Supporting leadership for transforming existing congregations and new worshiping communities
In 2011, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) turned traditional educational lending upside down by re-imagining how the PC(USA) Theological Student Loan program could respond to the mission priorities of the church.
Now, the Mission Agency’s Educational Loan Forgiveness for Pastors is expanding to provide even more assistance for pastors serving in qualifying roles. An ordained pastor serving a small congregation or new worshiping community could qualify for up to $25,000 of assistance over the span of 5 years.
The Mission Agency’s Loan Forgiveness program was created to complement the Minister Educational Debt Assistance grants offered by the Board of Pensions by serving pastors burdened with educational debt who do not meet the requirements for the Board of Pensions program.
Here’s a quick overview of the application process:
- Complete the one-page application found here and return to firstname.lastname@example.org with a recent copy of all student loan statements
- Financial Aid for Service staff will request confirmation of service from the applicant’s presbytery and run a credit report
- If eligible, staff will send Master Promissory Note and disclosure to applicant detailing the terms of the loan
- Once signatures are obtained, up to $5,000 will be sent directly to the applicant’s student loan servicer to reduce the balance of the student loan
- After 12 months of service, the loan will be forgiven, and applicant will be eligible for renewal. This process can be repeated up to 4 times, or until student loans are completely paid off
- MDiv graduate of an accredited ATS seminary and a PC(USA) Teaching Elder/ Minister of the Word and Sacrament
- Have Educational debt between $5,000 and $120,000
- Serve a PCUSA congregation or new worshiping community with 150 members or less in a part time installed pastoral position, full time/part time temporary pastoral position or designated call.
- Demonstrate financial reliability (PC(USA) will view your credit report)
Range of Award
$3,000 to $5,000
No more than five total awards. Total awards may not exceed $25,000.
Rolling (No more than 50 awards per year).
The Mission Agency’s Loan Forgiveness for Pastors is an educational loan program. The loan is interest free during the 12 months of service in a qualifying position. If the borrower fails to meet the conditions for forgiveness, the loan must be repaid with interest.
Managing Educational Debt
A handout with helpful information for pastors and candidates on how to handle educational debt.