Ministers Student Debt

by Tim Isbell         February, 2015

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

Recurring outcomes:

  • The family must rely on the spouse's income or other family members' generosity to pay off the debt - which inherently strains relationships, sometimes to the breaking point.
  • After a few years, the pastor leaves the ministry for a higher paying job to pay off the debt and support a family.
  • The pastor's timidity in preaching/teaching about financial stewardship, which impacts the finances of the Kingdom.

So I spent some time assessing this ministers' student loan debt problem, especially in 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 (embedded below). To access the document external to this web page, or to download it, click here. The preamble of the paper explains how you can even join the collaboration.

Here's why I'm posting this: At some point, perhaps the Lord will prompt a subset of readers to work together to address this problem - with our without my involvement.

Even if you don't have the time to read the whole document, at least check out the crowd-sourcing strategy. It's my favorite, and it's very near the top.



Ministers' Student Debt Reduction

To subscribe to notifications from this website, click on Isbell Online News.