School of Theology & Christian Ministry

Lilly Endowment Grant

The Financial Wholeness Project

The Lilly Endowment initiated program titled “The Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Ministers” provided an opportunity for all seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in North America to apply for funding to learn about and develop methods for addressing seminary student debt. The Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry was one of 67 seminaries funded through this grant.

The focus of the Anderson University grant, “The Financial Wholeness Project,” is to study its structure and relationship within the Church of God (Anderson), learn about its own students’ debt, educate students about debt behaviors and implications, and seek to develop funds to support student scholarships. This three-year $248,000 grant will help the School of Theology and Christian Ministry effectively address these areas of focus.

This section features information gleaned from our work on the project. We trust the material here will be useful not only to educators and administrators but also to prospective and current students and alumni as a resource for making appropriate financial decisions and managing educational debt. Our vision is that those called to serve might experience financial wholeness throughout their ministry.

For more detail, visit Grant Description and Outline [PDF].

Educational Materials:

  • Counting the Cost of a Seminary Education
    Resources are provided here to assist in understanding student financial matters, how to make wise decisions about borrowing for educational programs, and how to plan your future ministry beyond seminary.
  • Faith & Finances: Counting the Cost
    This 25 minute video was produced by Emory University, the Candler School of Theology regarding seminary education, student debt, and following your ministry calling. It is filled with many helpful suggestions and testimonials. 
  • MONEYSMARTS at Indiana University
  • Spiritual Matters: Faith and Finances for Ministry and Education [PDF]
    This is a short book with activities to help you think about stewardship. Student debt must ultimately be understood from a spiritual perspective. This manual will assist you to think holistically about your financial resources across your entire ministry. 
  • Servant Solutions
    Servant Solutions is the pension branch of the Church of God (Anderson). Their website provides significant resources regarding clergy compensation, retirement, financial planning, and more.
  • Stewardship, Ministry & Theological Education [PDF]
  • Student Loans and Seminary Costs
    (This 30 minute video, "Student Loans and Seminary Costs: How to keep from mortgaging your future," was produced by the Auburn Center on the campus of Auburn Theological Seminary. This video provides suggestions on how to think through the cost of an education and how to utilize tools available to manage student financial debt.)

Links to ATS and the Auburn Center: