architectural detail from Bockman Hall on Luther Seminary campus

Financial Coaching

“The job of financial coaching is to help you get your financial life in order, clear the way to a sense of well-being about money and free you to be a stewardship leader.”

—Catherine Malotky, Financial Coach

Financial coaching is a free service that pairs students (individuals or couples) with a financial coach based on their interests and needs. The program is designed to provide students (and their spouses) with a coach to walk alongside them as they consider their finances in light of their own faith. A financial coach can also help students learn more about congregational finances and stewardship.

Generally, the student and coach meet in person or over the phone for one-hour sessions once a month.

Who are financial coaches?

“The learning is two way ... one thing that has been good for me ... is to be reminded that all of us can change in our financial habits, including me." -Financial Coach

Financial coaches are active, committed Christians. Their vocational backgrounds range from the finance and business worlds to serving in various congregational roles. While varied in their vocations, they hold in common a belief that faith and finances are integrally connected. They believe that personal financial management is an integral expression of faithful stewardship. They are all experienced financial managers and generously give to the mission of the church.

Financial coaches believe that students have the capacity to think through their own financial decisions and discover their own creative solutions. They are good listeners who ask insightful questions to help students clarify their issues and make healthy financial decisions.

Financial coaches care about the well being of seminary students and promise to keep all conversations confidential. They are not paid. They will not try to sell students any products or services. They are not part of any candidacy process.

Is financial coaching for me?

“Meeting with a financial coach has opened my eyes to a new perspective on money—faith-centered. My coach has challenged me to articulate my values and whether they are reflected in my spending, saving and benevolence. I feel our time together will help me be a better leader in the church.”
—M.Div. Student

Ask yourself ...

  • Do you worry about how to budget during seminary?
  • Are you concerned about student loan or credit card debt?
  • Do you want to improve how you handle money?
  • Do you want help creating a budget that you can maintain while at seminary or in a parish?
  • Do you want help aligning your financial life with your faith?
  • Do you want to learn more about church finances and/or stewardship?
  • Do you want tips for saving money and maintaining a low personal budget?
  • Are you concerned about what your finances will look like after seminary?
  • Do you want help planning for the future through saving and investing?
  • Are you too worried about money?
  • Do you feel like you are not worried enough about money?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then financial coaching may be helpful for you!

A financial coach can help you establish healthy financial practices, create a practical budget and keep you accountable. He/she can aid you in making good decisions about your debt and preparing for the future. He/she can teach you about church finances, budgeting and stewardship.

He/she will frame financial conversations within the context of faithful stewardship allowing you to grow in your relationship with God as well as your relationship with money. Together you will trust in God's abundance as you find joy in making progress in your financial life.

Financial coaching documents
Additional resources

In the next few pages you will find some resources that we think that you might find helpful for you as a student or a coach. We realize that there are many great financial tools out there, these are just meant to be a starting point. There are three major resources that fit into almost all of the interest areas for the coaching relationship and/or financial well-being:

  • Money Sanity U: This is a bi-weekly email designed by Nathan Dungan, founder of Share Save Spend. Each email includes a short video and action step based on the topic for the week. As a part of the coaching program, both students and coaches receive this email. 
  • Smart about Money: This is the site of the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping people make sound financial decisions throughout life’s ups and downs.  The site contains practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the web to help people understand and manage their money.
  • Frugal-community blog: A blog that ran from 2012-2014, providing tips for living a fun and frugal life on a graduate student's budget. There are a host of articles covering a variety of topics from choosing charities to frugal meals to creating an emergency fund.

Next steps

Request a financial coach

Questions?

Email coach@luthersem.edu