Century-old faith news: 7-10-13
Remembering a pre-Reformer: 7-12-13

Debt-free seminarians: 7-11-13

It's no secret that many members of the clergy don't get big salaries.

Student_debt_Poverty may be seen as a chosen virtue for some, but for many pastors, rabbis and others low pay creates difficult career choices and can lead to various problems.

Part of this stems from the debt they incur when attending seminary. If they are unable to support themselves and their families after graduation while paying back student debt, it means trouble all around.

City Seminary of Sacramento has recognized this problem and sought to find ways to reduce student debt. In fact, now it has adopted an official policy that forbids students from seeking or accepting student loans to pay for tuition.

"We strongly believe that loading up a new minister with an onerous debt burden places a limit on the kind of ministry in which they can engage," explained that seminary's board chairman, Kurt Snow.

The school says its board tries to provide enough scholarship money to let in students who might otherwise not be able to attend seminary.

This is attacking the problem at one end. A way to attack it at the other end is for members of congregations to give more generously so they can afford to pay their clergy living wages. Which might mean cutting down on member spending on large-screen TVs, luxury cars, gambling and other choices. Oh, the pain.

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CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION ISSUES CONTINUE

The assault on the concept of separation of church and state goes on, as this report describes. Why would any adherent of any religion want a state or country to declare that faith the established religion? Such a move inevitably weakens the religion, to say nothing of abusing the religious freedom of those outside that faith.

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P.S.: My latest National Catholic Reporter column now is online. To read it, click here.

“We strongly believe that loading up a new minister with an onerous debt burden places a limit on the kind of ministry in which they can engage. - See more at: http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/07/08/city-seminary-makes-it-official-no-student-debt/#sthash.fHmCLQ7Y.dpuf
forbidding students to seek or accept student loans to pay for tuition. - See more at: http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/07/08/city-seminary-makes-it-official-no-student-debt/#sthash.fHmCLQ7Y.dpuf
forbidding students to seek or accept student loans to pay for tuition. - See more at: http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/07/08/city-seminary-makes-it-official-no-student-debt/#sthash.fHmCLQ7Y.dpuf
forbidding students to seek or accept student loans to pay for tuition. - See more at: http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/07/08/city-seminary-makes-it-official-no-student-debt/#sthash.fHmCLQ7Y.dpu

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