Funding Forward Learning Community

January-December 2021

Wanted: Twelve Organizations (congregations and judicatory bodies) to Dive Deep on Breakthrough Practices in Church Funding

You're invited to join a cohort of innovative church leaders discovering how to connect missional engagement with financial sustainability. 

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation, Inc., participation is fully funded and there is no cost to you. This is a powerful opportunity to dive deep into your organization's financial structure, set yourself up for a sustainable future, and deepen your culture around money and mission.

Interested? Learn more in our free, on-demand info session. This short recording, hosted by Grace Pomroy, director of the Stewardship Leaders Program, will help you discover more.



  • Gain a clearer understanding of the organization’s current financial model and renewed sense of its mission in the community

  • Listen to community members, discern where the Spirit is leading, and determine what creative and conventional funding sources might be required to follow the Spirit’s lead

  • Engage in funding experiments that allow the organization to deeply engage its community, live out God’s mission, and create more financial sustainability

"In two short months, I went from holding my congregation's finances at a distance to wondering what I could do to strengthen the connection between money and mission and imagining what I could do to change my congregation's financial situation. I now feel confident in beginning that process."
-Pastor Nancy Ross, Summer 2020 Funding Forward Student

How Does It Work?

Participants commit to a 12-month training process.

Tracing God’s Movement in Our Lives and Neighborhoods

Learn by Doing: Using Action Learning to Discover God’s Leading

Sharing Our Learning: Intentional Reflections on Our Actions

  • Monthly virtual training sessions

    A 2-hour training session each month—recorded for those who cannot attend live.

  • Engaging community conversation

    Join a private group in the Faith+Lead Learning Lab for ongoing ideation, collaboration, and accountability.

  • Expert coaching

    Go in-depth with a small group of leaders and a trusted mentor.

  • Selected resources, reading, and study

    Between training and coaching sessions, enter both the biblical text and expert material to discover new paradigms for ministry.


The 2021 Funding Forward Learning Community seeks a group of 12 organizations that can commit to a 12-month learning journey for one pastor and one lay leader. New start and redevelopment congregations are especially encouraged to apply.

We realize this type of financial and missional work takes trust and accountability between the faith leaders and their organization. It's recommended that all participating pastors have at least two years experience serving their organization.

Want to know more? Take a look at our rubric for more selection criteria.

Are You a Fit?

Faith Leaders

We are looking for faith leaders (clergy and lay) who are eager to:

  • Discern where the Spirit is leading their organization and what funding sources might be required

  • Seek out creative and conventional funding sources that align with and further the mission

  • Take risks—personally and in their contexts—to learn and innovate in mission

  • Commit to participating in the monthly training and coaching sessions as well as an estimated average of 2-4 hours/week of experimentation, study, and peer engagement outside of the monthly sessions for the life of the 12-month program

Congregations and Judicatory Bodies

We are looking for organizations who are willing to:

  • Suspend assumptions about what’s required to be and fund a missional ministry

  • Fundamentally rethink their business model for ministry

  • Take risks and try experiments as they follow the Spirit’s lead

Key Dates

Applications due

November 30, 2020
Application Deadline

Welcome Call

January 21, 2021
6-8 pm CDT

Virtual Training

February 2021-December 2021
2nd Thursdays
(also available as recordings)

Coaching calls

Monthly small group coaching calls

Apply to the Funding Forward Learning Community

Applications are due by November 30. The online application involves three components:

Tracing God’s Movement in Our Lives and Neighborhoods

Learn by Doing: Using Action Learning to Discover God’s Leading

Sharing Our Learning: Intentional Reflections on Our Actions

  • Pastor's current resume or CV

  • Letters of support

  • Question responses

Meet the Program Leader

Grace Duddy Pomroy

Grace Duddy Pomroy

Millennial stewardship leader and financial educator currently serving as the Director of the Stewardship Leaders Program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from Luther Seminary in 2012 with a Master’s of Arts degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership. She is the co-author of the stewardship book, Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation’s Life, as well as author of the 2013 ELCA stewardship resource, “Stewards of God’s Love.” She previously served as the Senior Financial Educator at Portico Benefit Services, Executive Director of Operations for Kairos and Associates and the Joshua Group, as well as the Assistant Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary.