Salary and Budget Considerations
Passing of the Baton in Catholic Youth Ministry: A National Longitudinal Research Study of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders was a 2018 in depth look at who Catholic youth ministers are today. The entire document can be downloaded here.
Below you will find info on salaries and budgets. Please keep scrolling for sample budgets.
Budgeting for a Full-time Youth Minister
There are no diocesan recommended salaries. However, it is highly recommended that each parish assess their needs and resources and develop a budget including salary and benefits that fits the overall parish budget and reflects the youth ministry needs of the parish. See our needs/resources assessment guide to help you consider budget needs.
Tool for Computing Lay Salaries: You can use this tool for computing a lay faith formation director's salary - it easily translates into youth ministry. This was created by the DOSP Office of Faith Formation and has been adjusted to include 2020-2021 cost of living increases. Simply request the Excel file from the Office of Faith Formation (email@example.com) or Office of Youth Ministry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please remember: you get out what you put in. If you offer a $30,000 annual salary, you will get a young, single person in college or just out of college with little or no experience or training. That person might be a perfect fit for your parish's needs, but you will need to include in the budget the funds to support the brand new youth minister with training and formation opportunities.
Below are some charts and tables taken from Passing the Baton that illustrate average salaries for today's full-time youth ministry leaders:
Budgeting for a Part-time Youth Minister
Sometimes a part-time youth minister can be the right fit. When determining pay for part-time employees, a pro-rated salary should be determined as if the position were full-time. Also, while the parish does not have to pay for benefits like a full-time employee, there are still benefit options for part-time employees. These include pension and retirement options, so please check them out!
Here are some charts taken from Passing the Baton that illustrate average salaries for today's full-time youth ministry leaders. Please take into consideration that that we are now at another interval of 5-8 years so there would be a a significant increase to 2021-2022 salaries:
Youth ministry does not happen in a vacuum. It requires the dedication of resources, including space, volunteers, and finances.
Take five minutes to read this two-page article written in 1997 - yes, 1997. The article and it's title were prophetic for the time - Catholic Youth Ministry: Pay Now or Pay Later. Almost 25 years later, we are paying for having not properly funded our youth ministries. It's worth the read!
Regarding Registration Fees to Participate in Youth Ministry
Parishes must have a quality product in order to configure the cost you’re charging for registration. You cannot sell a Dollar Store Product at Target prices. The more you invest in youth ministry, the more you can charge for it which drops your budget requirements.
Think about it this way: Put the budget together needed to enable your youth minister to do quality ministry, and then divide that toal by the number of kids you think you’ll have. Base your fee on that. But know that the quality of your ministry effects how much you'll be able to charge families.
Here are two sample budgets that can and should be adapted for your parish's specific situation and needs: