2018 Salary Guidelines

Suggested salary guidelines for rostered leaders

“The gift he gave were that some would be . . . evangelists, some pastors, some teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

“This church affirms the universal priesthood of all its baptized members. In its function and its structure this church commits itself to the equipping and supporting of all its members for their ministries in the world and in this church. It is within this context of ministry that this church calls some of its baptized members for specific ministries in this church” (ELCA Constitution 7.11).


The 2018 Salary Guidelines for Rostered Leaders in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod are provided by the synod to assist in establishing appropriate salary packages. These guidelines are developed with awareness of both urban and suburban circumstances in our synod and of the other synods of Region 5. These synods are striving for uniformity in guidelines, although the dollar amounts may vary.

For 2018, we are recommending a 2.0% cost of living increase for rostered leaders. This is based on current inflation of 1.7% and forecasts that US Consumer Price Index for 2018 will be 2.0 - 2.4.

Minimum Housing Allowance for 2018 is based on the U.S. Census Bureau Median* housing costs - with a mortgage, 2011-2015, for each county in our synod. The rounded median amount for each county is as follows: Cook - $22,200; Lake - $25,500; DuPage - $24,500; Kane - $22,300. * Median is defined as a value in an ordered set of values in which there is an equal number of values below and above or which is the arithmetic mean of the two middle values if there is no one middle number.

Changes in the guidelines include:

  • Part II, Option 1: recommended minimum housing allowance revised to reflect the rounded median housing costs per county (Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane) of this synod.

Additional Information

In 2018, Portico continues to offer four different-priced ELCA-Primary health benefit options — platinum, gold, silver, or bronze — and sponsoring employers continue to pay different health contribution rates based on defined compensation, a member’s age, and geographical location.

Portico analyzes past claims experience and market trends annually to ensure that enough money is collected in the coming year to meet the benefit-related needs of the ELCA faith community, while at the same time being committed to finding ways to keep the cost of health care coverage affordable for ELCA congregations. Portico, thanks to its wellness approach and administrative efficiency, was able to keep the ELCA-Primary contribution rate increase at 5% for each of the four health benefit options even though health care costs are projected to rise 6.5% or more nationwide. Portico will also preserve current deductibles, out-of-pocket levels, and wellness dollars. One exception to the status quo is the amount members will pay for brand-name drugs. Portico has introduced a co-insurance for brand-name drugs under the Primary Platinum+, Gold+, and Medicare options. Overall prescription drug spending grew nearly three times faster than medical claims last year. The co-insurance was introduced to encourage more members to choose lower-cost generic drugs when possible.

Contribution rates for disability insurance, basic group life insurance, retiree support, and minimum required retirement contributions will remain the same.

If you have questions, please contact the synod office at office@mcselca.org or 773-248-0021.

Page URL: http://www.mcselca.org/congregation/admin/salary_guidelines/