"> Monthly List – January 2021 – 100 Highly Paid Ministry Executives – Ministry Watch

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Monthly List – January 2021 – 100 Highly Paid Ministry Executives

Below is a list of highly paid Christian ministry executives. The information was derived from the Form 990 prepared by the ministry itself.

We are not calling this list the “Highest Paid Christian Ministry Executives” because we know that many pastors and other church leaders who might make more are not on this list, because churches are not required to make their Form 990s available to the public.

It’s also important to note some differences between this year’s list and last year’s list.  Last year’s list included only about 50 executives.  This year, we expanded the list to 100 executives.  We made this change for a variety of reasons, but the main reason was this:  The MinistryWatch database has enlarged significantly in the past year — from 450 ministries to 750 ministries.  We had much more data, so we wanted to pass along some of that new information to you.

Another important note concerns colleges and universities on our list.  It is not unusual for the highest paid person at a college, Christian or otherwise, to be the football coach, the basketball coach, or the athletic director.  We left off coaches in our list because if we had left them on, the list would be dominated by them.

A third important note is this:  MinistryWatch has identified a growing and disturbing trend among Christian ministries to identify as churches and thereby withhold their Form 990s. (For more on this topic, click here.)   Large Christian ministries that have made this election include: CRU/Campus Crusade for Christ, The Navigators, Gideons International, Wycliffe Associates, Willow Creek Association, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Ethnos360/New Tribes Mission. In addition, many megachurches and their related radio and television ministries. These organizations and individuals include: Joel Osteen, David Jeremiah, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland.

A word about timing: This information comes from the most recent Form 990 available on Guidestar.org, Charity Navigator, Pro Publica, and other sources. For some ministries the most recent year available was 2017. For most ministries, the most recent year available was 2018 or 2019.  That means that some people on this list are no longer in their positions.  That is why in this year’s list we have included the fiscal year-end date for each ministry.

It’s also important to note that in the case of Franklin Graham, only his Samaritan’s Purse compensation is listed. He also serves as president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and (for the reason cited above) we were not able to determine what compensation he receives from BGEA.

In the case of the Inspiration Networks:  Some executives receive their salaries from a for-profit subsidiary.  The for-profit subsidiary, INSP LLC, is wholly owned by the non-profit organization The Inspirational Networks, Inc.

