Frequently Asked Questions
Gifts can be sent to Mid-America in a variety of ways. You can mail your gift to the seminary at:
Mid-America Reformed Seminary
229 Seminary Drive
Dyer, IN 46311
If you are in Canada you can send your gift to:
Mid-America Reformed Seminary
P.O. Box 28081
St. Catharines, ON L2N 7P8
If you wish to donate online click here.
If you wish to donate via debit bank account click here and complete and return the form to Mid-America.
For all other gifts including gifts of stock, commodities or real estate contact Mid-America’s Director of Development or call the seminary at 219-864-2400.
Why should your stewardship include Mid-America? Our mission is to prepare pastors to declare the good news of Jesus Christ. This is good news that radically transforms the hearts and lives of those who believe. But “how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10)
Your gift to Mid-America has exponential worth. Each graduate will minister the hope and comfort of Jesus Christ to thousands around the world in their ministries. Your gift will help assure that people everywhere hear of the hope of the Bread of Life and that those who are weary may find rest.
Absolutely! Did you also know that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans account for only 25 percent of all charitable giving? When calculated as a percentage of income, those who earn less than $20,000 become twice as charitable as those who earn $100,000. Have you ever considered not giving because you don’t think your ‘small’ donation will make a difference? Small donations collectively have a huge impact and regardless of the size of your individual gift, it will make a difference. Every donation truly matters. Regardless of the amount we can contribute, the heart of the donor is what counts – that’s you.
Yes, Mid-America will provide you with a written receipt of your gift.
Matching gifts can greatly increase your charitable giving power. Many corporations encourage their employees to engage in charitable giving to non-profit organizations through a matching gift program. These programs are part of corporate charitable giving initiatives that not only encourage employee participation in charitable giving, but also extend the reach of the corporation’s charitable giving.
The most common type of corporate matching gift program involves a charitable gift to Mid-America and your employer will match that gift. You are generally required to obtain a matching gift form from your company’s Human Resources Department. Most companies have a number of eligibility requirements so make sure you meet those requirements. If you work for a company that has international operations and you work abroad, you will probably still be eligible to participate.
If you are retired you might be surprised to know that the company you worked for may still match your charitable gift even in retirement. Contact the company to find out if you qualify.
If you are not sure if your company has a matching gift program, start by contacting the Human Resources Department. Mid-America may also be able to tell you if your company has a matching gift program. You can contact the Director of Development or call him at 219-864-2400.
For donors it is often difficult to determine their gift will be used. We understand this difficulty and will provide any information you wish to know including audited financial statements. Mid-America is accredited by the ECFA, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. If you would like any information email or call Mid-America’s Director of Development at 219-864-2400.
Matthew 6:3-4 says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” In seeking to be faithful to this admonition, Mid-America does not have a donor recognition program.
To obtain more information on giving or planning you can send Mid-America’s Director of Development an email or contact him at 219-864-2400.
One of the many confidential services offered by Barnabas Foundation at no charge or obligation to you is the opportunity to discuss the spiritual and financial issues related to your Estate Planning. We have extensive experience in helping families to think through how they can best honor God with everything He’s entrusted to them.
For example, through this planning process with Barnabas Foundation, you will discover ways you can support your favorite Christian charities during your lifetime and after your death.
First Wills are usually prepared when there are young children in a family whose needs include passing property to the surviving spouse and naming a Guardian/Trustee to care for and protect children. As children reach maturity, different concerns will emerge about one’s Estate. Wills and Estate Plans that were once adequate must be updated to meet new challenges and circumstances.
No “one-size-fits-all” solution meets the planning needs of every Christian. The Planning Guide below provides a convenient way to assess your own situation and plan accordingly. (Use it with your own planning advisors to help meet your goals.)
Estate Planning Checklist
An up-to-date Will or Living Trust
As your planning needs change over the years, your Will should be updated to manage these changes.
A Living Trust disposes of property in much the same way as a Will, while providing other benefits. A Living Trust is a simple and flexible way for you to hold and manage your property. It will also allow for others to act on your behalf at any time it may become necessary. If the Trust contains all your property, then the Estate passes free of probate.
A Durable Power of Attorney
Through this document, you appoint a person to manage your property if you become incapacitated. A Power of Attorney applies to property that you have not transferred into a Trust. Formal guardianships on your behalf are normally made unnecessary by this action.
A Living Will
Most states now authorize you to make a statement of your desires regarding medical treatment if you become terminally ill. Preferences about the use of “heroic efforts” and artificial life supports are frequently included.
A Health Care Power of Attorney
This document allows you to appoint a person to be your representative in making medical decisions for you at any time you are unable to make them yourself.
Glossary of Estate Planning and Planned Giving Terms
Estate Planning is part of our spiritual responsibility for the assets God has entrusted to us. When we realize that everything we own actually belongs to God and we are simply His caretakers or stewards, we understand the importance of making sure that those assets are passed on in a way that honors God and furthers His kingdom.
