SILVER SPRING, Md. — Adventist pastors’ wives around the world are celebrating a groundbreaking victory with the announcement that they will be added to the official church payroll. General Conference Treasury Director Tom Briggins confirmed that pastors’ wives will be paid a stipend equal to 60-70% of local pastoral compensation.
“Pastor’s Wife Stipend (PWS) is awarded to all qualifying spouses in recognition of the inevitable pain and suffering involved in their work,” said Briggins. “As of today, we welcome all qualifying women to claim their PWS.”
Deborah McNoughton, president of Shepherdess International (an association for wives of Adventist ministers) said that she was “elated” at the decision. “For years now we have pushed for some form of hazard pay for our constituents. Regular members have no idea how difficult it can be to assume the thankless tasks of piano playing, small group hosting and suffering impossible brats in Cradle Roll week after week simply because of how we married.”
PWS will be paid on a scale that takes into account the difficulty of the congregation(s) pastors’ wives have to endure. Extra pay will go to those saddled with Pathfinder Directorships, overly judgmental Dorcas crews or the coordination of aggressively vegan potlucks.
“We also hope the PWS will reverse a troubling trend that we have seen develop over the years in our schools,” said Briggins, referring to the tendency of Adventist female students to avoid theology majors and seminarians like the plague. “In fact, PWS offers any fiancée of a future pastor two years of full pastor’s pay as a marriage incentive.”