Communications Department

April 10, 2014

(Submitted by David Nicol, Chair of the Commission on Equitable Compensation)

Each pastor appointed full-time to a pastoral charge must receive base cash compensation equal to the Minimum Base Cash Salary schedule that is voted on by the Annual Conference.  Each pastor who is appointed less than full-time to a pastoral charge is eligible to receive cash compensation at least in proportion to that schedule (2012 Discipline, ¶ 342). The Minimum compensation amount and guidelines shall be recommended by the Annual Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation and set by the Annual Conference.  Clergy appointed to a local charge whose cash salary falls below the Minimum levels established by the conference may apply for a grant from the Equitable Compensation Fund.

Following are the proposed minimum cash salaries for the year 2014 which represent a cost of living increase of approximately 1.5% as indicated by the Consumer Price Index for 2013.



Salary increases are based upon a 2013 CPI Cost of Living increase of 1.5%


  2014 Salary 2015 Salary  
FE/PE/FD/PD/AM 38,760 39,330  
3-5 Years 39,360   39,930 Additional $600
6-10 Years 39,960 40,530 Additional $1,200
11-15 Years  40,260 40,830 Additional $1,500
Over 15 Years 40,760 41,330 Additional $2,000
LOCAL PASTOR 35,060 35,586  
3-5 Years  35,660 36,186 Additional $600
6-10 Years 36,260 36,786 Additional $1,200
11-15 Years 36,560 37,086 Additional $1,500
Over 15 Years  37,060 37,586 Additional $2,000

Reimbursable Accounts

The Commission on Equitable Compensation in an effort to remain current with prevailing trends across the denomination, and in keeping with IRS regulations, proposes the following minimum amounts for Reimbursable Accounts (Professional Expenses, Continuing Education and Travel)for Full-Time Pastors in 2015 for a total in reimbursable funds of at least $2,950.

  • Professional Expenses $700
  • Continuing Education $650
  • Travel $1600

Considering that pastors in different parts of the Conference have different needs, the Commission recommends that these amounts be interchangeable.

Elders, Provisional Members or Associate Members appointed less than full-time, in accordance with ¶ 338 of the 2012 Discipline and appointed to a pastoral charge at ¾, ½ or ¼ time, shall receive at least ¾, ½ or ¼ of the Conference established Full-Time salary and at least ¾ ½ or ¼ of the Conference established reimbursable package as established by the Annual Conference and shall have a claim on Equitable Compensation funds. Local Pastors appointed to a pastoral charge ¾, ½ or ¼ time shall receive at least ¾, ½ or ¼ of the Conference established Full-Time salary and at least ¾ ½ or ¼ of the Conference established reimbursable package as established by the Annual Conference and shall have a claim on Equitable Compensation funds. Licensed Local Pastors appointed less than ¼ time shall negotiate contracts with the District Superintendent directly, and shall have no claim on Equitable Compensation funds. Retired clergy serving under appointment, regardless of appointive time, shall have no claim on Equitable Compensation funds. The primary responsibility for paying the pastor remains with the local Church/Charge—for this reason, the responsibility to apply for Equitable Compensation assistance lies with the local Church/Charge. If the local Church/Charge encounters difficulties or fails to pay a pastor in a timely manner, the pastor should immediately contact her/his District Superintendent for assistance and, if necessary, begin the process of applying for emergency Equitable Salary assistance.


In some instances and for very particular reasons, pastors and congregations make arrangements for compensation and benefits that are outside of the requirements outlined in this resolution. The Commission appreciates that such arrangements are warranted on occasion, and are in the best interest of the parties involved “provided that no member in good standing who is appointed to a pastoral charge is denied the minimum base compensation (2012 Discipline ¶ 625.9).” To maintain the integrity of the compensation and benefits system, the Commission recommends:

  • The specifics of such arrangements, including explaining how the arrangement provides for at least minimum base compensation as approved by the Annual Conference be spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding that limits the conditions to one year. This may be as an addendum to the salary forms signed at Charge Conference, or as a separate letter included in the pastor’s and SPRC’s files.

  • The MOU shall be signed by the Pastor, the District Superintendent, and the SPRC Chair. 

  • The MOU shall be reviewed and renewed annually. 

  • It is provided in the MOU that such arrangements have no impact on compensation and benefits packages to be negotiated for future appointments.

  • In the case where a salary package includes special arrangements regarding salary or reimbursable funds, review of a clearly defined MOU will be required for consideration for any Equitable Compensation funds.

  • In cases where part-time churches do not provide a parsonage, and housing is structured as salary reduced by housing exclusion, an MOU explaining a salary that appears to be either above (including the exclusion) or below (with the exclusion subtracted) minimum salary is in fact Minimum Base Compensation plus agreed upon housing shall be treated by the Commission on Equitable Compensation as sufficient evidence to qualify a Pastor for Minimum Salary Grant assistance.


