Church Administration and Finance Manual

Resources for Leading the Local Church

Otto F. Crumroy Jr., Stan Kukawka, Frank M. Witman, Paul D. Witman

Sep/2023, 512 Pages, Paperback, 8.5 x 11

ISBN-13: 9781640655645

$49.95

$49.95

A field-tested guide to the management and finance of church congregations, revised for a new generation.

Clergy are generally equipped to preach and provide spiritual care. But when it comes to budgets, insurance, fire safety, and church management many find themselves at a loss. The Church Administration and Finance Manual is the classic guide to running a church, written to answer key questions for clergy and lay leaders.

Not simply a theoretical resource, the Manual provides suggestions for almost every aspect of parish administration: position descriptions, financial forms, materials for stewardship and Christian education, building use and safety issues, employee record keeping, and much more. This revised edition offers guidance on many new topics that are of vital importance to churches, including protecting children, information security, approaches to preventing and responding to violence, planned giving, social media, and hybrid work and worship.

Whether clergy are just out of seminary or well-seasoned in parish life, the Manual is full of excellent guidelines, tools, and forms for improving the management of the parish.

Otto F. Crumroy, Jr. serves as an independent financial management consultant to churches and teaches church administration and finance. He served as director of 65-member audit group for the Army and Air Force Exchange service. He lives in Lacey, Washington.


Stan Kukawka is president of a management consulting company and has 25 years of management experience with two world-renowned electronics companies. He lives in Vista, California.


Frank M. Witman was a United Methodist pastor. In his last two pastorates, he was involved in the building of new sanctuaries and the raising of more than $2.5 million for debt elimination. He died in 2010.


Paul Witman teaches information technology management in the School of Management at California Lutheran University, where he is one of five inaugural faculty members in the Executive Skills for Pastors program. He has undertaken several leadership and governance roles in protestant denominations, including serving on the boards of the United Methodist Campus Ministry at UCLA and the Center for Non-profit Leadership in Ventura County, the National Advisory Council for the Ecumenical Appalachia Service Project, and the Western Jurisdiction of United Methodist Camping. He has taken on numerous lay leadership positions at the local church level on committees responsible for communications, stewardship and budgets, property and facilities, and capital campaigns, and serves as chair of his church council. He lives in Simi Valley, California.

This is long overdue! This updated Church Administration and Finance Manual is a welcome and invaluable resource for pastors and lay leaders—especially at a time when congregations are facing great challenges and change. It addresses current trends in financial management, governance, and effective church structure. I am pleased to recommend this to every parish pastor and congregation.

—Rev. Dr. Rick Rouse, author of The World is About to Turn: Mending a Nation’s Broken Faith, teacher, and parish consultant

I have kept this resource manual near me in my work as a parish pastor in a variety of church settings over the years. It has been a useful and valuable guide for clergy and laity alike, and I have often needed to retrieve my copy to share it with others. I have yet to find such a comprehensive and helpful guide to church administration. —Pastor Arne Bergland, ELCA intentional interim pastor

This latest revision of the Church Administration and Finance Manual has incorporated the dramatic changes in church administration over the last decade—including the post-pandemic era. It is invaluable in understanding the current reality of areas including child safety, information technology, online giving, and much, much more.

—Rev. Dr. Richard Jones, church consultant and trainer on simple church administration

The bane of seminary education is preparing pastors for leading and administrating an organization. However, in my own seminary education, I had only one class centered on church administration. And by the time I entered my first parish, my head was full of everything but leading a church.

I often referred to the 1998 edition of the Church Administration and Finance Manual for guidance in my role as a pastor, and I heartily welcome this revised edition as an authoritative manual for the twenty-first century. Whether you are a solo pastor of a small parish or a pastor of a multi-staffed church, this manual is indispensable when it comes to offering insights needed to be an effective pastoral leader.

