MIAMI (PNS) — The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) board of directors today concluded its three-day meeting in which it discussed investment results and strategies to grow membership through new products, incentives and assistance programs.
Responsible for holding and distributing pension funds for ministers and other church workers, offering medical and a variety of benefits products, and providing assistance programs for clergy and other church workers, the Board said it is actively seeking ways to expand its offerings under the mantra of “serving more, serving better, serving the church.”
A highlight of the opening day was the announcement that the Board of Pensions total assets under management eclipsed $10 billion this year. Citing strong year-to-date growth of over 12 percent, board leaders praised the investment group for its diligence and expertise in reaching this benchmark.
BoP president, the Rev. Frank Spencer, addressed the board of directors with a set of analytics he believes will influence the agency’s offerings. Rising medical costs, a decline in active ministers and a slowing trend of new ordinations, high debt levels for new pastors, uncertainty in the national PC(USA), a decline in mid council capabilities and a disparity of coverage between male and female clergy, he said, are not only problems for the denomination, but opportunities for the Board of Pensions to respond.
Calling attention specifically to gender disparity of those ordained between 2007 and 2016 — where 50 percent of men are pastor or associate pastor and just 37 percent of women are pastor or associate pastor, although they were 52 percent of the total ordained — he said, “This is something we need to be aware of and take action on as a denomination.”
Spencer also reviewed a chart showing the decline in newly ordained persons, with a parallel line of the number of Board of Pension members. The line, if unaltered, produced a negative number of new subscribers by the mid-2020s.