At Your Own Pace: the Funding Forward Faith+Lead Academy Course

Bring a more sustainable economic model to your congregation


I’ve been part of the Stewardship Leaders Program at Luther Seminary since July of 2020. During my tenure, people have asked why on earth I would opt to work for an institution that educates ministry leaders when gloom and doom is all around churches and church-related organizations. The sky is falling.

Or is it?

My experience working with stewardship leaders from across the church has shown me that the sky is NOT falling. Ministry is alive and well all over the world because God is at work. Sure – ministry is changing and looks very different than it did even five years ago – and in most places funding ministry requires more than handing out pledge cards once a year and hoping all financial obligations will be met. 

Funding Forward is an inspiring story of mission and ministry aligning in new ways. All throughout January, we shared some of the highlights of Funding Forward, and answered these questions:

  1. What if tithes and offerings aren’t enough and that’s okay?
  2. What might happen if we steward church property for the common good? 
  3. Will shifting the church funding model Increase church attendance, and build new relationships?
  4. Could there be a way through the overwhelm that aligns money and mission?

Funding Forward research with 101 congregations has identified a number of strategies for more sustainable economic models for ministry, and we want to share them with as many people as we can. So – a Faith+Lead Academy course was born. Funding Forward: A Pathway to More Sustainable Models for Ministry, will give you background information, strategies, and tools to explore what it might look like in your context. Through the course modules you will gain knowledge to:

  • Tackle Real-World Financial Challenges
  • Learn Innovative Financial Strategies
  • Craft Your Unique Sustainability Path

Each module is grounded in scripture and prayer and taught by a mix of scholars, researchers, and congregational practitioners fluent in the concepts and strategies of Funding Forward. Additionally, at the end of each module you will find links to dozens of helpful resources to support the learning of that particular module. Go at your own pace! Breeze through concepts you are familiar with, and spend more time with ideas that are new to you. Submit questions and comments to the Funding Forward group, and build community online with other people learning alongside you online or in your context. Maybe your finance/stewardship team or church council want to work through the material together. The course works well with 7 or more people taking it together!

For a preview of the course, watch this video, or one of our Funding Forward webinar recordings. To go deeper, download the e-book, and for the most robust Funding Forward experience, enroll in the course by clicking here.

We anticipate you will find hope in Funding Forward, and are confident that this course will help you feel more comfortable asking this question: What if the sky really isn’t falling, and what if God’s Spirit is ushering us into a new season of ministry?

Peace be yours.

  • Arlene Flancher

    I have landed at Luther Seminary as a program coordinator for CYF and Stewardship after working for 12 years as a medical technologist in hospital labs, 15 years as a product developer and project manager in publishing at 1517 Media, and nearly 9 years as a director of children and family ministries in a congregation. My passion is ministry with kids and families - especially kids ages birth - 6th grade. My favorite church season is Advent. No question. When I'm not working, I will be walking outside with my dog in all kinds of weather, teaching piano lessons, reading, binging on Netflix, mentoring kids, seeking natural beauty, trying to garden, meeting friends for coffee or lunch, or spending time with husband of 38 years and our expanding family.

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