Financial Education with Kingdom Goals

Jerilyn Sanders has been the Director of U.S. Training at the Chalmers Center for over 10 years. Her work combines two things: her love for God’s people and her passion for education that empowers the disenfranchised. In 2011, Sanders was part of the team that created and rolled out Faith & Finances, a financial education curriculum that’s a tool for holistic community ministry. She answered a few questions to share more about her work and the ways Faith & Finances is helping churches and ministries love their low-income neighbors well.

How did you become passionate about equipping the church to walk with people who are materially poor?

It seems that many things in my life have led me to this, from being a pastor’s kid in a blue-collar rural community to my interests in cross-cultural understanding to my experiences with alternative education methods with inner-city kids and families. The Church has always been intertwined in my personal and professional lives.

What led you and your team to create Faith & Finances?

The Chalmers Center found a gap in financial education materials in the U.S., so we sought to fill it. The Faith & Finances class is both designed for the realities of low- to moderate-income individuals and approaches financial concepts from a Christian worldview. Most other materials out there tend to address one need or the other, but not both.

We also use a non-traditional format that is less about the transfer of information and more about hands-on practicality and interaction that opens the door to a target group that might be hesitant. I often say that Faith & Finances is a money management course for people who would never seek one out because they think this topic is only for rich people.

From what you’ve observed over the past decade, what seems to be unique about Faith & Finance’s role and impact in the work of grassroots churches and ministries?

More than just teaching financial skills, we train facilitators with everything they need to start a ministry. We look at the challenges of their target group, how to connect the class with a larger, ongoing strategy of the local church, and how to sustain the relationships that are started. Faith & Finances helps deal not only with outward behaviors but the root causes of all our poverty. This is where discipleship and transformation happen.

Yes, we want Faith & Finances to help build money management skills and reduce vulnerability for the poor. But we also want it to help people in the body of Christ develop skills at building relationships and learning from others across socioeconomic lines.

What are some of your favorite moments from the past twelve years of watching Faith & Finances grow?

There are so many amazing stories! Some of them you would expect – like participants paying off payday loans, saving for emergencies, raising credit scores, and having money for the first time in their adult lives for purchasing homes and higher education. But I love even more the miracles that only God can do: marriages being restored because couples can finally talk about finances in a healthy way, inmates and people in homeless shelters giving up smoking to save money and improve their health, people finding Christ and joining churches because of the loving community they experienced in their class.

Other stories include class members coming together to support one of them going through difficult health or family crises. Several people report feeling released from shame about their finances, to having hope and confidence in God and being free to be generous.

And there have continuously been improbable friendships forming between people from “different sides of the tracks.” The ally “helpers” consistently say they learned more from the class than they contributed.

How can we best pray for the churches implementing Faith & Finances in their own communities? How can we best pray for your team as you seek to serve them well?

Please pray for facilitators to have the creativity, perseverance, resources, and help they need to get started and keep going in a changing, shifting world. And pray for God to give us His wisdom and discernment to support our partners well as we seek to have broader impact across the U.S.

Ready to learn how your church or organization can start a Faith & Finances class? Click here to join our next facilitator training.

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The Chalmers Center

The Chalmers Center

The Chalmers Center helps God’s people rethink poverty and respond with practical biblical principles so that all are restored to flourishing.


  1. Gary Nederveld on May 23, 2023 at 7:59 am

    This outstanding program was built on the foundation of a F&F program published and introduced more than 20 years ago.

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