Ministers' Financial Vitality Initiative

Program Description

The Mission Statement of The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, Inc. (PBUCC), adopted in 2015, affirms our ongoing commitment to holistic wellness for those called to serve in authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ. We achieve this through benefits offerings that are designed specifically for church employees and their families, and that reflect our values as a ministry of the Church. But Faith and Finance is not limited to the work of managing ministers’ pension accounts. PBUCC’s mission at the intersection of faith and finance also means being an advocate for pastoral leaders by helping members better understand and manage their personal finances. Personal financial wellness is essential to the life of the whole Church. Ministers who are not distracted by overwhelming financial burdens are able to serve their ministry settings more effectively, helping lead to congregational and community vitality.

Program Objectives

The Ministers' Financial Vitality Initiative is intended to strengthen ministry in the UCC by:

  • increasing and enhancing financial literacy among UCC authorized ministers, with a particular emphasis on ministers from historically underrepresented groups within the denomination;
  • assisting UCC ministers and their Ministry settings, Associations, Conferences, and the National Setting of the Church in “breaking the conspiracy of silence” that exists around pastoral finances;
  • providing financial assistance to UCC authorized ministers toward repayment of educational and personal debt as well as seeding of pension funds;
  • engaging key lay leaders in UCC churches in collaborative efforts to identify and address the connection between pastoral financial challenges and ministry setting financial challenges; and
  • launching a major fundraising campaign to solicit major gifts that will enable the long-term sustainability, and continued expansion of the program.
The project will be undertaken in collaboration with UCC Conferences and other denominational ministry partners such as the Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD) and Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA).

MFVI Requirements

  • Ministerial authorization and standing in the United Church of Christ;
  • Endorsement from the Association and/or Conference in which ministerial standing is held;
  • Seminary or other educational or personal debt; and
  • Willingness to engage key lay leaders and your ministry setting as a whole in education on ministry finances and stewardship, and to set a baseline goal for increasing giving.

The full components of MFVI Program are:

  • three years of financial education;
  • access to professional financial planning services;
  • incentive grants to assist in relief of educational and other debt;
  • raise the level of participation in the denominational Medical and Dental, Life Insurance and Disability Income, and Annuity Plans (including personal contributions to a Tax-Sheltered Annuity); and
  • seed grants to start, or add to, a pension accumulation account in the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ.

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