Resource Highlight: Ministers’ Salary Survey in Real Time
Each spring, the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry invites Church of Christ ministers from across the country to participate in our annual Ministers’ Salary Survey. Initially launched in 2004, the survey is the brainchild of the late Dr. Charles Siburt, who served as ACU’s vice president for church relations, and for whom the Siburt Institute is named. He recognized that the autonomous nature of the Churches of Christ could easily cause local church leaders to feel isolated as they made important decisions related to compensation packages for ministers. In its first year, the survey was overwhelmingly well-received, with over 500 ministers participating.
The survey offered church leaders a sense of how other congregations were addressing things like base pay, housing allowances, paid leave, healthcare, and retirement. It also gave ministers insight into compensation levels that were prevailing among their peers. Although each situation has its own unique parameters, the survey continues to serve as a conversation starter and benchmark for all parties involved.
Through the years, we have sought to strengthen the survey to increase its value to the churches. Initially, the survey gathered the previous year’s data. In 2015, we began conducting the survey in the year with the commitment of reporting the findings within the same calendar year. Thus, when interested persons review the results, they are looking at a snapshot of the current year’s compensation levels. It is said that data is outdated as soon as it is published, if not sooner, but we are excited that the information we provide is as close to real-time as feasible.
In 2016, executive team member Dr. Carley Dodd agreed to serve as the lead researcher for this annual project. He has consulted and trained for over 80 organizations, including churches, other nonprofit organizations, and several Fortune 500 companies. He is professor emeritus of communication and former dean of the graduate school at ACU.
The Ministers’ Salary Survey is one of the most visited pages on the Siburt Institute’s website, and we receive numerous calls and emails throughout the year as church leaders work out their compensation offers and as ministers make sure they are aware of where they rank with their peers.
We recently launched the 2019 Ministers’ Salary Survey, and we invite all persons ministering in paid positions within the Churches of Christ to participate! Church administrators or other church leaders who are in a position to report on several ministers in the same location are also welcome to complete the survey on their ministers’ behalf. We will publish the findings by May 1 on the Siburt Institute’s website.
We cannot thank the survey participants enough! We recognize that many of the ministers who take the survey may never need to refer to it because they are happily employed with no intentions of looking for a new position. However, in service to others, they sacrifice a little time for the good of the kingdom. For this, we are truly grateful.