Creating Healthy Leaders

For over 200 years, Lutherans have been supporting the well-being of faith leaders and their families. Why? Because those leaders help others to live out their purpose. And that’s not easy work.

Healthy, resilient people shape healthy, resilient communities.

Our churches and organizations are stronger when God’s people are good stewards of the lives God has given them. When they care for their well-being, they show up with strength, courage, vulnerability, compassion, and grace.

More than two decades ago, Portico began offering holistic health benefits. Since then, we’ve actively invited our members – and the entire ELCA community — to embrace a faith-based, whole-person approach to living well.

This call to live well invites people to:

  • Address the many dimensions of our well-being
  • Recognize that our health or ill-health in one dimension affects our well-being in other dimensions
  • Understand that one can find healing without necessarily finding a cure

Over the years, we’ve created a variety of cutting-edge inspirational campaigns and resources, each designed to help people live well financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Follow Portico’s Facebook page for wellness resources and inspiration

Live Well via Small Steps

Supporting the financial well-being of those who lead — from seminary to retirement — has much to do with creating and maintaining vital ministries.

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Portico’s Seminary Scholarship

More than ever, it’s critical to ease financial barriers for those entering ministry. By investing in future ELCA leaders, we empower those whom God calls to serve as the church needs and the Holy Spirit leads.

Since 2000, the ELCA’s Fund for Leaders has offered scholarships to ELCA seminary students pursuing rostered ministry, providing over $2.8 million in scholarships to 297 ELCA seminary students in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Portico contributes to the ELCA Fund for Leaders by providing one full-tuition scholarship — funded 100% through donations from Portico employees, trustees, advisers, and benefit partners. No funding comes from the benefit contributions paid to Portico by sponsoring employers or plan members.

Learn more about the ELCA Fund for Leaders

Resourceful Servants

The ELCA seeks to be a thriving church, spreading the gospel and deepening faith for all people. But it also recognizes that financial strain can keep leaders and congregations from thriving.

The ELCA’s Resourceful Servants Initiative was created to promote financial wellness for ELCA congregations, rostered ministers, and seminarians. It is supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment and a partnership between the ELCA churchwide organization, the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA, the ELCA Federal Credit Union, the ELCA Foundation, Portico Benefit Services, and Lutheran Social Service (LSS) Financial Counseling.

Portico’s role focuses on the financial well-being of rostered ministers. For many, financial stress stands in the way — due to a lack of emergency savings, a lack of retirement savings, or both.

Resourceful Servants offers two Savings Matching programs:

  • One encourages emergency savings through the ELCA Federal Credit Union
  • One encourages retirement savings through Portico

Portico also offers resources designed to help leaders shape their own financial wellness — recorded webinars, the online Retirement Planning Tool, and Portico Financial Planners.

Matching funds and learning resources are helping participants develop healthy savings habits and more rapidly grow their savings and retirement accounts.

Learn more about this ELCA initiative 

ELCA Special Needs Retirement Fund

When a retired leader or churchworker experiences real financial hardship, the ELCA is there.

The ELCA Special Needs Retirement Fund was established in 1993 to provide financial assistance (monthly retirement income, and in some cases, health plan contributions) to eligible retired leaders and churchworkers and their surviving spouses living on a low income.

Portico co-administers this fund with the ELCA. It serves about 40 people a year, and was founded by generous donations from individuals and congregations, as well as support from the churchwide organization and Portico.

In general, eligibility requires:

  • Reaching full Social Security retirement age
  • Retiring with at least seven years of retirement plan participation
  • Being sponsored in the retirement plan on the date of your retirement
  • Total monthly income from all sources to be less than $2,602 if single or $3,522 if married
  • Assets valued less than $250,000, with no more than $75,000 of that in cash or investments

To learn more about this fund, eligibility requirements, and how to apply, please call Portico’s Customer Care Center at 800.352.2876