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AARP and Shaw University Partner to Improve Financial Security

RALEIGH -- In a first-of-its-kind effort, AARP North Carolina and Shaw University Divinity School have announced a pilot program on financial literacy. This effort is being implemented to improve the savings rates of individuals of all ages so people can be better prepared to meet the financial demands of the future.

"It is a pleasure to partner once again with AARP,” said Shaw University Divinity School Interim Dean Dr. David C. Forbes. “Shaw University’s Divinity School has in common with AARP a genuine concern for people, and their access to knowledge which will maximize their life chances. The Divinity School appreciates the continuing investment of AARP in the communities we serve.”

Beginning this fall, AARP’s Financial Freedom Program will be an on-going requirement for all of Shaw University’s divinity students through ADM 501: Church Administration and AARP-Principles of Financial Stewardship.  The course will equip church leaders with the skills necessary to develop short and long term strategies that empower them to make solid financial decisions for their organizations. The ultimate objective of the course is to provide participants with the essential tools to implement a Financial Education Ministry for their church, thereby enhancing the financial literacy of its congregants.

“The clergy play an important role in influencing the decisions people make every day and offer encouragement to help us reach our goals,” said AARP Director of Multicultural Markets Edna Kane-Williams. AARP presented the Divinity School with a $10,000 donation to help start the program.

“AARP is excited to work with the University faculty to add financial literacy as a course requirement, and to work with other religious leaders in the community to offer effective AARP tools and training that will put people on a path to financial freedom.”

AARP Associate State Director Debra Tyler Horton acknowledges that it is a big job to get your financial house in order. She quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Faith is taking a step when you don’t see the whole staircase,” she said.

“Being financially free doesn’t happen overnight,” Tyler Horton explained. But week by week, month by month, and step by step, this effort will help make progress.”

The partnership will also include faculty written articles and blogs, university led research on financial planning through a theological lens, intergenerational programs and financial planning workshops for young adults, and outreach to 20 local churches to help create programs supporting financial literacy.

I’m confident that our partnership with AARP will set the standard for how universities can work with organizations to better their communities,” said Shaw Interim President Dr. Gaddis Faulcon. “Our Divinity School is not only preparing students for the spiritual ministry but now, with the help of AARP, we are also preparing our students for the financial ministry which is crucial to our community’s sustainability and longevity for the future.”

AARP’s Kane-Williams concluded, “Through this effort, we hope people will have a better understanding of where they stand financially, how money decisions affect your life, how to set realistic and obtainable goals, understand and use tools and techniques for budgeting and develop and initiate individual action plans to help improve financial situations.”

AARP's partnership will help put people on the path to financial freedom.

Shaw University was founded in 1865 and is the first historically Black university in the South. This year, Shaw University is celebrating its 150th (sesquicentennial) Anniversary . Shaw is a private, co-educational liberal arts university that awards degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The primary mission of the University is to advance knowledge, facilitate student learning and achievement, to enhance the spiritual and ethical values of its students, and to transform a diverse community of learners into future global leaders.  Learn more at

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