CBF believes congregations flourish when pastoral leaders are empowered to minister and lead.
CBF partners with pastoral leaders and congregations to understand and to help overcome the economic barriers that impede their mission.
CBF equips pastoral leaders and congregations by providing a variety of resources including financial education, coaching and grants.
Therefore, CBF Ministerial Excellence Initiative grant provides personal and congregational financial education and monetary assistance to pastoral leaders within the Fellowship. The application process leads the applicant through stages of data gathering and reflection on the state of their personal financial affairs. The application also asks for committment to the grant award process, which includes financial education and training, and consultation with a financial advisor. Approved applicants will be awarded up to $10,000 of which $2,000 will be used to set up a retirement account with the CBF Church Benefits Board or add to an existing retirement account with the Church Benefits Board.
All eligible appliants will meet with a financial advisor to confidentially discuss their individual circumstances. The advisor will specifically address the prominent issues revealed during the consultation. Recommendations by the financial advisor as to the potential impact of receiving a grant award will be shared with the CBF Grant Committee.
Upon completion of both the online application and the financial advisor consultation, applications will be evaluated according to various criteria such as:
• Engagement of applicant with CBF• Affirmation of the Grant Covenant• Recommendation of financial advisor • Financial need related to CBF primary focus areas: debt ratio, health benefits, and retirement planning
The final decision of a grant award will be based upon the recommendations of the CBF Grant Committee, the financial advisor, and Ministries Council representatives.When filling out the application, please be mindful that:• All fields are required• All information should be based on total family financials• All information is kept strictly confidential
Our goal is to provide education throughout the application and award process for pastoral leaders and congregations. We are committed to protecting the privacy and dignity of each applicant and to seek to honor Christ in every aspect of this process.
Ministerial Excellence Initiative Grant Committee
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For more information regarding any of the grant components, visit www.cbf.net/mef.
The CBF Ministerial Excellence Initiative Grant Covenant includes a series of affirmations of your understanding of and willingness to participate in required grant activities. If you are unable to affirm each item as described below, this will disqualify your application from entering the review stage for consideration of award. Each component of the grant covenant has been carefully designed to benefit the applicant and grant awardees in taking the next step in achieving ministerial excellence in financial matters in their personal and congregational life.
A financial advisor will review and assess your application and provide recommendations to be submitted to CBF and included as a vital part of your application. If selected as a grant recipient, you will receive a consultation from a financial advisor that will require full financial disclosure and may require a credit check. Each applicant is strongly encouraged to use the counsel provide.
Grant recipients will complete a minimum of eight one-hour coaching sessions with a coach as a component of the Grant Award Package within the grant period of one year. During these sessions, the grant recipient will be able to confidentially discuss his/her journey, grant requirements, and share openly. The grant award includes provisions for four (4) of the eight (8) required coaching sessions. The remaining four (4) sessions will be at the expense of the applicant and may be a contribution of the applicant's church congregation. Each session will cost $100.
Two Training Events
Grant recipients and their trusted congregational advocate will be required to attend two training events. One on personal finance held regionally for one-day and a second training on Cultivating Generous Congregations led by the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. This is a three-day training held in Atlanta. It is vital to the success of this grant that both the grant recipient and their trusted advocate attend both trainings without exception.
Focusing on clergy financial health and the relationship to congregational financial health, these two (2) gatherings will include topics such as budgeting and strategic giving.
The travel cost to attend these events will be at the expense of the applicant and may be a contribution of the applicant's church congregation. All expenses while on-site at the event will be covered by CBF.
Grant recipients will be responsible for submiting three reports in a timely manner:
The data collected from each grantee will assist in program development and program reporting to CBF constituents and the Lilly Endowment.
Additionally, fund distribution reports will be required in order to verify appropriate allocation of grant.
Covenant with CBF and Congregation
Support from congregations will be paramount to effecting change in congregational awareness of issues facing pastoral leadership such as ministerial benefits, salary and support. Some level of congregational engagement will be required. The confidentiality and dignity of each grant recipient will be protected with full awareness that personal finances are appropriately a private matter.
Grantees will enlist a trusted congregational advocate for accountability and support. Grant recipients will pledge to complete the grant activities. CBF will pledge confidentiality, support, training, and guidance so that the grantee may better serve his/her family and congregation. The congregation will pledge confidentiality, accountability, and assistance in the form of matching funds, appropriate compensated time off and/or other assistance as needed.
The trusted congregational advocate should be a trusted individual with whom the applicant is comfortable sharing general financial information and particpation in the Ministerial Excellence Initiative grant activities. This individual will serve as an advocate to the congregation on behalf of the minister using the information gained at the training events. At no time will the applicant be required to reveal private financial information to the trusted congregational advocate.
It is suggested that the advocate not be a pastoral colleague or pastoral supervisor. We suggest that a trusted lay leader be enlisted as the advocate.
The advocate must be available to attend both of the training events as described above in order to meet the grant requirements. There are no exceptions. Should your selected advocate be unable to attend, you will need to select an alternate and notify CBF of the change.
Please share data based on your total household income and debt.
Please utilize this essay section as an opportunity to voice your individual needs and circumstances. Each essay is required and is limited to no more than 300 words.
While your information will be saved in the application, unexpected internet and web-browser interuptions will cause issues with saving your information. It is highly recommended that you work on the essay section in an offline word processing program and then copy and paste your responses in the space provided below.
For more information regarding any of the grant components, visit www.cbf.net/mei.
With the entry of my full name below, I certify that the information I provided in this application is true, accurate and complete. I understand that any false statements or deliberate omissions on this application may disqualify my application.
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