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A matter of forgiveness — of student loans

$5,000 TLDA loans help pastors of small PC(USA) churches and new worshiping communities

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – In a video just released by Presbyterian Mission, Financial Aid for Service is drawing attention to its Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance (TLDA) program. TLDA offers $5,000 loans — with forgiveness for service — to qualifying pastors of churches with 150 or fewer members and to qualifying pastors of new worshiping communities.

Highlights of the program:

  • A TLDA loan is renewable up to two times; therefore, it could be worth as much as $15,000.
  • The amount is paid directly to the student loan servicer, interest-free, with no payment during the in-service period.
  • The loan is forgiven after 12–18 continuous months of service.

“TLDA has relieved 81 pastors of nearly $600,000 of student loan repayment so far,” said Laura Bryan, coordinator of Financial Aid for Service. “The program is funded to make 50 $5,000 awards per year.”

Bryan’s advice to pastors with educational debt serving small PC(USA) congregations or new worshiping communities is “to not read themselves out of the program” and “to fill out an application” at

Financial Aid for Service may be able to help with repayment assistance, a referral to the Board of Pensions’ Minister Educational Debt Assistance program or information about managing educational debt.

“Contact us; we’ll help you make a plan,” said loan repayment mission specialist Melonee Tubb. “We want to walk with and help you flourish in ministry, by removing the stress and shame so often associated with educational debt.”

Financial Aid for Service is part of Theology, Formation & Evangelism ministries in Presbyterian Mission.


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