2023 Clergy minimum compensation Oct 10, 2022

2023 Clergy minimum compensation

The Diocesan Council of The Diocese of West Missouri voted to maintain 2022 Minimums for 2023 with the expectation of a full review for 2024. Benefits are updated to reflect 2023 premiums

2023 Minimum salary & housing: full-time clergy

Prior PositionAssoc. Priest2022 Rector
Less than 2 years experience$51,563$58,000
2-5 years experience$55,000$60,000
Over 5 years experience$56,375$62,000

These clergy salary minimums apply to full-time, ordained clergy.

When Associate Priests supervise paid, program-ministry staff an increase of 10-20% is recommended.

Matters regarding honoraria for weddings, funerals, counseling, etc. will be defined in a Letter of Agreement between the Vestry and the priest (in the case of a parish rector), between the Rector and an Associate Priest, or between the Bishop’s Committee, Bishop, and priest (in the case of a congregation, regional ministry, etc.).

Only the Bishop may waive the minimum salary requirements and for a defined time period.

This program will not change existing Letters of Agreement which are in effect, though parishes and congregations (for the sake of honoring the trust and commitment of parochial clergy) are asked to work diligently toward achieving and going beyond the above minimums.

To assist congregations desiring to move above minimums, we offer the following for consideration:

Based on Average Sunday Attendance (parochial report), the following increase to minimums is suggested for the position of Rector of a Parish in the following size-categories:

Family (0-75) +0
Pastoral (75-140) +$10,000
Transitional (140-225) +$20,000
Program (225 +) +$30,000

We encourage congregations to implement a Mutual Ministry Plan and give consideration to an annual percentage increase to be viable and competitive in the marketplace. (ie. 2-5% annually)

2023 Benefits: full-time clergy

The parish or congregation will provide

  • Medical Insurance at the single CDHP20 plan rate ($982 per month for 2023) plus an annualized $1000 HSA contribution if a CDHP is selected)
  • Vacation – four weeks annually
  • 18% Clergy Pension contribution (short-term disability, long-term disability, life insurance; and accidental death & dismemberment insurances are included with pension membership).
  • Sabbatical (3 months after 6 years in same parish position).

Additional benefits that may be negotiated include (but are not limited to)

  • Medical, dental, & life insurances for spouses, domestic partners, and/or children.
  • Continuing Education Allowance (for clergy this is required by church wide canons).
  • A 403(b) plan (this can be used to help offset loss of equity if clergy housing is provided).

For additional information, please go to the Church Pension website or contact the diocesan Human Resource Administrator at hr-finasst@diowestmo.org or (816) 648-0734.

Sharing a priest

When a priest’s ministry is shared between two or more communities of faith, an agreement on how the cost of compensation and benefits will be divided must be in writing and approved by all Vestries and/or Bishop’s Committees (whichever is applicable) as well as the Bishop.

2023 minimum compensation: bi-vocational, part-time, or priest in charge

These positions are filled by priests who are willing to serve in a leadership, pastoral, and administrative roles for an agreed time period. Wages for such positions are reported on W-2 per IRS guidelines.

Hours/WkAnnual SalaryPensionTotal
5 hrs.$6,000$1,080$7,080
*20 hrs.$24,000$4,320$28,320
*25 hrs.$30,000$5,400$35,400
*30 hrs.$36,000$6,480$42,480
*40 hrs.$42,000$7,560$56,640

Per IRS guidelines, housing and self-employment tax allowances can be designated by the priest. The IRS will only recognize these allowance designations if they are made part of the Vestry’s or Bishop’s Committee’s minutes before tax benefits begin.

Expenses for continuing education, conference fees and travel, convention expenses, etc. are reimbursable business expenses, are in addition to the compensation figures above, and limits on such reimbursements should be stipulated in the Letter of Agreement. Mileage reimbursements will be paid at the IRS rate.

*If medical insurance is needed/desired, it becomes available at 1,000 hours and is at the employee’s expense. At 1,500 hours, medical insurance becomes employer paid per diocesan plans and guidelines.

Supply clergy (guest presiding clergy)

This information is relevant in the case of a priest who serves only to lead liturgies and has no other leadership, pastoral, and/or administrative responsibilities. These amounts are recommended minimums.

1 Service without Sermon provided by supply clergy$85.00
1 Service with Sermon$125.00
2 services without Sermon provided by supply clergy$100.00
2 services with Sermon$150.00

Mileage reimbursement will be paid at the current IRS rates. Lodging and meals will be reimbursed or provided as required.

Church pension eligibility (updated 2018)

In order to comply with the rules of the Church Pension Group, pension contributions must begin once a priest is scheduled to be “regularly employed” for 5 plus consecutive months and compensated.

Regularly Employed is defined as meets one or more of the following:

  • Letter of Agreement (contract of employment), OR
  • Duly called by bishop, vestry or rector, OR
  • Formal title indicating substantial ongoing relationship, OR
  • Issued Form W-2, OR
  • Scheduled to work 20+ hours per week.

Exception for Short-term Service-Participation is optional if there is a letter of agreement directing payment of assessments for services of less than 5 months (with Bishop Approval).

No pension contributions to be made for retired clergy who are receiving pension income from the Church Pension Plan.


  • 10-10-2022. Updated to 2023 figures.
  • 10-06-2021 Original page created from supplied word document.
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