Pay Transparency

The last couple of years have seen a movement led by younger people, many of them pretty new to the workplace, pushing for pay transparency. Back in 2019 management consultant and commentator Alison Green asked the question “how much do you make” on a google spreadsheet that went viral.

We, at Luther Seminary, have been working for years on helping our students think through the challenges of being a pastoral leader who will likely have to live on a very limited income. We have worked with them on debt reduction, on simple living, on new ways of supporting a broader definition of stewardship, and much, much more.

And yet I think I, as a faculty member, was not very forthcoming about my own participation in the economy. I am the stable income earner in our little family of three, and I am the person who carries the health insurance. We are stable and that is a huge gift for which I am truly grateful.

At the same time I have not tended to think about where my salary lives in the range of salaries we have at Luther. The refusal to ask the question — not just about my own salary, but more importantly, the range of salaries at Luther — is a form of learned privilege.

Several of us at Luther are trying to crack open that silence. You can see below a table we are building based on a form where faculty and staff at Luther can share their base salary compensation. We based the form on the work I mentioned at the start of this page. We made it voluntary, and even voluntarily anonymous. Some of us have put our names down, some of us have not.

It is only a beginning in breaking the silence.

You can add your own information to the table by filling in this form (please only use this form if you are employed by Luther Seminary). It should also be noted that you can always find out what the salaries of the three highest paid people at Luther are, by looking at the public 990 forms.

Let us begin to live into what is meant by “household economics” in a real way here at Luther!