NACSW Online Continuing Education

Faith, Stewardship, and Wealth Creation: Envisioning a Role for Churches in Asset Building Initiatives
Length: 2.0 CEUs
Primary Audience:
  • Social workers and related professionals
  • social work students
  • human services professionals
  • clergy
Practice Level(s):
  • Intermediate

Training Format: Video-based
Number of CE Hours: 2.0

Trina Shanks, PhD,  
Registration FEES

Current Member Rate
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Course Outline

In the past 25 years, families that are the most economically secure have prospered greatly while the poorest families have struggled. This means that most families have a place to live and meet their basic necessities, but have little to show for years of work and won't have enough to support themselves adequately in retirement. This reality is even starker when we consider race and ethnicity.

Given that churches and places of worship have regular interaction with much of the population and are often the most trusted institutions in local communities, they are in a unique positon to reverse these trends and actively influence wealth creation. This presentation describes three ways that churches can help improve the financial capability and status of members and help create shared prosperity: a) financial education providing workshops and support for congregants and the local community to help them reach financial goals and reduce debt; b) entrepreneurship which can entail offering training, promotion and support for individual businesses as well as the creation of cooperative and church-affiliated businesses; c) sponsoring or promoting Individual Development Accounts and other asset building efforts.


  • Direct Practice: Individuals, Couples, Families and Children
  • Direct Practice: Groups and Communities

Sample Content


Learning Objectives
As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the amount of wealth held by a typical household in the United States as well as current disparities that exist.

2. Articulate biblical principles for stewardship and financial management.

3. Outline three ways that churches can help improve the financial capability of members and those in their local community.


11:30 am: Overview of household wealth statistics for the United States

  • Amount held by top 1% and 10% vs. bottom 90%
  • Disparities by race and gender
  • Percentage with zero or negative net worth or insufficient savings to deal with a minor emergency

    11:45 am: Biblical Principles for Stewardship and Financial Management

  • Myths people hold
  • Tithing
  • Parable of the talents

    12:00 noon: Asset Building

  • Focus on wealth and growth in things of value (versus income and comsumption)
  • Examples of institutional frames and programming

    12:20 pm: Contribution of faith communities to help improve the financial capability of its members and the community

  • Financial training to support congregants and community in reaching financial goals and reducing debt
  • Entrepreneurship and cooperative businesses
  • Sponsoring Individual Development Accounts or Child Development Accounts or other asset building efforts

    12:40 pm: Closing and questions


    Cramer, R. & Williams Shanks, T.R. (2014). The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and its Impact on Social Policy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Kochhar, R., Fry, R., & Taylor, P. (2011). Wealth gaps rise to record highs between whites, blacks and Hispanics. Pew Research Center. Washington, DC: Pew Social & Demographic Trends.

    Nichols, Dwight (1998). God's plans for your finances. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House.

    Ramsey, D. (2009). Total money makeover: A proven plan for financial fitness. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    Shanks, T. & Simonton, S. (2011). Diverging Pathways: How Wealth Shapes Opportunity for Children. Oakland, CA: Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

    Steuerle, E., McKernan, S., Ratcliffe, C., & Zhang, S. (2013). Lost Generations? Wealth Building among Young Americans. Urban Institute: Washington, DC.

    Sullivan, L., Meschede, T., Dietrich, L. Shapiro, T. Traub, A. Ruetschlin, C. & Draut, T. (2015). The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters. DEMOS and Institute for Assets & Social Policy: New York, NY.

    Wallace, J.M., Myers, V. L., & Holley, J. (2004). Holistic Faith-Based Development: Toward a Conceptual Framework. Pew Charitable Trusts and Rockefeller Institute of Government: The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy.

    Williams Shanks, T. R., Boddie, S.C., & Rice, S. (2010). Family-Centered, Community-based Asset Building: A Strategic Use of Individual Development Accounts. Journal of Community Practice, 18(1), p. 94-117. (Selected for the 2010 Marie Weil Award Best Article for the year).

    Williams Shanks, T.R. Boddie, S., & Wynn, R. (2015). "Wealth Building in Communities of Color." In Ralph Bangs and Larry E. Davis (Editors). Race and Social Problems: Restructuring Inequality. Springer: New York p.63-78.


    Trina Shanks is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work from Washington University and a Masters in Comparative Social Research from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her research interests include the relationship between assets, poverty and child well-being; public policy; and community and economic development.

    CE Accreditation Information

    NACSW, provider #1078, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), phone: 800-225-6880, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program valid 1/27/18 – 1/27/21. NACSW maintains sole responsibility for the program. The North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) is also recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0479. Social Workers will receive 2.0 continuing education clock hour(s) for participating in this training. It is the responsibility of participants to contact their licensing boards to verify that this training, as a distance education session, meets their jurisdictional standards for continuing education credit and/or licensure renewal.

    Requirements for Earning Continuing Education Contact Hours

    Requirements to earn continuing education contact hours for home-study courses include: a) engaging with all the required materials provided by this training; b) completing and submitting an on-line evaluation of this session; c) receiving a grade of 80% or better on the “open-book” post-workshop quiz. Session participants who meet these three requirements will receive a continuing education contact hour certificate from NACSW on-line immediately following their completion of this course.

    Registration Fee and Refunds

    The registration fee covers engaging in all the required materials provided by the on-line training as well as costs associated with maintaining the website which supports the training materials, as well as CE certificate administration. Refunds, minus a $25 administrative fee, are available upon request within 15 days of purchasing/enrolling in a training. No refunds or exchanges are available once the training quiz has been opened.

    Grievance Procedure

    Any individual who has a complaint regarding any aspect of this training should communicate in writing to the executive director of NACSW within 30 days after having completed the training. The executive director will conduct a review and respond in writing within 30 days of receiving this complaint. For more information, contact the NACSW office at or 203-270-8780.

    Request for Accommodations

    Please contact NACSW at, or 203.270.8780 if you would like to request a special accommodation.


    Because this is a home study training session, there is no direct contact and/or communication between the individual taking this training and the session speaker. Interactivity for this training consists of the interaction between a person registered for this training session and the materials and content offered in this session.

    Contact Information

    If you have questions pertaining to the content of the training (session content, outline, content level, continuing education contact hours, etc.), contact or 203.270.8780. You will receive a response within 24 hours. If you are in need of technical support, send an email to You will receive a response from the program's technical support manager within 8 hours, 7 days a week.