Creating A Narrative Budget (CEU)

The Story Behind the Numbers

The new course is written and hosted by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship & Generosity, who will introduce the course and set up each of the sessions in videos. Ken will also serve as instructor for the course, interacting with participants through their responses to questions throughout the course, and answering questions that might arise.

Along with the course content, students will download a Narrative Budget Workbook in versions that will open in either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. With the workbook, participants will enter their local church’s budget (and a few other bits of information), and the workbook will organize those line items into broad ministry areas – a key tool in presenting a narrative budget!

Through eight self-paced sessions, participants will learn generosity theory as well as the practical nuts and bolts of constructing a narrative budget, including:

  • What moves people to give?
  • Different roles for line-item & narrative budgets
  • Naming your buckets (ministry areas)
  • Fitting apportionments/mission shares into ministry areas
  • Choosing a format for sharing your narrative budget
  • Tips for designing an attractive and effective narrative budget

The course is offered to United Methodist leaders (clergy and laity) at no cost thanks to your church’s generous support of the World Service Fund.


CEU Accredited Course Offering

Discipleship Ministries eLearning offers continuing education units (CEU) upon successful course completion. Available to clergy and lay leadership of all denominations, you receive high-quality information that will enrich your faith life and ministry. This course is a CEU accredited course offering. Learn more about CEU offerings

CEUs: .5
Price: $25


Enroll Now!



Your Instructor


Rev. Ken Sloane
Rev. Ken Sloane

The Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane is the Director of Stewardship & Generosity housed at Discipleship Ministries (GBOD) in Nashville, Tenn. He is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Conference, where he served 20+ years in local church ministry (including a successful new church start) and 5 years as the Director of Connectional Ministries. In 2006 he was appointed to serve as Director of Communications Ministry at United Methodist Communications, and traveled extensively across the denomination doing presentations on how to interpret connectional giving to our local churches. He moved into his Stewardship role on October 1, 2011. Ken has authored the courses "Disciples Living Generously," "Generous Church Leadership" and the new "Creating a Narrative Budget: The Stories Behind the Numbers" course. Ken is the author of the 2017-20 Local Church Guidelines for Stewardship (Cokesbury), a contributor to the 2017-20 Guidelines for Finance and the advance Lay Servant course, Connectional Living, Connectional Giving. Ken lives in Nashville with his wife Bridget; they have four grown children, some of whom may be living with them depending on when you ask.


Course Curriculum


  01 - Different Roles for Line-Item and Narrative Budgets
Available in days
days after you enroll
  03 - Naming Your Buckets
Available in days
days after you enroll
  04 - Line-Item Assignment Techniques
Available in days
days after you enroll
  05 - Entering Your Church Line-Item Budget into the Workbook
Available in days
days after you enroll
  06 - What Do We Do With Our Apportionments?
Available in days
days after you enroll
  07 - Working Through the Remaining Tabs
Available in days
days after you enroll
  The Call For Narrative Budgets
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Closing Words
Available in days
days after you enroll


CEU Accredited Course Offering

Discipleship Ministries eLearning offers continuing education units (CEU) upon successful course completion. Available to clergy and lay leadership of all denominations, you receive high-quality information that will enrich your faith life and ministry. This course is a CEU accredited course offering. Learn more about CEU offerings

CEUs: .5
Price: $25

Enroll Now!