LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The mean average salary of Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors rose 3 percent in 2001 to $46,170, according to the Presbyterian News Service.

The median average climbed 2.9 percent during that time to $43,200.

The denomination's Board of Pensions released the annual salary study Aug. 9. The figures are based on "effective salary," which includes cash salary, housing allowance and deferred compensation.

For the fifth consecutive year, the highest mean salary was paid in the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii. Pastors there earn just more than $54,000. The highest rate of increase -- more than 22 percent -- was in the Synod of the Pacific.

The lowest average salary, $18,817, and the slowest rate of salary increase, 7.1 percent, occurred in the Synodo Boriquen en Puerto Rico.

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