Stephanie Newton

Just a quick look at the tuition and fee schedules of most academic institutions can make a would-be ministry student reconsider. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are 3 quick tips to being financially savvy as you pursue a degree while serving at a church:

1. Ask others for their expertise.

Ask the people who serve with you how they funded their education.  Often they know about opportunities that you might not find on your own.  Are there scholarships in your association? Grants through a state board? Will your church give you a stipend or tuition assistance? Don’t forget to check through your school as well. Often there are grants based on living in a particular state or for bi-vocational minsters, as well as a plethora of other things. You will never know until you ask, so start asking!

2. Avoid debt if at all possible!

Avoid the temptation of easy money now!
Resist the urge to “just take out a loan”. Truly it is no easier to pay for it later than it is now.  Paying for the degree as you take classes is a smart decision for your family, long-term, due to the lack of interest accruing. Avoid the temptation of easy money now!

3. Consider taking a lighter course load.

Taking a lighter course load not only is easier to pay for, but makes the balance of church, school, and family easier to manage!  Chances are that you will retain more if you take a lighter load, and all that learning is too precious to miss out on.  After all, that is why you signed up for classes, was to learn, right?

Being financially savvy will pay off! Choose to honor the Lord with your finances, and He will honor you in the pursuit of a degree while serving at a church.

Stephanie Newton is a member of BACE and the Director of Education at Eden Baptist Church, Pell City, Alabama.