Property to which a value can be assigned; the property owned by a person or organization. In legal terms, the property of a person that can be taken by law for the settlement of debts or that forms part of a person’s Estate
An individual designated to receive benefits or funds under a Will or Trust, or other contract, such as an insurance policy, Trust or retirement plan.
To give or leave something by Will or Trust; typically personal property, cash or other assets.
Capital Gain Tax
A separate tax charged on the profit from the sale of an asset that was purchased at a lower price. For instance, if an individual purchases stock for $100, then sells that stock for $500, he or she will pay capital gain tax on the profit of $400. Capital gain tax rates are usually different than income tax rates.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A Trust created by a donor that makes payments to the individual(s) for life or a period of years. At the end of the Trust term, the remaining balance in the Trust is distributed to charity. The donor receives a charitable tax deduction at the time of the gift to the Trust.
Charitable Lead Trust
A Trust designed to reduce beneficiaries’ taxable income by first donating a portion of the Trust’s income to charity. Then, after a specified period of time, the remainder of the Trust is transferred to the beneficiaries who typically face lower taxes.
A Trust generally established at death through a Will or Trust. This type of Trust often has “rules” for how and when Trust proceeds will be distributed to children. A typical Children’s Trust will distribute as much money as necessary for the care, support and education of the children. Often, when the children reach a certain age, the balance of the Trust assets are distributed to them for their personal use.
An institution that acts for the benefit of another. One example is a bank acting as Trustee.
Double Tax Asset
Many people have retirement assets such as an IRA or 401(k). The withdrawal from these accounts is subject to income tax. If such an asset is left to loved ones, they too will pay income tax on the amounts they withdraw from the accounts. If the Estate is large enough that it is subject to Estate tax upon death, the retirement assets will be taxed twice – once upon death and again when funds are withdrawn. If retirement assets are used to satisfy charitable bequests, both income tax and Estate tax will be eliminated on these assets.
A tax imposed at one’s death on the transfer of property.
Executor (or Personal Representative)
The person named in a Will to manage one’s Estate after death. This person will collect the property, pay any debt and distribute property or assets according to the Will.
A person or institution legally responsible for the management, investment and distribution of funds. Examples include Trustees, executors and administrators.
A contract between a donor and a charity that provides the donor with guaranteed fixed payments for life. The donor receives a charitable deduction at the time of funding the Gift Annuity, and the annual payment percentage is based on the donor’s age at the time the gift is made. In addition, a portion of each payment is tax-free. Upon the death of the donor, the charity receives the balance of the annuity.
Tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient.
An individual legally appointed to manage the rights and/or property of a person incapable of taking care of his or her own affairs.
Income In Respect Of a Decedent
The portion of your Estate designated for Christian causes where the assets used for the charitable gift should be those that have not previously been subject to income tax.
A person who dies intestate has no Will, and the State then designates how personal property and assets will be distributed.
The ownership of property by two or more people, often with the right of survivorship. The survivor thus ends up owning the property outright upon the death of the other party.
A Living Will is a document that allows a person to explain the type of medical treatment that they wish to receive in the event of a terminal illness where death is imminent. A Living Will often indicates when life support, hydration or nutrition may be removed. Laws governing Living Wills vary by state.
A deduction allowing for the unlimited transfer of any or all property from one spouse to the other, generally free of Estate and gift taxes.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
A document that authorizes another person (an advocate) to make health care decisions for an individual if he or she is incapable of making their own decisions.
Power of Attorney for Property
A document that authorizes a person (described as the agent) to conduct financial transactions for another individual. The agent’s power can be restricted within the document. A Durable Power of Attorney for Property is valid even if the individual becomes incapacitated.
Probate is the legal process of settling a person’s Estate, specifically to resolve all claims and distribute the person’s property under the valid Will. Probate protects the individual’s instructions, confirms the executor as the personal representative of the Estate, protects the interests of family members who may have claims against the Estate, and protects the executor against claims and law suits.
Revocable Living Trust
An Estate Planning tool that provides for the convenient administration of the assets in an individual’s Estate without the necessity of court supervision. When assets are transferred into a Revocable Living Trust (a process called “funding”), the Trustee can manage the assets in the event of the individual’s incapacity or death. This type of Trust is often used to avoid the probate court process and can also be used to provide ongoing management of assets after one’s death. A Revocable Living Trust can be amended or revoked until such time as the individual is incapacitated or deceased.
A Trust that is created upon death by the terms of a person’s Will.
The individual or institution entrusted with the duty of managing property placed in the Trust. A “co-trustee” serves as trustee with another. A “contingent trustee” becomes Trustee upon the occurrence of a specified future event.
Often referred to as a “Last Will and Testament,” a Will is a final statement of one’s wishes regarding the assets in one’s Estate. A Will does not eliminate the need for probate court intervention, as many people mistakenly believe, but it gives the probate court direction as to how the assets should be distributed. In most states, a Will is the document used to name guardians of minor children.