Some Iowa churches are seeing a shortage of ministers and few replacements coming along. Betty DeBerg, a religion professor at the University of Northern Iowa, says many denominations are having trouble recruiting new prospective members of the clergy to the seminary. DeBerg says one reason it’s not so lucrative is the low pay.The vast majority of ministers don’t make high salaries, although a few at “elite” churches make good money. DeBerg says people who pursue the ministry aren’t in it to get rich. She compares the ministers to schoolteachers, who require a lot of education, then make low pay.DeBerg says preachers have to also be scholars, counselors, financial wizards, fundraisers, public relations officers and crisis managers. She says ministers face all sorts of pressures — like running good youth programs so parents can feel their kids are “safeguarded” from drugs or sex.She says some help could come if seminaries would hold down costs so students don’t graduate with a huge debt.
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