About 1k Churches

1K Churches is an ecumenical Christian initiative to build a base of congregations and individuals committed to discovering God’s Economy and transforming our own. Through participating in a Bible study and making an investment in micro-businesses in their local communities, church members will explore their individual and institutional call as economic actors. The name “1K Churches” comes from the vision that by 2017, one thousand churches across the U.S. will be actively engaged, making this initiative a movement.

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Faith and Finance: One Pastor’s Reflections

August 30, 2022

Meet Rev. Philip Waite, a new friend of Criterion Institute, who has a passion for connecting faith and finance to do God’s work in the world. Rev. Waite is pastoral team leader of College Mennonite Church on the campus of Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.

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Congregational Stories: Relationships and Microlending's Best Dividend

August 30, 2022

Now in our third year of interest-free lending to small businesses in greater Austin, University United Methodist’s most valuable “dividend” is our relationships with our neighbors providing the “sweat equity” to start or grow those businesses.

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Hope and Grace Abound

August 31, 2022

Hope was the first word spoken. Members of the 1K Churches team at Napa Valley Lutheran Church (Napa, California) had been asked to use one word to express what they were feeling now -- four years since they first began with the Bible study.

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Transforming Power

August 30, 2023

In God’s economy, members of the human family work together for the common good – producing, growing, building, trading, serving and caring for one another.

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Congregational Stories: Lending, Learning, Leading

August 31, 2022

More than two years ago, The Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) in Ruxton, Maryland, launched its Micro-Lending Program. To date they have made 11 loans totaling $34,750. How did they do it?

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Congregational Stories: This is What Discovering God's Economy Looks Like

August 31, 2022

Criterion Institute's develops congregational guides and support in an initiative to build a base of congregations and individuals committed to discovering God’s Economy and transforming our own.

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Reflection: Experiencing TOOLKIT

August 31, 2022

Since 2016, Criterion Institute has been delivering our signature workshop, TOOLKIT for Using Finance for Social Change to audiences throughout the globe.

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Expanding Our Financial Imagination in Times of Crisis

June 11, 2020

The Tipping Point Our world has been turned upside down. In a few short months, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rhythms of our lives and caused vast human suffering – physical, social, economic, spiritual.

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I Love Your Materials!

April 16, 2020

“I love your materials!” That is a direct quote from Marlene Kroeker on a call with Criterion Institute via Zoom last week.

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Interested in getting involved with Criterion Institute?

Our work depends on an ever-expanding community of team members, advisors, donors, and other partners who help us demonstrate our theory of change and ultimately achieve our mission. Learn more about how you can become more engaged in our work.

Invitations to Engage