Grants for Urban Ministry


Purpose of Grants for Urban Ministry

The Urban Ministry Grant funding opportunities provided by the Great Plains Congregational Excellence department and the Great Plains Conference Board of Trustees are from the sale proceeds of properties abandoned by discontinued congregations in counties with more than 50,000 in population. Urban Ministry Grant funding is subject to availability.

Urban Ministry Grant Funds assist districts to carry out objectives of:

  1. Starting new faith communities in urban areas to reach and gather new people in new places for Bible study, outreach, community building, and worship
  2. Develop ministries with the poor that evangelize, advocate for justice, and work toward changing the community for the sake of the welfare of the people.
  3. Develop effective and sustainable ministries with existing residents or newcomers at a site in an urban area with cultural, economic, or ethnic groups different from the original or present member (¶ 212.1,2).


Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are the seventeen Great Plains Conference Districts (Blue River, Dodge City, Elkhorn Valley, Five Rivers, Flint Hills, Gateway, Great West, Hays, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Missouri River, Parsons, Prairie Rivers, Salina, Topeka, Wichita East, and Wichita West).


Application Process: Apply for Urban Ministry grant

Applications must be received by April 1 or August 1. Applicants will submit their applications via online application to the Great Plains Congregational Excellence department. The Congregational Excellence department will bring the application before the Vital Congregations Team.


The Grant Proposal

The proposal will communicate a well-written comprehensive plan from the district that includes a budget, marketing approach, salary support, and specific ministry objectives. Project development cannot continue without a well-written and thought- out plan.

Contact the Rev. Jeff Clinger with grant development assistance or for more information at 785-414-4242.


Dollar Range of Grants

The dollar range of grants is up to $120,000 per project over a four-year period. Funds may be used for salaries, administrative expenses, program expenses, capital expenditures, and so forth. Projects and initiatives funded for one year must reapply for continued funding the following year in time to meet the annual application deadline.


Progress Reports

Each project receiving grant money from the Congregational Excellence department will be responsible for completing project reports, including financial reports and annotated evaluations. A schedule of progress reports will be included in your grant notification letters. Failure to comply with this requirement will lead to termination of funding.


Resources for Completing Grant Application


Urban Ministry Grant Funding

The 2016 Book of Discipline [¶2548, ¶212] has established a formal requirement that addresses what has been a concern for the church for decades: urban transitional communities where the members of the church have moved away from the church facility as new groups of people have moved into the community around the church facility. 

The Book of Discipline ¶2549.7 notes that when a church in an urban area is discontinued and the property abandoned and sold, the funds derived from the sale of that property be set aside for use in support of vital urban ministry according to the urban ministry strategic plan of the Annual Conference.


Definition of an Urban Area

An area is considered an urban area for the purposes of this plan if it is within the boundaries of counties with a population of at least 50,000. Administrative Services once each calendar year will produce a list of the counties with population of at least 50,000 and distribute that list to the Trustees of the Conference Trustees for approval. This list will be distributed to the Annual Conference Department of Congregational Excellence and the Cabinet. If any church property is sold within the boundaries of any of the listed urban county areas, proceeds shall be processed under this strategic plan for urban ministries.

Counties with more than 50,000 population (from
State County Name Population
KS Johnson 544,179
NE Douglas 517,110
KS Sedgwick 498,365
NE Lancaster 285,407
NE Sarpy 158,840
KS Wyandotte 157,505
KS Shawnee 117,934
KS Douglas 110,826
KS Leavenworth 76,227
KS Riley 71,115
KS Butler 65,880
KS Reno 64,511
NE Hall 58,607
KS Saline 55,606

The claims and restrictions upon proceeds of the sale of such properties include:

  • The mission field in the property area made up of the people who are in need of a relationship with Christ – to be brought to follow Jesus, become disciples and transform the world.
  • The congregation that built and used the property, if that congregation still exists at the time of the sale.
  • The district in which the church property is located.
  • The Annual Conference.


District Urban Ministry Planning and Implementation

The Districts that contain an urban municipality will develop an urban ministry plan for their urban area. The District Strategy Team or alternate structure chosen by the District are to work together to develop a plan that:

  • Identifies the people groups in the urban area mission field (demographic Profile).
  • Identifies the people groups who are participating actively in existing churches (demographic profile of the church population).
  • Identifies churches that are capable of extending new missions or ministries to reach people outside the prominent people group of the church – do cross-cultural ministry.
  • Identifies potential leaders of new missions, new church plants and new ministries among the diverse people in the urban mission field.
  • Develops a plan to reach the people in the mission field with missions, new church plants and ministries.
  • Develops long-term (7-10 years) funding plans for mission, church plants and ministries among the diverse people in the urban mission field.
  • Sets measurable goals and timelines for reaching the diverse people in the urban mission field with the gospel of Christ.
  • Assigns specific responsibilities for carrying out the plan to individuals, teams and churches.
  • Evaluates the plan and its implementation.