This course provides a progressive, holistic, Christian theological framework, in dialogue with other religious traditions, for wise personal and institutional financial stewardship.
The course explores ways we connect faith and money in multiple areas of our lives. It seeks to increase financial literacy in religious leaders; offering practical steps to reduce indebtedness and execute theologically and ethically informed financial planning; both as individuals and as leaders within their respective institutions. The course offers guidance on building healthy nonprofit organizations and carrying out values-based fundraising.
Part 1: Religious Perspectives on Money
Overview of some of the diverse ways major religious traditions, especially Christianity, think about and enact their beliefs about money.
Part 2: Connecting Faith to Money
Exploration of the ways faith commitments shape the use of money and an introduction to the biblical practices of sabbath and jubilee as economic practices.
Part 3: Spending, Debt, and the Freedom of Simplicity
Analysis of the long-term consequences of debt and identification of best practices and resources for budgeting, debt reduction, and debt management. Consideration of theological perspective on spending, acquisition, and the discipline of simplicity.
Part 4: Socially Responsible Investing
Identification of strategies for socially responsible investing and assessment of those strategies from theological/faith perspectives.
Part 5: Financial Literacy for Faith-Based Organizations
Consideration of organizational and financial features of faith-based non-profits, with a focus on the ability to understand and utilize important financial reports as tools for assessing the health of non-profits in relation to their mission.
Part 6: Fundraising and Philanthropy
Evaluation of approaches to philanthropy in relation to faith-based values and purposes. Assessment of the potential of common types of fundraising practices, and a close look at writing grant applications.