Financial Peace University vs. True Financial Freedom vs. Crown Financial MoneyLife

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I recently completed three of the top Christian financial education programs for churches: SeedTime’s True Financial Freedom, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and Crown Financial’s MoneyLife.

These popular programs all claim to help you get control of your finances from a biblical perspective. However, they go about it in different ways with varying teaching styles and philosophies.

In this post, I’ll provide an in-depth look at each program – breaking down the unique features, strengths, weaknesses, and what’s actually included when you buy in. 

My goal is to give you the real deal on these courses so you can determine which one (if any) is the best fit for transforming your financial life in a way that aligns with your faith. Whether you’re deep in debt, building wealth, or simply trying to honor God with your money, this comparison will help guide your journey.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of each program:

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey sits in the middle. For an individual membership, it’s $69.99. They also offer bulk pricing for churches starting at around $800 for 10 memberships.

On the higher end, Seedtime’s True Financial Freedom charges $149 for an individual/couple license with regular deals making it available as low as $74. But they have some solid deals for Churches – you can get a bulk student license for as low as $48 per person if you buy multiple licenses. Or there’s an annual church subscription starting as low as $750 per year based on average attendance.

The most affordable option is Crown Financial’s MoneyLife course at just $29.95 for an individual purchase. I couldn’t find any publicly listed bulk pricing for churches, but being a non-profit, I’d expect them to be the cheapest route for congregations.

But as you’ll see, there are plenty more differences beyond just the price tags when comparing what’s actually included in each program.

True Financial Freedom (SeedTime)

True Financial Freedom, created by Bob Lotich and his wife Linda from SeedTime, is a financial literacy video course designed for churches that strikes a beautiful balance between biblical wisdom and practical money management strategies. The program’s goal is to equip Christians with the tools and mindset they need to experience true financial freedom while making an eternal impact for God’s Kingdom.

screenshot of Seedtime homepage for True Financial Freedomscreenshot of Seedtime homepage for True Financial Freedom

One of the standout features of True Financial Freedom is the engaging and relatable teaching style of Bob and Linda. They share their own financial struggles and triumphs with humor, transparency, and grace, making participants feel like they’re learning from wise, caring friends rather than aloof experts. This approach creates a safe, non-judgmental environment where participants can openly discuss their financial challenges and celebrate their progress.

The program offers several unique benefits, such as the “Never 100” rule (their ‘done-is-better-than-perfect’ approach to adjust spending) and the “Straight A” strategy for automating finances. These concepts are not only memorable but also highly actionable in helping participants take control of their money and build lasting wealth.

Another strength of True Financial Freedom is its emphasis on creating a personalized financial strategy. Through interactive workshops, participants are guided in developing a custom blueprint that fits their unique situation, goals, and values. This approach recognizes that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to personal finance and empowers participants to take ownership of their financial journey.

True Financial Freedom is perfect for Christians who want to learn how to thrive financially while staying grounded in the Bible. The program teaches participants how to avoid the extremes of being “so heavenly-minded they’re no earthly good” or becoming so focused on building worldly wealth that they lose sight of what truly matters.

With its grace-filled approach and practical tools, True Financial Freedom helps Christians find the balance needed to change their financial life and make a lasting difference in the world in the process.

Included:

  • 6 on-demand video sessions (around 60 mins each)
  • Printable worksheets, tools, and calculators (physical workbook also available)
  • Access to their Real Money Budgeting course (their popular (un)Budgeting approach)
  • Interactive exercises and a workshop-style approach

Course Outline:

  1. Hope & Vision – Find new hope for your finances through Biblical financial principles, break free of defining your worth by your net worth.
  2. Design Your Blueprint – Learn the building block for your new plan, the “Never 100” rule to control income/spending.
  3. Straight A Strategy – Automate your finances using a simple 4-step ‘set it and forget it’ process.
  4. Earn More – Unlock your God-given gifts and talents to earn more in the digital era.
  5. Eternal Impact – Redefine giving as an eternal investment and epic adventure (not an obligation).
  6. Multiply & Enjoy – Simple investing strategies that can change your life, your family, and the world.

Financial Peace University (Ramsey Solutions)

Financial Peace University, created by Dave Ramsey and his team at Ramsey Solutions, is a highly popular financial education program that has helped countless individuals and families get out of debt and build wealth. The program’s primary goal is to guide participants through a proven, step-by-step approach to taking control of their money and achieving financial peace.

Dave Ramsey's Baby StepsDave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Dave Ramsey, the face of Financial Peace University, is known for his high-energy, tough love teaching style. He delivers hard-hitting truths about money with a sense of urgency and conviction that inspires participants to take action. However, some may find his approach a bit intense or even abrasive at times, likening it to going through bootcamp. While this style resonates with some, it may not be everyone’s preferred learning environment.

