at Christianity Today and served as editor of the 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff.

March29, 2012 at 8:45 AM

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