There is a commercial produced by the group Certified Financial Planners (CFP), that speaks directly to the fear many people have about trusting financial planners ( Although the commercial is funny, the fear of financial planning and planners is not. The Financial Leadership for Ministry program addresses this subject and many others.

Mark Hester, a financial planner, addresses this issue and many others during his course presentations to students in the Financial Leadership in Ministry course ( He provides helpful hints on what to look for when searching for a financial planner, and how to decide what financial instrument to select based on one’s individual needs.

Admittedly, I had some of the same fears when I took advantage of my free one-on-one meeting with Sandra Bailey, one of the financial planners who volunteers her time to provide this service to MTS students. I decided that I would not ask students to do anything that I am unwilling to do myself (

There are specific concerns about my finances I have due to my age and number of years I anticipate being in the workforce. Both Mark Hester and Sandra Bailey addressed these concerns and have provided a plan for me to accomplish my goals. I will share them with you as we continue on this journey. Meanwhile, take a look at these presentations we have filmed and consider taking advantage of this service.

Dr. Debra

P.S. I located an accountant that specializes in clergy tax preparation and other issues facing clergy and congregations. His name is Dr. John Crittle, CEO of Crittle Financial, Inc. in Holly Springs, MS. He is a graduate of MTS and has volunteered to assist MTS with this worthwhile program.