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Leadership Development

Financial Well-Being

Financial Well-Being



Resources for clergy and congregations

The following programs and resources are funded in part by the Lilly Endowment’s grant to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area around the 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.

1. 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 options below. These are simply choices for your consideration. 

2. Financial Ministry Grant:  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

3. 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 here. For more information about financial counseling or connecting with a financial counselor, contact Diane Owen at 507-244-0311, or email.

4. Investing in Leaders Resource Grant: The 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. Review the  2021 application (expired) with guidelines here. The 2022 application will be available in 2022.

5. 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 for the next cohort will open in early  March 2022. The deadline to submit your application is May 1, 2022.

  • View the 2021-2022 program year calendar here.
  • See the description of the certificate program here.
  • View the summaries of the 2019-2020 cohort here
  • See summaries of the applied projects presented by the participating pastors in the 2018-2019 cohort here.
  • Applications for the next cohort will open in early 2022.
Ourrelationshipwithmoney graphic

Click this image to access the four-webinar series, Our Relationship with Money.

Our Relationship with MoneyJoin Sarah Swantner, financial counselor, as she presents a 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

Ministerial Student Aid Resources: The Dakotas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation and GBHEM offer student aid for certified candidates through Seminary and Course of Study Loan/Grants, Merit Scholarships, and Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarships, as well as debt reduction relief for new clergy within the conference. Learn more about the different prorams here.  

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”. Explore EY Financial Planning Services.

 Tax Accountants for Clergy: Download PDF here.

Church Financial Management and Stewardship:

"Money Matters" e-newsletter

Money Matters Jpeg

To better provide you with timely and helpful resources about money matters, the "Money Matters" quarterly e-newsletter is shared with all clergy in the Dakotas and Minnesota Annual Conferences. 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.  

Winter 2019 edition | Spring 2019 edition |  Summer 2019 edition | Fall 2019 edition
Winter 2020 edition  | Spring 2020 edition | Summer 2020 edition | Fall 2020 edition
Winter 2021 edition | Spring 2021 edition | Summer 2021 edition | Summer 2021 special edition

Financial Foundations Newsletter

The Dakotas Foundation, Dakotas Conference Finance Office, and the Lilly Grant Financial Well-Being program are partnering together to provide a monthly Financial Foundations Newsletters. While we equip a lot of churches through the Conference website, the Foundation website, the Lilly Grant Financial Well-Being website, our blog, and YouTube, we knew we were missing many that would prefer to connect via email or mail. Hopefully you will find this to be a blessing to your ministry and church. If you would like to receive this monthly newsletter by mail or email, please subscribe here.

March 2021 Newsletter | April 2021 Newsletter | May 2021 Newsletter | June 2021 Newsletter | July 2021 Newsletter | August 2021 Newsletter | September 2021 Newsletter | October 2021 Newsletter | November 2021 | December 2021 | January 2022 Newsletter | February 2022 Newsletter | March 2022 Newsletter | April 2022 Newsletter | May 2022 Newsletter


To learn more about any of the resources or grants on this page, contact Diane Owen, the DK-MN Area Lilly Grant program director.  You may also call her at (507) 244-0311.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000