SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home935. What does "exercise of the ministry" mean?

The term “exercise of the ministry” includes the following activities:

  1. The conduct of religious worship and the ministration of sacerdotal functions;

  2. Service performed in the control, conduct, and maintenance of:

    1. A religious organization under the authority of a religious body constituting a church or church denomination; or

    2. An organization operated as an integral agency of a religious organization, church, or church denomination.

    Note: Control, conduct, and maintenance of an organization do not include work such as operating an elevator or being a janitor. It refers to work in directing, managing, or promoting the activities of the organization.

  3. Service performed for any organization under an assignment or designation by a church; or

    Note: This does not include cases in which a church merely helps by recommending a minister for a position involving non-ministerial services for an organization not connected with the church.

  4. Missionary service or administrative work for a missionary organization.

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004