The cornerstone of Financial Peace University is the “Baby Steps” system, a clear, prescriptive plan for getting out of debt and building wealth. The program heavily emphasizes the debt snowball method, which involves paying off debts from smallest to largest, regardless of interest rates. This approach has proven highly effective in keeping participants motivated and helping them experience quick wins on their debt-free journey.

While Financial Peace University does incorporate some biblical principles, its overall approach is more secular in nature. The program focuses primarily on the practical nuts and bolts of money management, with less emphasis on exploring the deeper spiritual implications of financial stewardship.

Financial Peace University is best suited for individuals and families who are drowning in debt and need a clear, actionable plan to get back on track. The program’s structured approach and intense motivation can be a lifeline for those feeling overwhelmed by their financial situation. However, those seeking a more personalized, grace-filled approach that deeply integrates biblical wisdom may find other programs more appealing.

Included:

  • 9 video lessons walking through the 7 Baby Steps
  • 1 year access to the video lessons
  • 3 months access to EveryDollar budgeting app
  • Group financial coaching for 1 year
  • 1 free one-on-one coaching session
  • Digital workbook

Course Outline:

  • Baby Step 1 & Budgeting – Build your $1,000 emergency buffer and gain control through budgeting
  • Baby Step 2 – Learn the debt snowball method to eliminate all non-mortgage debt fast
  • Baby Step 3 – Save 3-6 months’ expenses for a fully-loaded emergency fund
  • Baby Steps 4-7 – Invest 15% for retirement, save for college, pay off home, build wealth
  • Wise Spending – Outsmart marketing tactics to curb impulsive spending
  • Understanding Insurance – The 8 essential and unnecessary insurance types explained
  • Building Wealth – Simplify retirement investing to build lasting wealth
  • Buying & Selling Your Home – Avoid mortgage missteps – rent vs buy wisdom
  • Outrageous Generosity – Discover the joy of outrageous generosity


MoneyLife (Crown Financial)

MoneyLife, offered by Crown Financial, is a financial education program that takes a deeply biblical approach to money management. The program’s primary goal is to guide Christians in understanding and applying God’s financial principles to their lives, emphasizing the importance of seeing God as the ultimate provider and owner of all resources.

One of MoneyLife’s distinguishing features is its strong focus on biblical teachings and spiritual practices related to money. The program dives deep into exploring how our financial decisions can reflect our faith and values, encouraging participants to align their money management with biblical principles. This emphasis on the spiritual aspects of finance sets MoneyLife apart from other programs that may focus more heavily on practical strategies.

The teaching style in MoneyLife tends to be more academic and classroom-like compared to other programs. Participants can expect a significant amount of reading materials and written assessments throughout the course. While this approach may appeal to those who prefer a studious learning environment, it may not be as engaging for individuals who thrive on interactive, video-based content.

MoneyLife offers some unique elements, such as personality assessments that help participants understand how their natural tendencies impact their financial decisions. The program also includes exercises like the transfer of ownership, which guides participants in acknowledging God’s ultimate ownership of their resources. These introspective activities can be powerful tools for reshaping participants’ mindsets and habits around money.

However, one potential drawback of MoneyLife is that its emphasis on biblical principles and spiritual practices may come at the expense of providing highly actionable, practical financial strategies.

MoneyLife is ideal for Christians who are seeking a deeply biblical understanding of money management and are willing to engage in a more studious, reflective learning process. The program is well-suited for those who want to explore the spiritual foundations of financial stewardship and align their money habits with their faith. However, those primarily looking for a simple and easy financial strategy or a more interactive learning experience may find other programs that better fit their needs.

Included:

  • 10 self-paced video lessons
  • MoneyLife Indicator financial assessment
  • Lots of reading materials, PDFs, homework
  • Course syllabus and schedule
  • Spiritual practices like prayer logs

Course Outline:

MoneyLife (Crown Financial)

  1. Unwavering Hope – Find unshakable hope in God as the true provider
  2. The Plan – Develop a realistic spending plan aligned with God’s perspective
  3. Ditching Debt – Achieve debt freedom using biblical truth and practical tools
  4. Saving – Set short and long-term savings goals to steward resources well
  5. Investing – Build an investment portfolio to create a legacy of generosity
  6. Good Work – Identify your purpose to experience fulfillment in your career
  7. Generous Living – Overcome obstacles to experience the joy of committed giving
  8. Paying It Forward – Discover strategies to transfer wisdom to future generations
  9. True Riches – Align spending with needs vs. wants to pursue true wealth
  10. The Choice – Commit to choose God’s path for money to experience freedom

Quick Comparison:

