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Fostering innovative approaches and coordinating resources to help United Methodist clergy address financial challenges

Wespath Benefits and Investments has partnered with a broad coalition of organizations to help clergy improve their financial acumen and address their debt. Pastors are better positioned to serve, lead and grow vibrant congregations when personal finances are not a source of stress.

The National Association of United Methodist Foundations (NAUMF), the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), Discipleship Ministries, annual conferences, and area foundations are working with Wespath to provide clergy with financial education and training, resources for debt refinancing, and seminary scholarships.

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Wespath's Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative Reaches Fundraising Goal, Receives $250,000 Matching Grant

Wespath Benefits and Investments has successfully raised $250,000 in funding which will be matched by a generous $250,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. These combined funds will further clergy well-being through Wespath’s Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative.

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Wespath Awarded Third Financial Literacy Grant

The grant will support clergy adversely impacted by COVID-19 and underserved/un-represented clergy groups.

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Faith-based Money Management Course

In the new Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being program, participants learn how to reach personal financial goals and achieve a sustainable financial life.

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Low-interest Debt Refinancing Opportunities

Graduates of United Methodist seminaries accrued an average of over $78,000 in debt in 2017. We seek to expand opportunities for clergy to refinance this debt.

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Financial Education in Clergy Training Programs

By awarding grants, we help our partners teach financial literacy to clergy members so they are prepared to manage both personal and church finances.

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Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship

Full-time students pursuing their Master of Divinity at UMC seminaries or schools of theology can apply for scholarships that start at $2,500.

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Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative E-newsletter

This newsletter shares the latest information coming out of the Initiative. Contact [email protected] to receive this quarterly letter.

Read the latest Newsletter

About the United Methodist Church Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative

The Initiative received funding support from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to address the economic challenges facing pastoral leaders in the U.S. The Clergy Financial Well-Being Core Team consists of the following members:

  • The Reverend David Bell, NAUMF president and United Methodist Foundation of Michigan president and executive director
  • Cynthia Dopke, Wespath church relations manager
  • Rev. Lisa Greenwood, NAUMF executive director
  • Rev. Cary James, Pastor, Jones Memorial UMC, Washington, D.C.
  • Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis, President/Dean, Gammon Theological Seminary
  • Dale Jones, Wespath managing director of church relations
  • Bonnie Marden, UMC Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative project manager
  • Rev. David Martinez, GBHEM executive director of contextual leadership formation
  • Sheri Meister, NAUMF executive committee member and Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodist Foundations president/CEO
  • Allyson Potts, GBHEM executive director loans and scholarships
  • The Reverend Ken Sloane, Discipleship Ministries director of stewardship and generosity

For additional information about the Initiative or any of its programming, please contact Bonnie Marden at [email protected] or call 978-846-1260.