—Rev. Kapp L. Johnson, J.D., pastor, attorney, and professor at California Lutheran University

As I have journeyed through four decades of church leadership, I have learned that Jesus’ words regarding building a home on a solid foundation are more important than ever. This updated Church Administration and Finance Manual provides helpful strategies to pastors who are preparing to lead local churches. Beginning with a discussion on our call to serve the Kingdom of God and building on our understanding of the leadership of the pastor and the lay leader’s faithful service, this manual emphasizes our responsibility to protect and support our most important resources: our people. As a local church pastor and as the North District Superintendent, I highly recommend this church resource.

—Rev. James R. Powell, Lead Pastor at St. Matthew’s UMC

This is a must-have resource for every pastoral and lay leader. The first edition of this book saved me countless hours of research and was an easily accessible resource that helped me when I was not sure where to begin. Although this updated Church Administration and Finance Manual is not a substitute for legal or financial advice, it does answer and inform many questions pastors must consider. Like the first edition, it is filled with thoughtful, proven, and collaborative approaches to common situations. In today’s climate where litigation and administration can easily consume a church leader’s time, planning and working smarter can lead to efficient processes and proactive decision-making. The updates in sexual ethics, human resources, and leadership styles address areas of great need in most parish settings.

—Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth, EdD, Resident Bishop of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area

Consulted by topic or read cover to cover, this updated version of the Church Administration and Finance Manual offers expert advice and trusted companionship for a multitude of issues facing ministries today. Focused on love of God and care for people, and written in a direct, personable tone, this is an indispensable resource with practical exercises for planning, organizing and staffing, leadership, and assessing and reporting.

—Colleen Windham-Hughes, Professor of Religion at California Lutheran University

The capabilities, opportunities, and challenges of technology have increased exponentially since the 1998 version of the Church Administration and Finance Manual. The revised version greatly expands this discussion. It does an excellent job of addressing a variety of technology topics--even including a discussion of Artificial Intelligence (AI), while prioritizing mission fit in considering the use of technology in today's church.

—Rev. Dr. Danny Spears, Minister

". . . a wealth of information on parish administration . . ."The Living Church

"A Resource Manual offers a year-round guidance for the development of leaders with management skills, particularly in the areas of planning and programming. While it covers a wide range of ministries, the Manual is particularly strong in developing fiscal stewardship, legal matters and the care and use of property. Readers will find here a very rich reference volume offering an enormous number of practical suggestions and samples for teaching and the actual practice of ministry. The Manual will quickly become one of the most widely used resources among leaders in local churches."—Bishop Roy I. Sano

"The only hole in what I considered an excellent seminary education was in the area of administration, management and finance. After considering several resources to fill this void I attended the class on Church Administration and Finance led by Otto Crumroy, Stan Kukawka and Frank Witman. The class and manual by Crumroy, Kukawka, and Witman continues to be a very valuable resource for me in my pastoral ministry. Even seven years after taking the class, I regularly refer to it, and find helpful resources for myself and the lay leaders of this parish. This resource stands head and shoulders above all others in administration and finance."—J. T. Greenleaf, Pastor, Ramona United Methodist Church

"I find the manual on Church Administration and Finance to be a valuable resource. As a new pastor there were areas of administration in which I had no experience. I found the samples of letters and job descriptions to be quite helpful in my first appointment. Colleagues have consulted this manual with their own questions regarding finance, committees, and personnel matters. Kukawka, Crumroy and Witman provide information that is based on practical experience rather than theory. This manual is an essential tool for any clergyperson; everyone should have a copy in their library!"—Rev. Jennifer Lower, Associate Pastor, Tempe (Arizona) First United Methodist Church

"This is a very helpful book for the new pastor or the veteran. I have used these materials in my ministry and 'shaped' them to fit my particular church and situation. There are examples and suggestions for almost any administrative function. I found the information very helpful when we started outgrowing our existing building and needed to plan a building program. Starting any policy or procedure from scratch uses a tremendous amount of time. You will save hours by using this book as a starting point. I recommend this book to anyone with administrative responsibilities in the church."—The Reverend Nancy S. Cushman, Central United Methodist Church, Phoenix, AZ

"It is my joy to write a recommendation for the Manual on Church Administration and Finance. I keep it within arms length of my desk because it contains so much information that is helpfu

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