Ministerial Excellence Initiative - FAQ


  • Are the grants awarded on a personal basis? How much will the congregation be involved?
    • Grants are awarded to the individual and not the congregation
    • It is up to the applicant how much the congregation is involved. If you only want to work with one trusted individual or use a committee of 2-3 individuals, that is for you to determine. The level of transparency is determined by the grant recipient.
  • What if during the grant process, the participant is called to a different congregation? This is not an issue as long as you:
    • Make sure the new congregation is willing to help with coaching expenses
    •  Make sure to find a new trusted congregational advocate
  • Can I apply if I am a bi-vocational pastor/associate pastor/minister? Yes, as long as you are a congregational minister affiliated with CBF.
  • Is this grant available to help with retirement savings? Yes, the grant funds can be used to help with retirement savings. CBF Church Benefits will work with recipients to set up a retirement account and help with retirement savings.
  • Who manages and oversees this fund? Strictly CBF? A Board? The fund is managed by the CBF Ministerial Excellence Initiative (MEI) Leadership Team.
  • How much is the average distribution? Recipients can receive up to $10,000 depending on their financial situation and award criteria.
  • Can it be renewed or is it a one-time gift? This is a one-time gift and cannot be renewed.
  • How long do applicants typically wait until they are notified as to whether they’ve received a grant? The entire process could take up to 6-8 months. 


  • I am currently consulting a professional financial advisor, but my advisor recommends that I use the CBF advisor. Can I do that? Yes, you may use the CBF advisor.
  • I am currently consulting a professional financial advisor. Do I have to use the CBF advisor? No, you may use your own advisor, but using a CBF advisor is highly recommended. 
  • After I complete my application, is there anything I need to do in the meantime? After you submit your complete application, CBF will contact you regarding next steps. This may take up to 60 days.
  • Will the application save my information if I leave and return at a later time? If I save the link and open it will the information still be there? Although the system should save your information, please note that due to unforeseen technological issues this cannot be guaranteed.
  • As a married couple both serving as pastoral leaders, do we need separate applications? You may choose to respond as a couple. Only one application is required. However, due to the grant award requirements, there will be only one grant award per family.
  • May I select my pastor or supervisor as my Tursted Congregational Advocate? No, a senior pastor or supervisor of grant recipients cannot serve as the grant recipient's Trusted Congregational Advocate. 
  • If I start the application and cannot finish the same day, will the system save my information so I can continue the application later? Yes, you can continue the application later using the unique web link sent via email when you registered. Although the system should save your application, please note that due to unforeseen technological issues, this cannot be guaranteed.

  • Is this a rolling application process or is there an application deadline? This is a rolling application process. There is no deadline to apply, but applications are considered on a first come, first serve basis.


  • Is the application secure? Will my information be shared? Yes, the application is on a secure server. Only the grant committee will view the application information during the review process.

Training Events

  • Will my participation require me to travel more than once? If so, how many times? The only travel required of the grant recipient is for the Lake Institute Training Events at the expense of the grant recipient. Lodging and conference fees are provided by CBF for grant recipients. Lodging and conference fees are provided by CBF for grant recipients, trusted congregational advocates and spouses. 
  • Am I supposed to book my hotel? No. CBF will handle hotel reservations and fees for grant recipients and their trusted congregational advocate.
  • Can spouses attend? Yes, and expenses will be covered by CBF once you arrive at the training location.
  • Is there a penalty if we can't attend? Grant recipients are required to attend two training events. 
  • Are Trusted Congregational Advocates required to attend training events required of grant recipients? Trusted Congregational Advocates are required to attend both training events. Their presence is vital to training. Lodging and conference fees will be provided by CBF. Travel expenses will be at their expense. In order to recieve a grant, a Trusted Congregational Advocate must be enlisted by the grant recipient and must be avaiable to participate in all training events. In the event the TCA cannot attend training events, the grant recipient will need to withdraw from teh program until a new cohort is formed and the TCA is available to attend. 

Any other questions or comments? Email

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