Keeping Our Sacred Trust: Assuring Financial Integrity

Learn practices to prevent fraud and financial misconduct in your church.

Designed for pastors, church staff, finance committee members, church treasurers, financial secretaries, counters or tellers, bookkeepers, church secretaries, seminarians, and all others with responsibility for handling church funds.

Assuring Financial Integrity, a new online course from the Keeping Our Sacred Trust ethics training series, explores issues of maintaining financial integrity and preventing fraud in congregational settings.

Without practices to assure honest, transparent, and proper financial practices, an organization quickly forfeits the trust of its constituents and donors, jeopardizes its ability to carry forth its mission, and risks serious financial and legal implications. Sadly, the church is not immune from damaged integrity, and cases of pastors or parishioners who embezzle church funds are too often in the headlines. Statistics indicate that one in 10 Protestant churches experiences some type of embezzlement, but most leaders assume that fraud will never occur in their church. And they are caught off guard when it does.

Respond to these challenges and protect your congregation with Keeping Our Sacred Trust: Assuring Financial Integrity. Enroll now.

Keeping a sacred trust is about the good of all God’s people. It is critical for the church to ensure the keeping of a sacred trust if it is going to be a faithful and fruitful witness in its communities and the larger society. But even more critical is the requirement of trustworthiness for the sake of those being served. Assuring financial integrity is an essential aspect of keeping sacred trust.

In this video, Lewis Center Director Dr. F. Douglas Powe Jr. explains the imperative of financial integrity in churches and the vision for this course. 

Keeping Our Sacred Trust: Assuring Financial Integrity is offered in three parts:

  • Part I focuses on financial integrity as a sacred trust. It examines why appropriate financial boundaries are essential to a church’s ability to fulfill its God-given mission. This portion of the course explores the proper management of financial resources as a spiritual imperative and financial integrity as an embodiment of the biblical principle of stewardship.
  • Part II examines best practices for financial integrity. It examines the responsibilities of various leaders who play key roles in financial integrity. It outline practices and procedures that safeguard financial integrity. And it considers the importance of transparency and communication in maintaining an environment of trust and responsibility.
  • Part III considers how congregations should respond to incidents or allegations of financial impropriety. This section helps a congregation be prepared in the event that misconduct occurs. It considers steps to be taken in response to an incident or allegation of fraud or financial impropriety, as well as how to deal with crisis communications and the emotional fallout.

Key features of Assuring Financial Integrity and other courses in the Keeping Our Sacred Trust ethics training series:

  • $49 to enroll
  • .5 CEU issued by the Lewis Center upon completion
  • Certificate of successful completion issued
  • Individual and group registration available
  • Open to clergy and church leaders of any denomination and non-denominational pastors
  • Online format ensures full engagement of the study materials through built-in accountability mechanisms and allows you to study at your own pace, when and where you choose

For more information, or to learn how denominations or judicatories can set up enrollment for groups, please contact the Lewis Center at (202) 664-5700 or

Other courses in the Keeping Our Trust ethics training series:

Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics
This course helps prevent clergy sexual misconduct by creating awareness of what constitutes misconduct, how it arises, and how to prevent it. It addresses relational dynamics as well as internal motivations and vulnerabilities. Learn more now.
Maintaining Boundaries in a Digital Age
This course explores clergy ethics in an era of instantaneous, electronic communication. It helps spiritual leaders stay healthy and attentive to appropriate boundaries, dealing with issues such as social media, online behavior, and pornography. Learn more now.