RankPerson nameTitleOrganization namePeriod endingSalaryOther CompTotal Comp
1David CerulloPresident & CEOThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$481,490$2,768,508$3,249,998
2Dale ArdizzoneGeneral CounselThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$1,739,794$1,739,794
3Marc FavaroFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$1,722,687$1,722,687
4Nido QubienPresidentHigh Point University5/31/2019$1,147,225$504,845$1,652,070
5Michael NovakCEOEducational Media Foundation (K-Love)12/31/2019$1,228,701$3,387$1,232,088
6Larry ArnnPresidentHillsdale College6/30/2019$990,498$93,706$1,084,204
7Jerry Falwell Jr.Chancellor/PresidentLiberty University6/30/2018$1,010,087$57,243$1,067,330
8Andrew BentonPresident & CEOPepperdine University7/31/2018$574,154$360,326$934,480
9Colby MayDirectorTrinity Broadcasting Network12/31/2018$891,815$0$891,815
10Yechiel EcksteinPresident & CEOInternational Fellowship of Christians & Jews12/31/2018$710,418$164,821$875,239
11Matthew CrouchPresidentTrinity Broadcasting Network12/31/2018$670,457$192,677$863,134
12Hal LindseyPresidentHal Lindsey Website Ministries12/31/2018$750,000$110,000$860,000
13Randall SmithEVP & COOLiberty University6/30/2018$812,738$40,365$853,103
14Randy Lowry IIIPresidentLipscomb University5/31/2019$721,829$112,924$834,753
15Ronald EllisPresidentCalifornia Baptist University6/30/2019$756,387$66,309$822,696
16Kevin WashingtonPresident and CEOYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$733,130$53,008$786,138
17Franklin GrahamPresidentSamaritan's Purse12/31/2019$661,199$61,204$722,403
18Rick MarrsProvostPepperdine University7/31/2018$410,535$289,723$700,258
19Shawn NicholsonFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$691,965$691,965
20Roy Brian WebbVice PresidentBaylor University5/31/2018$633,536$46,765$680,301
21Linda LivingstonePresidentBaylor University5/31/2018$515,555$153,281$668,836
22Michael AdamsChancellorPepperdine University7/31/2018$428,409$236,701$665,110
23Randal O'RearPresidentUniversity of Mary Hardin-Baylor5/31/2018$519,137$131,312$650,449
24Mark KangFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$641,211$641,211
25Paul McEntireEVP & COOYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$584,130$51,325$635,455
26Adam WrightPresidentDallas Baptist University5/31/2019$532,174$100,735$632,909
27John RussoFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$619,202$619,202
28Gordon RobertsonCEOChristian Broadcasting Network3/31/2019$581,991$29,668$611,659
29Richard StearnsPresident EmeritusWorld Vision9/30/2019$501,854$105,731$607,585
30Lee RoyceFormer PresidentMississippi College5/31/2019$582,353$18,944$601,297
31Daniel MartinPresidentSeattle Pacific University6/30/2018$383,290$208,952$592,242
32Barry H CoreyPresidentBiola University6/30/2018$504,312$85,044$589,356
33Charles PippinSVP & CIOPepperdine University7/31/2018$440,447$141,578$582,025
34Jon WallacePresidentAzusa Pacific University6/30/2019$402,653$169,500$572,153
35Gary HansonEVP & COOPepperdine University7/31/2018$344,500$225,154$569,654
36Robert SloanPresidentHouston Baptist University5/31/2019$550,516$16,523$567,039
37Carlos CampoPresidentAshland University5/31/2018$449,762$115,941$565,703
38Gary CookChancellorDallas Baptist University5/31/2019$441,109$119,496$560,605
39L Gregory JonesEVPBaylor University5/31/2018$522,871$29,541$552,412
40Thomas MinaghanSr. CounselAmerican Center for Law and Justice3/31/2019$514,376$29,544$543,920
41Charles StanleyPresidentIn Touch Ministries9/30/2019$530,255$12,767$543,022
42Philip G RykenPresidentWheaton College6/30/2019$371,617$167,563$539,180
43Theron Andrew WestmorelandPresidentSamford University6/30/2019$354,744$183,380$538,124
44Jairy C Hunter JrPresidentCharleston Southern University5/31/2018$496,424$41,241$537,665
45Roger ParrottPresidentBelhaven University6/30/2019$423,405$110,210$533,615
46Reagan RamsowerSVP & COOBaylor University5/31/2018$477,129$50,668$527,797
47John CerviniVice PresidentHillsdale College6/30/2019$469,165$57,820$526,985
48Keith WoodardFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$518,347$518,347
49Neal Keny-GuyerCEOMercy Corps6/30/2019$473,219$41,374$514,593
50Kevin LutzSVP & CIOYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$464,522$49,973$514,495
51David GarlandInterim PresidentBaylor University5/31/2018$394,646$113,741$508,387
