Average debt for a United Methodist M.Div. graduate reaches $49,303

October 11, 2016

640-taskforce-article-img-10-2014 New findings from the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Seminary Indebtedness Task Force reveal that the average educational debt for United Methodist seminary graduates has reached $49,303. “Based on median annual conference compensation for new clergy, we now know that many of our clergy are well beyond the nationally recognized critical level (10% of income) for manageable debt,” said Allyson Collinsworth, executive director of GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships. The figure for average student debt is calculated by combining the average M.Div. seminary debt for UM students ($35,761) and the average undergraduate (or prior to seminary debt) for UM students ($13,542), according to data from 13 United Methodist theological schools. “Currently in the US, college students have a trillion dollars of educational debt. The Task Force is bringing our institutions and annual conferences together to look at this issue, which is affecting our clergy and their families,” said Collinsworth. Active, full-time provisional elders and deacons with one year or less of service in the UMC (as of July 2014) earn a median total annual compensation (salary plus housing allowance or parsonage amount) of $49,742 according to data analyses collected from the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. This includes a median annual base salary of $38,000. Read the entire article at Higher Education & Ministry