The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.M.150 Ministers of religion


For the purposes of income support payments and for parentally means tested YA, a minister of religion can be a member of the clergy either under:

  • a contract FOR SERVICE, or
  • a contract OF EMPLOYMENT.

YA parental means test

A minister of religion under a contract for service cannot be considered an employee of the religious organisation. Any benefits, other than taxable income, provided by the organisation to ministers contracted for service cannot be considered employer provided benefits (1.1.E.90) for the purposes of the YA parental means test (1.1.P.45).

Income support payments

A minister of religion under a contract for service is neither an employee nor self-employed, but is a 'holder of a religious office'. A number of allowances and reimbursements of ministry related expenses may be deducted from the minister's gross income, but fringe benefits which are for the minister's own private benefit are 'valuable consideration' (1.1.V.25) and MUST be included.

Policy reference: SS Guide Income received to cover specific expenses, Income from employment or independent contracting, Deferred income, salary sacrifice, valuable consideration & fringe benefits

Clergy considered to be ministers of religion contracted for service

The following table outlines the clergy who are considered to be ministers of religion contracted for service.

Religious organisation Clergy covered
Abundant Life Fellowship International Ltd All pastors
ALF Church No 8 Ltd operating as Abundant Life Fellowship, Oakey All ministers
Anchor Network Ltd All ministers
Anglican Church (Diocese of Sydney) All ministers
Anglican Church (Australia) All parish ministers/assistant parish ministers
Anglican Home Mission Society All parish ministers/assistant parish ministers
Assemblies of God in Australia All ministers
Associated Christian Assemblies International Inc. All ministers
Australian Baptist Missionary Society All missionaries
Baptist Church (Australia) All ministers
Baptist Union of Victoria, Qld, NSW, NT, SA, WA, & Tas All ministers
Beachway Vineyard Christian Fellowship Inc. All pastors
Beit Menachem-Gold Coast Jewish College All rabbis
Brisbane Christian Fellowship All ministers
Brisbane Faith Centre Inc. All ministers
Calvary Chapel, Perth All pastors
Canberra Austral-Asian Church All pastors
Central Coast Evangelical Church All ministers
Chabad Institutions of Australia All rabbis
Christian City Church Canberra All pastors
Christian City Church Central Coast All ministers
Christian City Church International All pastors
Christian City Church Kambah All pastors
Christian Destiny Ltd All ministers
Christian Gospel Centre All pastors
Christian Life Ministries Inc. All ministers/pastors
Christian Revival Crusade All ministers
Christian Outreach Centre All pastors
Christian Television Association Queensland Chief Executive Officer
Church of Foursquare Gospel (Australia) Ltd All ministers/pastors
Church of Foursquare Gospel in Australia All ministers
Churches of Christ All ministers
Congregation of Adass Israel All rabbis
Coptic Orthodox Church All priests
Cornerstone Ministries All pastors
Crown of Life Christian Centre Ltd All pastors
Daystar International Ltd All pastors
Eaglenet Ministries International Ltd All pastors
Eternal Life Ministries International Ltd All pastors
Family Worship Centre Pine Rivers Inc. All ministers
Fassifern Christian Church All ministers
Fellowship of the Congregational Churches All ministers
Fresh Manna Ministries All pastors
Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE) All rabbis
Genesis Christian Ministries Ltd All ministers
Good News Family Centre All pastors
Granite Belt Ministries Inc. operating as Harvest Faith Fellowship All ministers
Highlands Christian Fellowship Inc. All ministers
Hornsby Community Church Inc. All pastors/assistant pastors
Hunter Revival Fellowship Inc. All pastors
Illawarra Synagogue All rabbis
It's Time Ministries Ltd All pastors
Liberty Family Church All pastors
Lutheran Church All ministers
Melbourne Christian Fellowship All ministers
Ministry Matters International Ltd All ministers employed under proforma Contract of Employment (supplied May 1997)
Monaro Community Church All pastors
Orange Evangelical Church All ministers
Presbyterian Church of Australia All ministers
Peter Robertson Ministries Ltd All ministers
Reach Out for Christ Gold Coast North All pastors
Reach Out for Christ Faith Centre Ltd All pastors
Reformed Churches of Australia All ministers
Religion of the Reachout Christian Centre All ministers
Revival Fellowship Perth All pastors
Revival Ministries Australia Ltd All pastors
River of Life Australia All pastors
Salvation Army Salvation Army officers
Sans Souci Vineyard Christian Fellowship All pastors
Scripture Union of Queensland and Scripture Union Australia Inc. All ministers
Servants of Jesus Community All pastors
Seventh Day Adventist Church All ministers/pastors
South Head & District War Memorial Synagogue All ministers
Southern Districts Christian Assembly Inc. (commonly known as Woodcroft Christian Centre) All ministers
Stanthorpe Christian Fellowship All ministers
Sunshine Coast Christian Fellowship All ministers
Southside Christian Fellowship All ministers
Spearhead Ministries International All ministers
Sukyo Mahikari Australia All ministers
Sydney Christian Fellowship Inc. All ministers
Sydney Revival Fellowship Inc. All pastors
Sydney Talmudical College Association All rabbis
Truth and Liberation Concern All pastors
Unichurch All ministers
United Church of God - Australia All pastors
Uniting Church in Australia All ministers/deacons
Victory Life Centre All pastors
Wattle Park Chapel All ministers
Westminster Presbyterian Church All ministers/pastors
Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia All pastors
Waverley Christian Fellowship Inc. All pastors
Word Family Church Inc. All pastors

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