Compensation Grants

Compensation Grants provide support for the pastoral appointment; they fulfill the requirements of ¶ 625 of the 2012 Discipline.  Except for Sustaining Ministry Grants, the goal should be to bring this funding to zero by having each church become self-sufficient over time.  While our United Methodist connectionalism requires this support, which is embodied in our Conference’s Mission statement, the Commission strives to have each charge independently support its pastor. 

Churches wishing to apply for a Minimum Salary grant must pay exactly Conference set minimum salary plus any years of appointment addition. However, any pastor whose charge is unable to meet its compensation obligation has a right to an Emergency Minimum Salary Grant based on ¶ 625.9 of the 2012 Discipline. In these cases, the Pastor should immediately contact her/his District Superintendent, who shall immediately contact the Commission on Equitable Compensation. Working with both the local Church and the Commission, the Superintendent will work to assure the Pastor is paid for the remainder of the appointive year. If the Cabinet determines a need for the appointment to continue beyond the appointive year, the District Superintendent shall instruct the Church/Charge to apply for one of the regular categories of supplemental grants, in consultation with the Commission on Equitable Compensation.

Based on the recommended minimum of $39,330 and $35,586 respectively and the approval of the minimum amount by Conference action, the maximum grant amounts listed within the Grant description would be permitted in accordance with ¶ 625.9 of the 2012 Discipline. Please note, grants will be determined based on eligibility and need as determined by the Commission on Equitable Compensation after consultation with the Pastor, the Charge and the Superintendent. Half-year grants beginning July 1 shall be counted as Year 0 for determining continued eligibility and will be eligible for up to 50% of the following schedules:

Minimum Compensation Grants

Beginning at 25% of Base Compensation, declining 5% over a 4 year term. Designed to be used for minor disruptions in Church life or when transitioning LP to Elder appointments (e.g., at Commissioning) or 1/4 time appointment increases.

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3  Year 4
FE/PE/FD/PD/AM 9832.5   7866   5899.5   3933
3-5 Years 9983 7986 5989.5 3993
6-10 Years 10133 8106 6079.5 4053
11-15 Years  10208 8166 6124.5 4083
Over 15 Years 10333 8266 6199.5 4133
LP 8896.5 7117.2 5337.9 3558.6
3-5 Years 9047 7237.2 5427.9 3618.6
6-10 Years 9197 7357.2 5517.9 3678.6
11-15 Years 9272 7417 5562.9 3708.6
Over 15 Years 9397 7517.2 5637.9 3758.6

Strategic Compensation Grants

Beginning at 40% of Base Compensation, declining 5% over a 5 year term.  Designed to be used for major disruptions in Church life or when transitioning appointment increases over 1/4 or from 1/2 to 3/4. In consultation with the Cabinet, may be used for Strategic Appointment initiatives and salaries above Minimum Base.

   Year 1 Year 2  Year 3  Year 4  Year 5 
 FE/PE/FD/PD/AM       15732 13765.5  11799  9832.5  7866 
 3-5 Years  15972 13975.5  11979  9982.5  7986 
 6-10 Years  16212 14185.5  12159  10132.5  8106 
 11-15 Years  16332 14290.5  12249  10207.5  8166 
 Over 15 Years  16532 14465.5  12399  10332.5  8266 
 LOCAL PASTOR  14234.4 12455.1  10675.8  8896.5  7117.2 
 3-5 Years  14474.4 12665.1  10855.8  9046.5  7237.2 
 6-10 Years  14714.4 12875.1  11035.8  9196.5  7357.2 
 11-15 Years  14834.4 12980.1  11125.8  9271.5  7417.2 
 Over 15 Years  15034.4 13155.1  11275.8  9396.5  7517.2 

Sustaining Compensation Grants

Administered by the Commission on recommendation and request from the Cabinet. For the first 2 years, up to 65% of the total salary, for years 3-5, up to 50%, for year 6 and following, up to 35%. At any time, the percentage may be frozen upon recommendation of the Appointive Cabinet. Beginning in the 3rd year, the Commission will expect clear financial management and total reporting of all assets for continued grants, along with plans for ongoing ministry. Additionally, the church/superintendent shall have developed a ministry plan detailing how the congregation provides vital ministry to an underserved community, or the church shall have been designated a Mission Church by the Annual Conference.

  Year 1-2  Year 3-5 Year 6 and Following
FE/PE/FD/PD/AM 25564.5 19665 13765.5
3-5 Years 25954.5 19965 13975.5
6-10 Years 26344.5 20265 14185.5
11-15 Years 26539.5 20415 14290.5
Over 15 Years 26864.5 20665 14465.5
LOCAL PASTOR 23130.9 17793 12455.1
3-5 Years 23520.9 18093 12665.1
6-10 Years 23910.9 18393 12975.1
11-15 Years 24105.9 18543 12980.1
Over 15 Years 24430.9 18793 13155.1