The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has received a second three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.
ECF’s Phase II proposal is entitled “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities: Scalability, Impact and Discipleship.” It will provide lay and clergy leaders of the Episcopal Church with resources, tools and other support to help address the financial and leadership challenges of congregational ministry in the 21st century by:

  • Creating a greater awareness of the financial challenges facing clergy and their impact on congregational growth and vitality,
  • Promoting an enhanced theological focus on the role of money in society and religion in the curricular and co-curricular activities of seminaries and other formation institutions,
  • Developing and implementing innovative and holistic educational/training programs and other resources that address issues of personal finances and effective financial/managerial leadership for both clergy and laypersons
  • Incorporate the theme of Christian discipleship and adaptive leadership into our curriculum.

Programmatic Components

During Seminary Formation: Developing curricular and co-curricular tools and resources that will be made available to all seminaries and alternative formation institutions with the goal of helping future clergy leaders preach, teach and talk about money, generosity and stewardship.

Leaving Seminary: Orientation to personal finance, financial planning and literacy, and issues relating to financial and administrative literacy as well as other practical concerns as they transition to parish ministry.

After Seminary Formation: Congregational Leadership Initiatives (CLI): an innovative, comprehensive and holistic year-long program for newer rectors and their lay leaders with in person-training on how to collaboratively address the challenges of parish finance and administration, vision and planning, stewardship and fundraising, and team leadership. Ongoing support is provided with certified coaches, webinars, online tools and peer groups to help the development and implementation of action plans.

Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF): Diocesan grants to entrepreneurial clergy with the ability to help transform congregations but for whom personal financial challenges provide significant impediments as well as grants to help seminarians alleviate their seminary debt.

Resources for the Wider Episcopal Church: Webinars, articles, printed/digital resources on economic challenges, parish finance and administration and culturally-relevant resources for Spanish-speaking and bilingual congregations. A new Finance Resource Guide (in English and Spanish) will be released in 2019.