Training to Help Your Church or Nonprofit Help without Hurting

Many people read When Helping Hurts or Becoming Whole and discover their church or nonprofit needs to shift their approach to poverty alleviation. Often, they realize they need some fresh tools and experience to connect the concepts in the book to ministry in their own communities. At The Chalmers Center, we get a lot of questions from those who want to be more involved in walking alongside their low-income neighbors but feel uncertain and overwhelmed trying to figure out the “right way” to alleviate poverty. They want to help without hurting but aren’t sure how.

During the past 22 years, in addition to publishing books about poverty alleviation, Chalmers has been creating training for use in both the U.S. and the Majority World (of Africa, Asia, and Latin America). These field-tested programs are built on God’s story of change and community development best practices to help you put a biblical framework for addressing poverty into practice. In this post, we’ll share how you can get trained to implement our U.S. programs in your church or community.

Financial Education for Low Income Adults

Medical debt, predatory lending, poor credit, low financial literacy, broken relationships, and many other factors often keep people trapped in poverty. Without the right tools and a supportive community, it’s nearly impossible to escape the cycle. 

Understanding how to effectively manage your financial resources is incredibly important, but most financial education programs are designed for middle- to upper-income learners, which are neither practical nor attainable for those with limited education and/or resources. Faith & Finances is a financial education ministry that empowers people in material poverty with practical money management skills, biblical stewardship principles, and supportive relationships. 

Through Faith & Finances facilitator training, you can get certified to lead a Faith & Finances class in your church or nonprofit. You don’t have to be a personal finance guru to help others. In fact, the most important qualification is a desire to humbly learn alongside your participants, helping them connect their life experience to biblical and practical wisdom. Click HERE to learn more about Faith & Finances facilitator training.

Job Readiness Training for Marginalized Communities

Work is part of God’s good design for his creation. Work not only provides for material needs, but it also instills dignity and purpose and creates opportunities for us to contribute to community life. 

Yet, in marginalized communities, significant barriers stand in the way of obtaining and keeping meaningful work. A marred identity, lack of opportunity, trauma, poor education, past incarceration, transportation and childcare issues all contribute to cycles of relational and generational poverty. Without supportive pathways to sustainable employment, chronic unemployment and underemployment will continue to plague these communities—even when “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere.

Work Life is a job readiness program that equips people in marginalized communities to overcome barriers to meaningful work through a biblically integrated curriculum offered in a supportive learning community. Our Work Life Site Certification program trains your church or organization to walk alongside participants to prepare, equip, and support them in finding and keeping work that helps them flourish. Click HERE to learn more about Work Life Site Certification.

Re-designing Poverty Alleviation Programs

When a church or organization recognizes that they need to change an existing ministry or program, it can be difficult to know where to begin, and many ministries get caught up in assessing the needs of a community rather than building a program around the assets already present in a community. The Chalmers Center has developed a program that blends God’s theory of change, asset-based community development, and design thinking to equip Christians to improve ministries and interventions in their unique contexts. 

Our Innovate training brings together teams from around the US and the world and leads them through the process of testing ways to make their ministries even more effective. Innovate guides participants to apply the very best of Chalmers’ core ideas from the past 22 years as they develop or improve their ministries.

Helping without Hurting in Benevolence Ministry

Do you regularly have people from your community asking for help with their bills? Are you wondering how your church or ministry can help those seeking assistance without hurting them? For more than two decades, The Chalmers Center has helped churches and ministries develop and implement effective benevolence ministries that lead to real change.

In our Helping without Hurting in Benevolence Ministry training, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to develop a holistic, relationship-focused benevolence ministry that addresses material poverty in transformational ways. We’ll walk you through the process of laying the foundation for your ministry, gathering a team to help you, and creating processes to support (or improve) your benevolence ministry.

This training is ideal for deacons, outreach coordinators, or mercy ministry leaders who oversee their church’s benevolence ministry.

Represent Chalmers’ Approach to Poverty Alleviation

The complexity and long-term impact of poverty can feel overwhelming. Many churches and ministries want to help but struggle to know how to effectively serve their low-income neighbors in healthy, sustainable ways. While the causes of poverty are certainly complex, God’s story of change gives us great hope.

We are training a team of Ambassadors to talk about Chalmers’ foundational principles, practices, and tools for poverty alleviation and walk with churches and ministries as they seek to implement them in their communities. Through the Ambassador training program, you’ll gain a refreshed and refined knowledge of Chalmers’ framework for understanding poverty and poverty alleviation and skills, confidence, and tools to represent a better way of addressing poverty.

The Chalmers Ambassador program is ideal for those who are already familiar with Chalmers’ ideas and principles and want to deepen their understanding and represent The Chalmers Center within their network.

Which Training Would Best Support Your Work?

We’re shared a lot of training opportunities in this post. There’s likely one or two programs that would help you as you walk alongside your low-income neighbors. If you have questions about which program would be the best first for you, please contact us here.

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. Josh Crawford on January 4, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    We would love to know more about your training for Benevolence Ministry.

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