52Cris DoornbosCEODavid C. Cook5/31/2019$491,353$16,791$508,144
53Kent InglePresidentSoutheastern University5/31/2019$301,275$206,216$507,491
54Evans P WhitakerPresidentAnderson University5/31/2019$452,176$48,114$500,290
55Alan MasonPresidentEducational Media Foundation (K-LOVE)12/31/2019$466,368$33,239$499,607
56Yael Eckstein-FarkasEVPInternational Fellowship of Christians and Jews/ Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein12/31/2018$413,036$83,511$496,547
57Jaqueline GordonEVPYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$441,760$49,716$491,476
58Robert McPheeFormer OfficerThe Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$487,688$487,688
59Robert BraceCFO The Inspiration Networks12/31/2018$0$487,038$487,038
60Bruce WilkinsonPresident & CEOCatholic Medical Mission Board9/30/2018$419,205$66,145$485,350
61Edgar SandovalPresidentWorld Vision9/30/2019$419,343$65,159$484,502
62Jerry DavisPresidentCollege of the Ozarks5/31/2019$435,313$41,525$476,838
63Santiago H MelladoPresident & CEOCompassion International6/30/2019$419,184$57,634$476,818
64Pierre FerrariCEOHeifer Project International6/30/2019$443,745$29,553$473,298
65J. Bradley CreedPresidentCampbell University5/31/2019$441,902$28,850$470,752
66Robin G MahfoodPresident & CEOFood For The Poor12/31/2018$445,463$24,191$469,654
67Michael FarrisPresident & CEOAlliance Defending Freedom6/30/2019$432,840$25,980$458,820
68Newton CrenshawPresident & CEOYoung Life9/30/2019$399,765$58,553$458,318
69Dave RosselliVice PresidentBaylor University5/31/2018$408,654$49,370$458,024
70Rexella Van ImpeSecretary Jack Van Impe Ministries12/31/2019$298,756$156,384$455,140
71Roy L PetersonPresident & CEOAmerican Bible Society6/30/2019$389,777$64,116$453,893
72Samuel HinkleSVPPepperdine University7/31/2018$253,848$199,992$453,840
73Chris HolmesGeneral CounselBaylor University5/31/2018$347,733$104,354$452,087
74Phillip BowenCEOIn Touch Ministries9/30/2019$438,900$10,250$449,150
75Philip SchubertPresidentAbilene Christian University5/31/2019$331,018$117,989$449,007
76George MamoCOOInternational Fellowship of Christians and Jews/ Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein12/31/2018$356,110$91,347$447,457
77Deryck Janse Van RensburgDeanPepperdine University7/31/2018$436,114$10,761$446,875
78Jack RichPresidentAbilene Christian University5/31/2019$395,855$44,081$439,936
79Alan SearsFounderAlliance Defending Freedom6/30/2019$404,395$33,880$438,275
80 William HoranCOOOperation Blessing3/31/2019$414,638$20,718$435,356
81Cary SummersChief Relationship OfficerMuseum of the Bible6/30/2019$406,981$27,887$434,868
82Paul McNultyPresidentGrove City College6/30/2019$365,676$66,851$432,527
83John KauffmanDeanCampbell University5/31/2019$403,104$29,060$432,164
84Anna GoddardPresidentChildFund / Christian Children's Fund6/30/2019$375,000$56,897$431,897
85John CasoriaAsst. SecretaryTrinity Broadcasting Network12/31/2018$429,972$0$429,972
86William FlemingPresidentPalm Beach Atlantic University6/30/2019$394,902$34,852$429,754
87James AckermanPresident & CEOPrison Fellowship Ministries6/30/2019$392,700$35,812$428,512
88Robin BakerPresidentGeorge Fox University6/30/2019$386,874$39,116$425,990
89Henry RushPresident & CEOStar of Hope Mission12/31/2019$395,182$28,941$424,123
90Paul LasiterVP & CFOPepperdine University7/31/2018$240,435$183,577$424,012
91Nancy L OwensSVPYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$374,725$48,958$423,683
92Kim S PhippsPresidentMessiah University6/30/2018$345,597$75,868$421,465
93D Michael LindsayPresidentGordon College6/30/2018$348,410$72,199$420,609
94William M WilsonPresidentOral Roberts University4/30/2019$302,166$117,524$419,690
95Rebecca BowenEVPYMCA of the USA12/31/2019$369,719$48,902$418,621
96Hal DonaldsonPresidentConvoy of Hope12/31/2019$368,516$48,360$416,876
97Dale LunsfordPresidentLeTourneau University6/30/2019$384,329$30,599$414,928
98Mark HoweVice PresidentCalifornia Baptist University6/30/2019$355,250$53,486$408,736
99Jonathan ReckfordCEOHabitat for Humanity International6/30/2019$361,442$46,955$408,397
100Deanell TachaDean EmeritusPepperdine University7/31/2018$376,969$30,300$407,269
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Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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