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Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance


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.

What emerged is a program making forgivable loans to pastors serving in temporary and/or part-time pastoral positions. The loan proceeds are paid to the borrower’s student loan servicer to reduce the principal balance of the loans taken when the borrower sought the credentials required for ordained ministry.

After 18 months of continuous service in eligible service, the loan from PC(USA) is forgiven, and the borrower may apply again.

The Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance program was created to complement the Seminary Debt Assistance program 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • MDiv graduate of an accredited ATS seminary and a PC(USA) Teaching Elder
  • With educational debt equal to or in excess of the amount requested
  • Serving a PCUSA congregation with 150 members or less or new emerging worship community in a part time installed pastoral position, full time/part time temporary pastoral position or designated call.
  • Need demonstrated (by monthly student loan payment as a percentage of gross income)
  • Demonstrate financial reliability (PC(USA) will view your credit report)

Range of Award

$3,000 to $5,000


No more than three total awards. Total awards may not exceed $15,000.


  • Rolling (No more than 50 awards per year)




Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance is offered with loan forgiveness at the completion of 18 months of continuous 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.

Educational Loan Policy


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