The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has received a three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. ECF’s grant proposal entitled “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities” 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:

  • Heightening awareness throughout the Episcopal Church of economic challenges facing clergy and their impact on congregational growth and vitality
  • Developing a theological focus on the role of money in religion and society in the curriculum of seminaries and formation institutions
  • Increasing clergy financial literacy through tools and resources to handle personal finances and enhancing their capacity to effectively manage congregations
  • Empowering a greater number of clergy who, in partnership with laity, will provide quality financial and managerial leadership for congregational growth and vitality

Programmatic Components

During Seminary Formation: Curriculum suggestions and tools for faculty to help future pastoral leaders talk, preach and teach about money.

Leaving Seminary: Orientation to personal finance, financial planning and literacy, and parish finance and administration.

After Seminary Formation: Boot Camp for Rectors and Lay Leaders: In-person conference for newer clergy and their lay leaders with training on how to collaboratively address the challenges of parish finance and administration, vision and planning, stewardship and fundraising, and team leadership.

Post-Boot Camp Support: Webinars, online tools and congregational coaching and peer groups to help the development and implementation of action plans.

Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF): Grants to entrepreneurial clergy with the ability to help transform congregations but for whom personal financial challenges provide significant impediments.

Resources for the Wider Episcopal Church: Webinars, articles, printed resources on economic challenges, parish finance and administration and culturally-relevant resources for Spanish-speaking and bilingual congregations.