Investing in Congregations grants ranging from $100 to more than $30,000 are distributed annually to churches that demonstrate a potential, capacity, and commitment to reach new people, grow in love of God and neighbor, and heal a broken world. Funding can be used for new ministries, programs, and staff positions.

Investing in Congregations grants are funded through the Office of Congregational Development—and awarded for new ministries, programs, or staff positions. They ranged from $500 to more than $33,000 in 2016. A committee that includes both clergy and laity reviews applications each year and decides how to divide up the $200,000 in grant money that’s available through the conference’s apportioned budget.

Application timeline

Applications for 2017 grants were due Oct. 15, 2016. The next round of applications will be accepted starting in late summer 2017. Watch for more information. 

The three types of grants available are:

• Major grants: Total $2,500 or more

• Micro grants: Total $2,500 or less

• Grant renewal: Projects can receive funding for up to three years. Grant money is reduced each subsequent year for projects that receive funding more than once, and the goal is for each one to become self-sustaining by the end of the three years.

Here’s a look at some of the 2015 grant recipients, along with how their grant funding was used:

Congregation 2015 Award Project
Alexandria UMC $10,000 Affordable, environmentally conscious preschool
Champlin UMC $20,000 Introduction of new style of worship for younger generations
Christ UMC (Cannon Falls) $10,000 Youth director and creation of intentional youth program
Christ UMC (Maplewood) $19,000 Neighborhood outreach and related staff support
Clarissa UMC $1,200 Introduction of recovery service
Discovery UMC (Chanhassen) $15,000 Director of children and families and nursery care provider
Hastings UMC $7,500 Music teacher to provide affordable music lessons for community
Hilltop UMC (Mankato) $6,000 Youth minister to grow youth ministry program
Normandale Hylands UMC (Bloomington) $35,000 Children’s ministry and community outreach specialist
Riverside UMC (Park Rapids) $1,500 Ministry associate for programming and outreach
Waterville UMC $13,000 Gathering House prison outreach ministry
Wells UMC $4,000 Children and family ministries coordinator
White Bear Lake UMC $7,500 Director of operations to free up other staff for ministry


Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058