A stipend is a form of salary, such as for an internship or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from a wage or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work performed, instead it represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried employment in order to undertake a role that is normally unpaid (e.g. a magistrate in England), or voluntary, or which cannot be measured in terms of a task (e.g. members of the clergy).

Stipends are usually lower than what would be expected as a permanent salary for similar work. This is because the stipend is complemented by other benefits such as accreditation, instruction, food, and/or accommodation. Universities usually refer to money paid to graduate students as a stipend, rather than as wages, to reflect complimentary benefits.


Stipends may be utilized by non-profits or organizations working with oppressed, or other less-represented groups of people such as youth. These organizations may stipend youth at a higher rate than local minimum wage rate, or living wage, to empower them to enter the workforce. This type of stipend normally lasts for less than a year.

In some Catholic circles, a Mass stipend is the payment, which is generally nominal, to a priest for saying a Divine Liturgy or Mass. This is usually a small donation, depending on the size of the parish. Weddings and funerals typically have much larger donations given, but that is usually at the discretion of the family or individual in question. However, it is considered immoral to demand payment for a sacrament (the sin of simony), and stipends are seen as gifts.

The term also has a specific use in the companies Church of England, meaning the salary of a stipendiary minister, one who receives payment directly from the diocese (as opposed to other forms of disbursement such as free use of a house in return for clerical duties, known as house-for-duty). A non-stipendiary minister (increasingly being termed a self-supporting minister or an ordained local minister) is therefore one who is licensed to perform clerical duties but without receiving any kind of payment from the diocese — although non-stipendiary ministers often receive reimbursement of expenses incurred in pursuit of their duties, e.g. travel, postage, and telephone costs. Non-stipendiary ministers normally depend on secular employment or pensions for their income and are often unavailable for pastoral duties when they are fulfilling their obligations to their employer. A minister in secular employment, on the other hand, is a minister who exercises a significant ministry in and through their work. This is distinct from chaplaincy.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stipend — • A fixed pay, salary; retribution for work done; the income of an ecclesiastical living Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Stipend     Stipend      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • stipend — sti‧pend [ˈstaɪpend] noun [countable] FINANCE an amount of money paid regularly to someone for their services, or as a small salary: • The holder of this office will receive a small annual stipend. * * * stipend UK US /ˈstaɪpend/ noun [C] FINANCE …   Financial and business terms

  • stipend — [stī′pənd, stīpend΄] n. [ME stipende < L stipendium, tax, impost, tribute, contr. < * stipipendum < stips, small coin or a contribution in small coin (< ?) + pendere, to hang, weigh out, pay: see PENDANT] 1. a regular or fixed payment …   English World dictionary

  • Stipend — Sti pend, n. [L. stipendium; stips, gen. stipis, a gift, donation, given in small coin + pendere to weigh or pay out.] Settled pay or compensation for services, whether paid daily, monthly, or annually. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Stipend — Sti pend, v. t. To pay by settled wages. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stipend — index alimony, annuity, commission (fee), consideration (recompense), endowment, honorarium, loan …   Law dictionary

  • stipend — early 15c., from L. stipendium tax, pay, gift, from stips alms, small payment + pendere weigh (see PENDANT (Cf. pendant)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • stipend — *wage or wages, salary, fee, emolument, pay, hire Analogous words: remuneration, compensation, recompensing or recompense (see corresponding verbs at PAY) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • stipend — [n] payment for services allowance, award, consideration, emolument, fee, gratuity, hire, pay, pension, salary, take, wage; concept 344 …   New thesaurus

  • stipend — ► NOUN ▪ a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or as expenses to a clergyman, teacher, or public official. ORIGIN Latin stipendium, from stips wages + pendere to pay …   English terms dictionary

  • stipend — n. 1) to receive a stipend 2) to pay a stipend 3) a modest stipend (to live on a modest stipend) * * * [ staɪpend] to pay a stipend to receive a stipend a modest stipend (to live on a modest stipend) …   Combinatory dictionary

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