National Lutheran News

LCMS church workers victims of “economic pandemic,” Synod teacher says

Kim Marxhausen says school teachers and other church professionals serving in the Lu-theran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) may be hopelessly caught in a financial trap.

Marxhausen, an LCMS kindergarten teacher in Lin-coln, Nebraska, is a member of the Synod’s Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support. In a blunt, no-holds-barred commentary piece published in the August issue of the denomination’s Reporter newspaper, she said, “Our church body is in the middle of an economic pandemic. Nearly half of our professional church workers struggle with debilitating debt [that] impinges on the family budget.”

Quoting from a 2004 Daedalus Research Report commissioned by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Marxhausen said nearly 45% of LCMS church workers carry a debt load of $50,000 beyond their house mortgage.

Primary causes appear to be unpaid post-secondary education loans and credit-card debt. Church professionals typically pay high costs for college and then receive substandard salaries.