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Reducing Ministers' Student Debt

posted Feb 10, 2015, 4:47 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Feb 10, 2015, 4:48 AM ]

Student loan debt is a major concern in the U.S., affecting many university graduates for years after they leave school. It is a particularly difficult problem for pastors and ministers because we expect them to have a masters degree (or equivalent) even though most ministry settings cannot pay enough to repay their student loans even in 5-10 years. 

Common outcomes:

  • Relying on the spouse or other family members to pay off the debt - which inherently strains relationships, sometimes to the breaking point.
  • Leaving the ministry after a few years for a higher paying job in order to pay off the debt and support a family.
  • Timidity in preaching/teaching about financial stewardship, which affects the financing of the Kingdom.

So I've spent some time assessing this ministers' student loan debt problem, especially searching for creative strategies to relieve or eliminate it. I circulated a Google Doc on this topic to several of my ministry colleagues for comments and edits. For a look at this research, and to collaborate about this topic, click on Ministers' Student Debt.