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Pastor Restoration Grant Overview

Who may submit an application?

All ordained, active CRC pastors (Minster of the Word and Commissioned Pastor) currently serving in a Christian Reformed congregation may submit an application.

What do I have to do to apply?

What is the goal for the Pastor Restoration Grant?

This grant is meant to provide pastors an opportunity to step away from ministry for a short time to attend to wellbeing and create a sustainable plan for wellbeing, due to the unique stresses and challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic.

What’s new in the Pastor Restoration Grant?

Grant Matching - PCR and Financial Shalom will match contributions made by your church up to $1000, for a total grant amount not to exceed $3500 USD. Applicants will be asked to indicate whether their church will match funds on the application form. The specific dollar amount is not required on the application, but we will ask for the dollar amount should you receive the grant.

Grant Assistance - PCR and Financial Shalom will increase grant amounts to $3500 USD for churches unable to afford paid leave for their pastor. The additional $1000 is to cover the pastor's pay while they are on leave. If your church needs this support, confirm with your council PRIOR to submitting your application that your leave will be approved with the financial support. Your church will be asked to verify that financial support is necessary. Applicants will be asked to indicate if they’re church needs this assistance on the application form.

How does the funding work?

The Pastor Restoration Grant is funded through Financial Shalom and Lilly Endowment Inc. When a grant is awarded, Pastor Church Resources (PCR) will send a check to your church. You’ll need to work with your treasurer to cover your expenses.

Do I need to tell you my plan for using the funds?

Yes, we require that you share your plans for retreat (including any travel), for developing your wellbeing plan, and for engaging a professional helper. There’s space in the application for you to sketch out your plan. See a sample, completed application with a sample plan. We encourage a variety of plans. You can tailor a leave for wellbeing to meet your specific and unique situation. Plans can include prayer, worship, Bible study, joint conference/retreat attendance, etc. Your plan must include the name or type of professional helper you’ll engage with and the anticipated frequency and duration of service (at least three months is required). Your plan must also include a draft budget for the use of grant funds.

What's the timeframe for completing my retreat?

The goal of this grant is to make retreat available to you as soon as is feasible. For that reason, your retreat should ordinarily take place no later than December 2022.  

How long must my retreat be?

Retreats ought to be long enough for you to be refreshed, learn with peers (when applicable), and develop a plan for wellbeing. They need not last the entire two weeks (or more) of your leave.

What are professional helpers?

Professional helpers are those who are trained and licensed or certified to provide professional support, counselling, coaching, therapy, or spiritual direction to clients. You may select one or more professional helpers based on your area of need. Note: medical treatment isn’t a qualified expense. A list of PCR licensed coaches is available on our website. If you need assistance finding professional helpers, please contact Zach Olson at [email protected].

What does the pastor commit to if they receive this grant?

  • Develop a retreat with peers or individually in which they’ll learn and develop a plan to establish healthy patterns of spiritual, emotional, and physical health.
  • Take a Birkman Assessment and receive a debrief of their results. If the pastor has already taken a Birkman Assessment, they’ll sign up for a debrief only.
  • Engage the services of a professional helper.
  • Share their wellbeing plan with their council for accountability.
  • Complete a survey summarizing the details of their retreat and engagement with a professional helper.
  • Attend one Zoom debrief session for pastors hosted by PCR staff to debrief their experience and share their learnings.

What does the church commit to if their pastor receives this grant?

  • Grant their pastor a minimum of two consecutive Sundays off, with a minimum of two weeks paid leave. All leave time negotiated between pastor and church must be paid leave. Four weeks leave is recommended. Leave taken as part of this grant program is not to be considered vacation or continuing education time, due to the unique nature and stresses of the pandemic caused by Covid-19.
  • Schedule pulpit supply, whether in person or from the CRC’s Video Sermon Library.
  • Consider matching funds grant amount, in full or a portion, financially or via in-kind donations (i.e. use of a congregant’s cottage, airline miles, special discounts, etc.).
  • Identify ways with the pastor to incorporate their wellbeing plan into an annual review, job description, or regular pastor reporting.
  • Complete a survey summarizing their experience of granting their pastor leave to retreat and engage with a professional helper.
  • Attend one Zoom debrief session for churches hosted by PCR staff to debrief their experience and share learnings.

What expenses will be covered?

  • Childcare while on retreat
  • Spiritual direction (with a certified spiritual director)
  • Coaching
  • Therapy
  • Meals1
  • Lodging (at reasonably priced hotels)
  • Pulpit supply 
  • Books
  • Travel (within the U.S. and Canada)
  • Cost incurred by church as a direct result of granting leave to pastor

What expenses will not be covered?

  • Travel (flights, etc.) outside of the U.S. and Canada
  • Coursework leading toward a degree
  • Software/training materials/DVDs/devices
  • Alcohol

Why does the pastor need the council’s permission to receive this grant?

A key component of this grant is a temporary, paid leave. Councils must permit their pastor at least two weeks of paid time away, including at least two Sundays off. For that reason, the council must approve the application for this grant.

Is the pastor’s church required to match funds?

We strongly encourage churches that are able to match a portion of the grant funds for their pastor’s leave in full or a portion, financially or via in-kind donations (i.e. use of a congregant’s cottage, airline miles, special discounts, etc.). The church isn’t required to match any funds and their decision won’t impact the pastor’s eligibility or chances of receiving a Pastor Restoration Grant.

What happens when a proposal is approved?

A proposal agreement and instructions will be sent to the church. The agreement must be signed by both the pastor and the clerk of council. The pastor is responsible for implementation of the agreement. The signed agreement, and revised proposal if required, are to be returned to Pastor Church Resources within 90 days. Failure to do so may result in the grant being reversed. The grant amount will be sent to the church. Unused funds must be returned.

What dates should we be aware of?


February 2022

Application period:

Dec 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022

Application deadline:

January 31, 2022

Applicants notified:

February 21-25, 2022

PCR will send notice to applicants about grants awarded.

What are the reporting requirements?

The pastor and a council representative are each asked to complete a brief survey of their experience.

How often may a pastor receive a grant?

Pastors may receive one Pastor Restoration Grant.

What else do we need to know?

The Proposal Review Team may, in some cases, approve a proposal pending the pastor or church making required revisions to the plan and/or the budget. Please note that every attempt will be made to distribute grants equitably among the diversified pastorate of the CRCNA.

Some information shared in your application or post grant survey or Zoom call may be used by PCR on its website, in its promotional materials, or in its reporting to the CRCNA's Council of Delegates and/or to synod. PCR will not use or share information identifying applicants without consent. No financial information will be shared outside of PCR.

For further information please contact Zach Olson at 877-279-9994 x2677 or via email at [email protected].

1 Meals eaten during travel to and from the retreat, and while on retreat, will be covered. Alcohol is not covered. Snacks are a personal expense.