CST Alumna Inspires Participation in "America Saves Week" Feb. 24 - Mar. 1

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 11:56AM

Claremont School of Theology (CST) is encouraging its students, staff, faculty, and alumni to participate in America Saves Week, a national initiative that provides an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Throughout the week, CST will provide links to useful information about how to save through its social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, framed by insights on the benefits of saving offered by CST students, faculty, and alumni.

CST’s participation in America Saves Week has been inspired by one of its distinguished alumni/ae, The Rev. Sarah A. Shirley, MDiv ’96. Looking back on more than fifteen years in congregational ministry, AIDS ministry, and military chaplaincy, Shirley estimates that financial problems were a significant factor in 90% of her pastoral counseling endeavors. “I was frustrated and felt ill-prepared to help,” Shirley says, “I started by changing my financial life, becoming debt free and saving more than I’d ever thought possible.”

But she didn’t stop there. Financial literacy has become a cornerstone of her ministry.

“I took others along with me and had accountability groups to reduce debt, develop and follow spending plans (aka budgets), and save for emergencies, expenses, car repairs, school, retirement, and holidays. Over the years literally thousands of people transformed their lives, reduced anxiety and family conflict, became closer to the God of their understanding, and saw greater possibilities for their futures by changing their relationships with money.”

Shirley will be on the CST campus during America Saves Week to share her experience in addressing financial literacy in her ministry. She encourages her fellow alumni and the entire CST community to take the savings pledge that forms the culmination of America Saves Week. “You and your congregation or organization can join a growing movement to help free families from money fights and individuals from paycheck to paycheck living. Those kinds of freedoms let light in to grow in love, service and faithfulness. Join CST in America Saves Week 2014 and encourage your group to take the Saver Pledge.”

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of CST interested in taking the Saver Pledge are invited to use the form below.