GUEST Darren Thompson

Darren Thompson of Ministry Partners and Mark Ritter meet up to talk about why faith-based lending and member relationships are a nice complement to any credit union. Faith-based lending has some nuances compared to traditional lending but Darren leads us through the best practices and how to access these community organizations. Many credit unions shy away and will not work with churches, but it can be very beneficial in connections. Tune in to learn the benefits of lending to religious organizations. 


  • [02:04] Darren introduces himself and shares his background
  • [05:26] What makes credit unions nervous about church loans?
  • [10:06] What are the benefits of faith-based loans?
  • [14:48] Darren talks about criteria and red flags credit unions look for when a church applies for a loan
  • [18:08] Darren shares his experience with church lending through COVID
  • [22:06] How does Ministry Partners work with credit unions?


  • Partnering with a church gives a connection to the community. Churches often engage their lender as financial partners. Serving the church can turn into serving the families.
  • It’s important when considering church loans to look at church governance and cash flow. It is better to have an independent board than a pastor who makes all the decisions.
  • Ministry Partners can work together with credit unions to help with faith-based loans. Some examples would be partnering with banking services or helping with the underwriting of loans.


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Darren Thompson is the COO of Ministry Partners. They are a credit union owned CUSO serving the faith-based community through investments and lending.

Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership.

Mark Ritter Website

Mark Ritter on LinkedIn