Financial Well-Being

Latest news

Emergency Financial Support for Clergy: Emergency support financial resources are intended to meet immediate clergy needs in an emergency related to housing, food, transportation, and medical expenses that would otherwise impact the ability of clergy to carry out their ministry.

Financial emergency support is provided up to $5,000. Subsequent requests are reviewed. There is no written application requirement. The requirement to issue a 1099* is under review by outside counsel. An update will be provided. 

Examples of emergency situations that would likely qualify for financial support could include:

  • Urgent medical crisis for self or immediate family where a down payment is required.
  • Sudden death of spouse or immediate family where funds for a funeral and related services were needed.
  • Vehicle breakdown or basement flooding where repairs require an immediate down payment before insurance provides coverage, if any.

A simple process:

  • Contact your district superintendent or the Area Director of Clergy Well-Being Diane Owen at 507-244-0311 or with the emergency request for financial support. A brief conversation will allow for evaluation and decision on the amount and the method of providing financial support.
  • Select an option for payment:
    •    Direct reimbursement to the pastor.
    •    Payment to the credit card company, if used.
    •    Payment to the provider.

Federal Loan Updates for Clergy 2021: Several changes have occurred for those clergy and church staff who have federal student loans. These changes include:

  • Eligibility for the Public Service Forgiveness Loan
  • Change in the forbearance period when repayments will begin (not September 30!)
  • Update on recertification for new payment amounts for those participating in an income-driven payment program 

If you have educational debt with the federal government, you must read this document!

Resources for clergy and congregations

The following programs and resources are suggested to clergy and churches as part of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area’s participation in Lilly Endowment’s national initiative to address “Economic Challenges Facing our Pastoral Leaders”. The holistic approach to address these challenges includes opportunities and grants primarily focused on improving personal financial well-being, but also to strengthen church financial health and grow a culture of generosity. Funding for many of the opportunities listed is made possible through grants awarded the Area by Lilly Endowment.

Church Financial Management and Stewardship

Church Financial Wellness Assessment Tool: Take this 10-question assessment developed by Rev. Randy Koppen. Contact him directly with questions or to learn some of his best practices in strengthening your church’s financial health!

EY Financial Services provides access at no charge to a financial planner if you are enrolled. Obtain access to the helpful webinar, “Navigating Finances in Turbulent Times."

Financial Aid Programs: View a list of the many grants and financial aid programs available to Minnesota clergy.

Free Financial Education materials for all clergy: All clergy under appointment may obtain free financial education materials (up to $150 value). Contact Diane Owen,, with your request. You are not limited to the option below. This is simply one suggested tool for your consideration.

  • Saving Grace, financial management from a Wesleyan perspective just for clergy

Financial Ministry grants for churches: Strengthening the financial health of our churches begins with improving the financial well-being of our congregations. Your church may apply for a financial ministry grant (up to $500 value) to offer financial education for individuals in the church or community. Contact Diane Owen,, with your request. You are not limited to the options below. These are simply choices for your consideration.

  • Saving Grace, financial management from a Wesleyan perspective
  • Six Weeks on Money, a digital course and small group experience for church leaders to offer their church and community.

Financial Counseling, in one or more virtual sessions to provide triage or urgent guidance with current financial challenges, can be arranged with financial counselor, Sarah Swantner, at no charge for up to six sessions. Call Sarah Swantner, certified financial counselor, Black Hills Integrative Counseling and Coaching, and certified financial planner with Kahler Financial Group, directly at 605-519-6141, or by email. Learn more about Sarah. For more information about financial counseling or connecting with a financial counselor, contact Diane Owen at 507-244-0311, or email.

Investing in Leaders: Financial Well-being Resource GrantThe grant offers an annual financial award towards education debt reduction and connects clergy to the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to achieve financial health goals. Applications are not currently being accepted, but you may access the application to review the criteria. The 2022 application will be available in 2022.

LSS Financial Services: This nonprofit, holistic credit counseling organization provides a wide variety of financial resources and counseling at no charge.

Practical Church Leadership certificate program for clergy: (Formerly known as Nonprofit Church Leadership certificate program.) Clergy may apply for this year-long, online graduate certificate program through Dakota Wesleyan University designed to increase competencies in leadership. View summaries of the Applied Projects presented by the participating pastors in 2019 and in 2020 or view the application to learn more about the program. Applicants will need to ask the Leadership Team of their church to complete this Endorsement of Participation. Applications are closed, but you may review the application to learn more about the program.

Our Relationship with MoneyJoin Sarah Swantner, financial counselor, as she presents Our Relationship with Moneya four-part webinar series you may watch at your convenience. Each session is 20-30 minutes long and is a great way to take stock of your financial health. The series covers a variety of topics including:

  • Integration of finances into self-care
  • The meaning of a “relationship with money”
  • Nuts and bolts of personal finance
  • Beliefs and emotions around money

Tax Accountants for Clergy: View a list of Minnesota tax accountants who can work with clergys' unique situation.

"Money Matters" e-newsletter

To better provide you with timely and helpful resources about money matters, the "Money Matters" quarterly e-newsletter was shared with all clergy in the Dakotas and Minnesota Annual Conferences. The newsletter is now suspended, but the past editions may hold information you will find useful.

The purpose of the e-newsletter is to offer information about opportunities and resources that could help clergy's financial health and well-being. Some of these resources apply to only clergy, and some are financial opportunities for the local church.  View all editions of "Money Matters"


To learn more about any of the resources or grants on this page, contact Diane Owen, the DK-MN Area Lilly Grant Program Director. / (507) 244-0311

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058