Paul Hartig, the former senior pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church in Waterloo, has admitted to stealing thousands in donations from the church.

On Wednesday, Hartig pleaded guilty to stealing the donations from a vault in small amounts over a 16-month period from 2009 to 2010.

In October 2010 he was charged with theft over $5,000 in connection with the missing money and was suspended from his church duties.

He has been sentenced to nine months of house arrest and will be on probation for three years. He must also complete 200 hours of community service.

The defence has claimed Hartig was depressed, under financial pressure and dealing with a marriage break-up at the time.