Berkeley Covenant Church Sabbatical Leave Policy

May 2, 1992
Phil Davidson, 1992 Chair

Berkeley Covenant Church adopted the following policy at the quarterly congregational business meeting on April 26:

Sabbatical leave may be granted to the senior pastor and full-time members of the pastoral staff for the pursuit of activities approved by the board of elders. The intent of sabbatical leave is to further the ministry objectives of Berkeley Covenant Church, to enhance the personal ministry of the staff member, and to provide time for renewal and refreshment. (It is understood that not all three intents will necessarily be fulfilled equally.)

Sabbatical leave may be approved for up to three months after the beginning of every seventh year of full-time ministry at BCC or service as senior pastor at BCC. Alternatively, a sabbatical may be approved for up to six months at half pay. After the beginning of the twenty-first year of full-time ministry (not counting sabbatical leaves) a six-month regular-pay or twelve-month half-pay sabbatical may be applied for. Vacation time may be applied to extend these leaves up to one additional month.

A detailed proposal will be presented to the elders at the time application for leave is made. Such proposal should be presented at least six months prior to the proposed leave. Such proposal should address how the staff member's BCC ministry will be carried out during the leave. Approval of sabbatical leave is at the discretion of the board of elders.

During the leave, regular or half salary will be paid, depending on the length of the sabbatical as stated above. Full benefits will be paid. If wages are provided from other sources as part of the sabbatical, BCC will pay the difference between the staff member's church salary (or half salary as applicable) and the wages provided by the other source.

A sabbatical shall be granted by BCC and accepted by the staff member only with the understanding that the staff member, immediately following the sabbatical, will return to service at BCC for at least one year. (However, with the approval of the board of elders, the return to service may be delayed during a period of leave without pay not longer than the period of the sabbatical.) Failure to return to regular Berkeley Covenant Church employment after the sabbatical for at least one year shall create an obligation on the part of the staff member to refund the entire salary (excluding benefits) received for the period of the regular sabbatical leave. In case of return to regular BCC employment for less than one year, the refund requirement will be reduced in proportion to the length of time served. The requirement for repayment may not be waived without the specific approval of the board of elders.

Upon returning, the staff member will make a report to the board of elders and the congregation on the results of the sabbatical.

Part-time members of the pastoral staff (excluding the senior pastor) may apply to the board of elders for a sabbatical leave and such a leave may be granted at the discretion of the board.

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