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Well-being support for ministers from the Board of Pensions

Guest commentary by Lea Sitton

Everyone has experienced loss and sadness and faced personal challenges during the coronavirus crisis. But pastors have continued to minister and give comfort through it all.

The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) wants to remind pastors that it provides well-being support to minister members of the church Benefits Plan.

Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)

Ministers enrolled for medical coverage through the Board of Pensions or in Minister’s Choice – and anyone in their household – can use the EAP. Resources include, free of charge, up to six counseling sessions (in person or virtual) per issue with a credentialed network counselor. Also provided are telephone consultations for immediate assistance with critical emotional needs as well as for help with behavioral health-related questions and approaches to problem-solving.

In addition to counseling sessions to support emotional health, members may access the following EAP services free of charge:

  • 30-minute telephone consultation with a qualified specialist on issues such as debt counseling, retirement planning, tax planning, minister tax issues, budgeting and college funding.
  • 30-minute telephone or face-to-face consultation with a participating attorney.
  • 60-minute identity-theft consultation with a fraud-resolution specialist.
  • 25% discount on regular tax preparation services.

See for more EAP details.

Well-Being Respite

Well-Being Respite is open, free of charge, to all Benefits Plan members, active or retired; their spouses; and surviving spouses. It is an online opportunity to step away from the daily routine for spiritual renewal, mental stimulation and thoughtful conversation. Four Well-Being Respites are scheduled in 2021, each focused on spiritual, health, financial or vocational well-being. Each respite includes a guest presenter. The next respite is scheduled for May 19. See for Well-Being Respite details.


Ministers enrolled for even just one benefit through the Benefits Plan may attend Board of Pensions webinars, free of charge. The webinars spend an hour on a topic related to spiritual, health, financial or vocational well-being. The next, scheduled for June 10, is “Caring for the Caregiver.” See for the webinar schedule and how to access recordings of past webinars.


E-learning modules, available to anyone receiving a benefit through the Board of Pensions, address a variety of topics related to spiritual, health, financial and vocational well-being. “The Leaving Well: Navigating Transitions in Ministry and Work” series, for example, assists with navigating vocational transitions. Some modules are available in Korean and Spanish. All are accessible, free of charge, through Benefits Connect, the Board of Pensions secure benefits website.

Call to Health

Pastors and spouses with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions may take part in its well-being program, Call to Health. Participants complete challenges to earn points toward reduced deductibles. The challenges push participants to develop and maintain healthy habits in spiritual, health, financial and vocational areas. Read as some participants share their experiences. (Call to Health is not available to employees or spouses enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.)

LEA SITTON is an agency writer at the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Philadelphia.