Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Michael C Whittington
Biblical Finance, Biblical Stewardship, Church Finance Operations, Internal Controls Audit, NonProfit Ministry Financial, Pastoral Church Stewardship Finance
Christianity | Other Religion | Practical Theology | Religion
Brown, Larry, "Ministry and Nonprofit Finance: A Guide to Promote Awareness, Stewardship, and Compliance" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1713.
Scripture addresses few topics more frequently than that of finances (e.g., Prov 3:9, Matt 6:21, Ecc 5:10). Given this, and the legal aspects of ministry and nonprofit finances, it is imperative that such organizations ensure awareness of, and compliance with, financial requirements and best practices; this encompasses not only leaders, but also board members and staff/congregation of the organization. All these aspects are fused together under the term “stewardship”–properly and conscientiously managing the assets of another (or of others). This thesis reviews current literature, scriptural guidance, and established best practices to outline optimal practices for ministries/nonprofits. Additionally, this thesis uses electronically collected surveys of multiple levels of ministry/nonprofit affiliates to gauge financial awareness and highlight areas needing improvement. This thesis then integrates the academic research with applied research, all in light of scriptural guidance, to detail best practices (legally and biblically) for ministries/nonprofits. This thesis also provides four reproducible guides for ministries/nonprofits: a guide for the pastor/leader, a guide for the treasurer and finance committee, a guide for board members, and a guide for other staff or members of the ministry/organization. In 1 Cor 14:40, Paul instructs that “all things should be done decently and in order”; this thesis promotes correct, orderly financial dealings, and active stewardship by all people associated with a ministry or nonprofit organization. This active stewardship will optimize the security and effectiveness of an organization’s assets while minimizing the possibility of misuse of assets, or of potential harmful publicity due to such misuse.