This tumblr post makes several claims about the Salvation Army:

Reasons not to donate to Salvation Army this holiday season:

  • They don’t pay their female pastors. (Their wages get added to their husbands’ paychecks.)
  • They turn away gay people from homeless services and other programs.
  • They fire people for having mental illnesses.

Focusing specifically on the first claim: is it true that the Salvation Army does not pay wages to female pastors, for work that male pastors would be paid for? Is this a practice globally, or only in certain regions? To the extent that the second part of the claim ("their wages get added to their husbands' paychecks") is true, how does this apply to unmarried women?

  • according to this pew article, of a supreme court decision. pewforum.org/2011/03/31/churches-in-court3 at least 1 female "pastor" was being paid, however, they appeared to be paying her less because she was a female. However as the supreme court as ruled over and over again, churches do not need to follow conventional laws in regards to hiring, firing, or paying their employees, under the first amendment
    – Himarm
    Oct 12, 2015 at 18:45
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    I'm afraid this is just utter bollocks. A trivial check will find that you don't have to be married to be a female SA officer. I know of at least one personally and this post can be a quickly-found reference for those who don't want to take my word for it. Also from personal experience they do not do either of the other two, but it will take me a while to find references for that. Oct 13, 2015 at 14:15
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    "Their wages get added to their husbands' paychecks". This assumes their husband, if they have one, also works for the SA. Oct 14, 2015 at 8:24

3 Answers 3


It's true but misleadingly written. Women pastors who are married to male pastors do indeed have their paychecks added to their husbands check. For reference, read this article, the relevant quote is

In the Army’s case, the agreement for compensation is that the officer allowance be paid jointly to the husband—the check is written in his name. Officially, the wife is a “worker without expectation of remuneration,” and her husband receives 40 percent more of an allowance as a married man than he would as a single man.

Trying to disprove the idea that women's checks are added to their husbands by pointing out that unmarried women work there is irrelevant: it would not be possible to pay them through their husbands check when they have none. I do suggest reading the full article as it has some valuable insights on the matter as a whole.


This statement is completely untrue.

The easiest way to refute it is that many Salvation Army officers (as their pastors are called) are single women. Here is a particularly prominent example, but there are many others.

In fact the Salvation Army is one of the more egalitarian religious organizations. Women can be and have been appointed to every leadership position, including the highest, as the above link shows.

  • Does the Wiki link indicate she gets paid, as well as appointed to positions? Oct 24, 2015 at 21:44
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    'More egalitarian' might be overstating it unless you limit it to cis-male and cis-female.
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 25, 2015 at 1:22

Officers are only permitted to marry other officers, or they lose their "commission". When they do marry, only the husband gets paid. The wife is not allowed to take another job outside SA, she is expected to "serve alongside" her husband. If she does not, her husband loses his "commission". The married woman's role in SA is subservient. The single females get a little bit more consideration.


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