Ten years ago, Bart Barber made a motion for an ad hoc committee to study SBC seminary salaries. The motion was ruled out of order. There was a discussion of it on SBC Voices but I cannot find it. My view was that the seminaries should structure their compensation on market factors, supply and demand. Bart, as I recall and he can correct me, thought the pay was low and should be upgraded (or at least examined) on some other more comprehensive basis. I have no idea how seminaries make decisions on faculty pay but suspect that it involves multiple internal and external factors.
Individual seminary salaries are not available to ordinary SBCers but the SBC Book of Reports includes each year tables under the heading “Seminary Comparative Data.” Here are selected items on compensation. I admit that I don’t know if the salary is salary + housing allowance, or includes benefits or what. The table says “base salary.” Neither do I know if each of the six seminaries reports comparable data or adds or subtracts some items based on their particularities.
Full-Time Faculty Salary Structure Range (Base Salary)
Assistant Professor (average of five seminaries, GS didn’t report or has no assistant profs): Low, $49,520; Median, $56,480; High, $71,485.
Associate Professor (average of all six, rounded off): Low, $53,200; Median, $54,000; High, $76,700.
Full Professor: Low, $53,300; Median, $71,000; High, $90,000
Percent of total budget that relates to personnel expenses based on each seminary’s E&G budget (salaries and benefits):
New Orleans, 70.5%
The other seminaries didn’t report this but I suspect that they are similar.
A few random items:
- Generally, seminary faculty are very modestly paid, seems to me.
- Southern has at least one full professor whose base salary is $34,775, an outlier but maybe there are other considerations.
- Southern has at least one full professor whose base salary is in six figures, $106,703.
- The median full prof average is about the same as for a senior pastor of a church with 200-300 in attendance each week.
- Midwestern has the highest salary for an Associate Professor and has a higher median salary for the same positions but the lowest salary in the “low” range. Midwestern also has the largest differential in full professors – a low range of about $41k and a high range of about $92k.
- There must be a good many seminary faculty who are slogging along with very modest pay but I’d suspect that there is an oversupply of qualified people for open positions.
- An interesting comparison would be between the highly educated seminary faculty and other denominational saff.
- Administrative salaries (presidents, VPs, etc.) are not included in the tables.
I did calculations hurriedly. Some one can fact check me if they wish.
I suspect there are a lot of factors about seminary pay of which I am unaware. Enlighten me.
I appreciate the work of our seminary faculties and other workers.