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Ministerial Excellence Fund

The power of vulnerability. While vulnerability is often regarded as a weakness and deficit of some sort, we understand that vulnerability is our shared human lot. The appropriate expression of vulnerability subverts dominating power, removes the illusion that “everything is just fine,” and acknowledges reality. Vulnerability allows us to build community and move forward together in compassion and hope.

The Ministerial Excellence Fund is a sign of the partnership we share in ministry in the Rocky Mountain Synod.  Funds have been contributed by generous congregations and individuals who understand that we share a common purpose, and that lifting the welfare of one lifts the welfare of all.  The Lilly Endowment provides generous matching funds to build the Ministerial Excellence Fund for the good of our rostered ministers and candidates.  

Ministerial Excellence Fund grants help rostered ministers and candidates develop stronger financial literacy & financial management skills and provide direct aid to help reduce or eliminate crippling debt. This fund focuses on education debt relief, medical debt relief, and aids in dire circumstances. Leaders relieved of financial hardship increase their capacity and joy for healthy ministry. 

Applications are received by the Fiscal Wellness Grants Board, which meets quarterly.

Applications are reviewed in light of expected outcomes which include:

  1. Relief of significant financial hardship and/or enhanced financial health of the rostered minister/candidate’s household.
  2. Participation in financial education programs by the rostered minister/candidate.
  3. Improved financial literacy and generous stewardship behaviors of the rostered minister/candidate.
  4. Increased financial resources flowing out of the congregation to support other shared ministries.
  5. Enhancement of the overall ministry of the rostered minister/candidate and ministry as a result of participation in the Ministerial Excellence Fund.



MEF Brochure and Grant Scale

Education Debt Relief grant eligibility & guidelines

Medical Debt Relief grant eligibility & guidelines

Emergency grant eligibility & guidelines


Complete the MEF Inquiry Form to inquire about specific grants.

Schedule an appointment with LSS Financial Counseling when instructed.

Complete the MEF Debt Application when instructed by your Fiscal Wellness Advocate.

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Contact Julie Nelson, Associate Program Director for MEF, at