This Problem And Difficulty For Pastors May Surprise You

Student Debt Crisis

When you think of a pastor's ministry challenges a lot of issues perhaps come to mind. Perhaps you think of:

  • Dealing with difficult congregations
  • Worship wars
  • Leadership challenges
  • Family/Ministry balance
  • Spiritual exhaustion and compassion fatigue
  • Sermon prep and preaching
  • Many others....
But do you think of debt, seminary debt? The debt that comes from preparing the pastor for ministry. This kind of debt is growing and is saddling and burdening many men and women in ministry - becoming a problem that is undermining their effectiveness and ability to carry out the ministry God has called them to. Reformed Theological Seminary, my alma mater, has some very compelling comments and facts below that address this issue:

from RTS:

Why is seminary debt such a big problem? Seminary debt is a problem because “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). It’s all too easy for men and women who are called to serve the Lord to become trapped in educational debt, unable to follow their calling. Many missions agencies won’t accept applicants who have outstanding debts. Smaller churches, including those in rural or inner-city areas, often struggle to afford the larger salaries that student loan repayment demands. This is especially true when seminary debt is combined with debt from an undergraduate degree (a very real problem which is beyond the scope of this study). Student debt robs the kingdom of God of the workers most needed to fulfill the great commission. (Tweet This)

Pastor Debt Infographic

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