In the guidelines published October 2014, the worksheet proposes salary in a range: low to high, rather than a single target number.  There is a recommendation for a one year raise, i.e. one point times $1400, and other considerations added such as education or non-pastoral related experience to help you calculate the Adjusted Salary Range High and also the Adjusted Salary Range Low (base of $45,000+1% of median housing in your area). For those congregations/rostered leaders falling within the recommended range, as in the example below, no further compensation adjustments may be necessary. For those that fall below or above the range, additional considerations may be appropriate. Consult the narrative Compensation Guidelines document for suggestions.


Pastor A is currently making $72,000 and has been ordained/serving for 25 years, living in a location >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • He/she may receive a recommended raise of $1400 for an added year of service, i.e. one point times $1400. 
  • Using the worksheet, we would calculate the Range Low (base $45,000 +housing adjustment of .01 times $250,000=$2500)
  • and the Range High (number of points - 25 years/ 25 points + any points for extra education (in this case 0) + any points for related non-pastoral experience (in this case 0).  25 points times $1400 = $35,000.   
  • In this example, the Range Low = $47,500 and the the Range High = $47,500 + $35,000= $82,500.

What does the range tell us? 

Based on national averages for starting salaries for people with Master's Degrees, the RMS is recommending a starting salary of a minimum of $45,000.  The range high is not an average, but encompasses a large range of contexts in the RMS, including congregations that worship 22 on a Sunday and those that worship 935; rural congregations in Wyoming and urban congregations in metro Denver; and single pastor churches or multi-pastor churches with large staffs to be supervised. Based on the range, Pastor A will likely fall somewhere in between the low and high -- and higher or lower based on the context in which Pastor A serves

How do you calculate Pastor A's salary for this year?

  1. Starting with Pastor A's current salary add $1400 for one added year of service (this represents approximately a 2% cost-of-living raise.) 
  2. And then refer to the "Negotiated" area on the worksheet.  In your congregation/context, is an additional raise warranted for other factors?  Are their other financial considerations unique to your congregation/context that would adjust the current salary + $1400?  If so, that number should be entered into the negotiated box. 
  3. For this example, nothing in this area is identified at this time.
  4. The recommended new salary for Pastor A is $73,400.