Feature True Financial Freedom (SeedTime) Financial Peace University (Ramsey) MoneyLife (Crown Financial)
Goal To give Christians a Biblical framework and practical tools so they can manage money wisely, experience true financial freedom, and make an eternal impact for God’s Kingdom. To help individuals and families get out of debt, build wealth, and take control of their money using a proven, step-by-step approach. To guide Christians in understanding and applying God’s financial principles, seeing Him as the ultimate provider, and aligning their finances with Biblical values.
Approach -Strikes an effective balance between biblical wisdom and practical, actionable guidance.
-Helps you manage money in a way that honors God and sets you up to thrive financially.
-Heavily focused on getting out of debt using a proven system of “Baby Steps”.
-Incorporates some biblical principles but is more secular in its overall approach.
-Leans deeply into the biblical and spiritual side of money management. -Emphasizes seeing God as the ultimate provider.-Can feel a bit more theoretical at times.
Teaching Style -Engaging, relatable, and empowering (feels up-to-date with the modern ‘YouTube’ era of online learning).
-Real-life stories with humor and grace, making the course feel like a conversation with wise, caring friends.
-A lot of energy and motivation, but his style can come across as a bit harsh or stern at times, which doesn’t resonate with everyone.
-Comes across as more of a lecture than a workshop.
-More academic and classroom-like, with a heavy emphasis on reading materials and assessments.
-May not be as engaging for all learning types.
Personalization -The interactive workshop style guides you in creating a personalized money strategy tailored to your unique situation and goals.
-No one-size-fits-all plans, you build a blueprint that truly fits your life.
-Provides a clear, prescriptive set of “Baby Steps” to follow for getting out of debt and building wealth.
-While proven, it may not allow as much flexibility for individual circumstances.
-Offers some helpful personalized tools like the MoneyLife Indicator assessment-Emphasis on “God as provider” means the program has a very specific outline to achieve that goal which may feel rigid.
Unique Benefits -The simple “Never 100” rule for a done-is-better-than-perfect approach to saving.
-“Straight A” strategy for automating your finances.
-A strong focus on leveraging your unique God-given talents to increase your income.
-Eternal Impact as the ultimate goal (giving, investing in the Kingdom, etc..)
-Iconic “debt snowball” method for accelerating debt payoff and staying motivated.
-Access to EveryDollar budgeting app.
-Financial coaching resources.
-Scripture memory-The “transfer of ownership” exercise to help align your mindset and habits with biblical financial principles.
-Personality assessment to find and leverage your gifting.
Perfect for… -Those who want to learn how to truly live and thrive in the ways of the Kingdom (not being so heavenly-minded that they’re of no earthly good, but also not getting caught up in building their own earthly kingdom)
-A grace-filled, practical approach to experience true financial freedom and make an eternal impact!
-Individuals and families who are drowning in debt and need a clear, proven, step-by-step plan to get out of debt and start building wealth, with some biblical grounding and intense motivation. -Those who desire a deeply biblical exploration of God’s role in our finances, with a focus on spiritual practices and mindset shifts.
-Those who don’t mind a more academic, reading-heavy approach.

Personal Experience and Recommendations

Having gone through all 3 programs, here is my personal experience and recommendations:

I can honestly say that True Financial Freedom was a life-changing experience. Bob and Linda’s warm, relatable teaching style made me feel like I was learning from trusted friends who truly cared about my success. The program’s emphasis on creating a personalized financial strategy was a game-changer for me, as it helped me develop a plan that fit my unique situation and goals.

The “Never 100” rule and “Straight A” strategy have become cornerstones of my financial habits, helping me live below my means and automate my savings and giving. It was perfect for someone like myself who didn’t want a complicated, jargon-filled financial class – and wasn’t going to sign up for an intense ‘shame & blame’ session either.

Personally, True Financial Freedom struck that balance better than any of the other programs on the list and gave me the strategy to move forward. My savings, giving, and earning have all increased in significant ways since taking the program.

For those who are drowning in debt and need a clear, structured plan to get out, I highly recommend Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey’s no-nonsense approach and the step-by-step “Baby Steps” system can provide the motivation and direction needed to tackle debt head-on. The debt snowball method, in particular, has helped countless people experience quick wins and build momentum on their debt-free journey. Just be prepared for a more intense, boot camp-style learning environment.

If you’re seeking a program that deeply explores the biblical principles behind money management, Crown’s MoneyLife might be the right fit for you. The program’s emphasis on spiritual practices and aligning your finances with your faith can be incredibly powerful for those who want to grow in their understanding of God’s perspective on wealth. However, be prepared for a more academic, reading-intensive learning experience and less focus on highly practical, actionable strategies.

Ultimately, the best program for you will depend on your unique financial situation, learning style, and personal goals. If you’re looking for a grace-filled, practical approach that helps you thrive in God’s Kingdom while making an eternal impact, I highly recommend True Financial Freedom. If you need a structured, intensive plan to get out of debt fast, Financial Peace University could be your best bet. And if you desire a deep dive into the biblical foundations of money management, MoneyLife is worth considering.

Regardless of which program you choose, the most important thing is to take action and invest in your financial education. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to handle the resources God has entrusted to you and experience the joy and freedom that comes from aligning your finances with your faith.

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