Minimum Clergy Compensation Guidelines

Minimum compensation comprises the base on which the Church Pension Fund calculates clergy pension assessments. Minimum compensation in Arkansas includes stipend, cash and non-cash housing and utilities allowances, and self-employment tax reimbursement (SECA). Read the full guidelines below or download a PDF copy of the 2021 Standards and Plan Offerings, which will contain health, pension, and life & disability insurance benefits for all active employees, as well as clergy salaries.

Minimum compensation for 2020

(including housing allowance and reimbursement for self-employment taxes):

Average Sunday Attendance (ASA)





0–2.9 years





3–9.9 years (senior)





3–9.9 years (assistant)




10+ years (senior)





10+ years (assistant)




Please note that other optional forms of compensation, as defined by the Church Pension Fund, will add to the pension base.  Some examples are expense allowances not accounted for by clergy, year-end bonuses, housing equity allowances, church contributions to 403(b) accounts, utilities paid for clergy, athletic club fees, tuition paid for dependents, one-time payments (e.g., retirement gifts), etc.

Additionally, vestries must be cognizant of the complexity of the job (often based on the congregation’s size) and any special skills (such as advanced education and/or other work experience) that the priest brings to the job. Median compensation throughout the church is higher than these minimums.  As you are considering compensation, please call the diocesan office for assistance in determining a suitable amount.

Supply Clergy Policy

The diocesan minimum compensation for supply clergy is $150 for officiating at one service on a Sunday and $180 for officiating at two services, plus reimbursement for travel at the IRS allowable rate , and any additional accountable, reimbursable business expenses.

More info on supply clergy.

Clergy Compensation Calculators

For an online calculator to determine the total cost of employing clergy in a congregation, visit There are separate worksheets for clergy who own or rent a home and those who will live in church provided housing.

IRS Housing Allowance Regulation

Congress enacted the Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act in 2002. This act amended the Tax Code to limit the nontaxable portion of a church-designated housing allowance for ministers who own or rent their home to the fair market rental value, furnished, plus utilities. Vestries must approve a minister's allowance amount by resolution.

Download the IRS Regulation and the Clergy Housing Resolution Form. [PDF]