Partnering with UMC Leaders

Sometimes you just need the right partner.

When Christ UMC in Salt Lake City, UT and Parker UMC in Parker, CO were looking to refinance their loans, they wanted to work with their conference foundation, but without the right partnership this simply was not possible.

Even though the Mountain Sky UM Foundation (formerly the Rocky Mountain UM Foundation) had sextupled its loan capacity over the course of eight years, under the skillful leadership of their Executive Director, they could not provide loans totaling more than $1 million to a single church.

Since Christ UMC and Parker UMC were each seeking more than this amount, it would seem impossible for these churches to fit within the foundation’s parameters. However, when a loan exceeds $1 million, the Mountain Sky UM Foundation simply works to find partners who will share their risk – partners like the United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF).



UMDF is a United Methodist organization that not only offers loans and investment opportunities to churches, but also uses a significant portion of their net revenue to support the work of the church. Additionally, they partner with other Methodist Foundations to serve the needs of churches across the country.   

“Partnering with UMDF allows us to be bigger than we really are; more importantly, it allows us to serve all of our churches. This means local congregations do not have to go to multiple lenders. Instead, we are able to make a loan that meets the church’s needs completely,” Executive Director Kristi Kinnison noted.

For Christ UMC and Parker UMC, this means their local foundation is their lender.

This arrangement allows the Mountain Sky UM Foundation to maintain and cultivate relationships with conference churches, while UMDF serves as a behind the scenes investor. It also ensures they do not have to turn churches away, who would otherwise be approved.

“When we have a partner like UMDF, we suddenly step into a larger space and banks take us very seriously as a competitor,” Kristi stated. “Not only can we offer larger loans but partnering with UMDF also helps us mitigate risk. Furthermore, UMDF brings additional professional and legal resources to the table, which ensures our assets are well protected. When you consider all of this paired with the fact that the interest UMDF generates is reinvested back into the work of the church, you have a remarkable win-win situation.”

And Kristi would know. She closed $1 billion in mortgage loans in a previous career, before guiding the Mountain Sky UM Foundation to experience exponential growth.

UMDF is grateful to partner with leaders like Kristi, who is making an incredible difference in the life of the church. Who is partnering with you?

(Click here to see more photos from Christ UMC or Parker UMC.)