Two Portland Churches Offer
Financial Management Courses

Dave Ramsey claims to teach people how to manage finances, get out of debt, save money, and make good investments. He is the author of a number of books on personal finances and has a syndicated prime-time radio show in which callers describe their financial situations and get free advice. Callers to the show often present Ramsey near impossible personal financial disasters, and he manages to make sense of a logical strategy to dig their way out to freedom from debt. For years now, Ramsey's radio show advice and financial solution principles have been available in live group settings, such as in large churches and public auditoriums where Ramsey provides extended information and works though real life examples.

In recent years, Ramsey has offered a 13-week course, complete with textbooks, homework, and interactive class sessions, with DVD presentations. This classroom format, known Financial Peace University, has been offered in a number of Oregon Conference churches, Gladstone Park Church and Pleasant Valley Church, as a means of helping members become in control of their finances, but also to draw the community with practical programming.

The class at Gladstone Park has met one night a week for several weeks, and has learned the basics of money management, as well as strategies for getting (and staying) out of debt. Senior Pastor Bob Uhrig comments, "We consistently have had 35 to 40 attendees each night, and of these, 12 are non-members from our local community. It has been a blessing for the entire group to learn to better manage our finances and probably at no better time, given our current economic picture." Gladstone Park has strategically positioned an evangelistic series to follow on the heels of the Ramsey program, so that some community members may choose to consider attending a more spiritually centered program.

One Financial Peace University ‘graduate' commented, "Dave Ramsey's class wasn't just about debt and savings--it was also about resolving marital conflicts over money, about giving generously as an act of worship, and about teaching our kids how to walk in financial peace as they grow up. After just 13 weeks, we have paid off all our credit card debt and are now paying extra on our car loan. Using Dave Ramsey's Bible-based financial principles, we are working together as a family to daily remove the shackle of debt. We want to be positioned to ensure our children's future and to give back in a more dramatic way."

Both Gladstone Park and Pleasant Valley are completing their programs in early April, and both churches are planning to revisit another session later in the year.