|Central Lutheran, Mpls MN, 8/2009|
The Supply and Demand for Clergy in the ELCA:
These figures represent statistics from the years 2005-2014.
- Between 2005 and 2014, the number of congregations in the ELCA decreased 11 percent, from 10,549 to 9,392 (‐1,157).
- Not only did the number of congregations decline, but in the churches that remain, the number of baptized members declined by 22 percent, and the number of worship attendees declined by 29 percent.
- About half of ELCA congregations are in rural areas or in small towns with a population of fewer than 10,000. Nearly 75% of ELCA congregations are in locations with 250,000 people or fewer.
- Between 2005 and 2014, the income of a typical congregation in the ELCA declined by 23 percent.
- In 2014, 6,192 single‐point congregations could afford to call a first-call pastor [the lowest level of remuneration], and 1,941 single‐point congregations could not. The median level of defined compensation those congregations were paying pastors was $26,000.
- In 2005, there were 9,105 clergy serving congregations. In 2014, there were 6,868.
- Seventy‐seven percent of the pastors serving under a congregational call in the ELCA are solo pastors serving a single congregation. Nine percent serve a single congregation as part of a team.
- Enrollments in ELCA M.Div. programs have decreased from 1,252 in the 2004‐2005 academic year to 735 in the 2015‐ 2016 academic year. This represents a 41 percent decline.
- In 1988, the average age on the active clergy roster was just above 46 years old. At that time, just over 9 percent of active clergy were above 60 years old. By 2013, the average age of clergy had increased to 54 years old, with 32 percent of active clergy above 60.