A Wealth of Connections: Former RUF Pastor Stephen Maginas on His New Role as Financial Planning Advisor
Stephen Maginas is no stranger to the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA).
He grew up in a PCA church, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, and later spent nearly a decade working as a campus minister for Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), the denomination’s college ministry.
Stephen’s familiarity with the unique challenges faced by pastors and ministry workers is one of the many reasons he’s perfectly suited for his new role as Financial Planning Advisor at PCA Retirement & Benefits (RBI).
Serving Those Who Serve
As a Financial Planning Advisor, one of Stephen’s main areas of focus will be the hundreds of men and women who serve in RUF. Whether it’s helping them create a budget, plan for retirement, or figure out how much they need to save for their kids’ college, he’s grateful for the opportunity to meet such a felt need for those in ministry.
In many ways, Stephen’s background makes him ideal for the role: he has a huge passion for the ministry, tons of connections within the network, and a deep understanding of the particular challenges faced by pastors and staff members.
“You can train someone in the financial stuff, but you can’t really train someone to get ministers,” he said. “You almost have to go through it—the sacrifice of going to seminary for four years, living out the life of a minister, the ins and outs of Presbytery, and understanding what people go through.”
In his role, Stephen will also serve many other plan participants, whether they be church staff members or even folks outside the denomination (such as private schools in the ARPC and similar, like-minded organizations). But his primary area of focus will be serving those in RUF, a fact he’s incredibly excited about.
“The bottom line is, I love RUF,” he said. “In some ways, it was the centerpiece of my ministry career, so I want to serve it well. This is the role the Lord has me in right now.”
A Natural Fit
Although new to the financial services industry, Stephen brings a wealth of business and ministry experience to his role. After graduating from Colorado Christian University with a BS in Business Administration, Maginas worked in real estate for several years (20 years later, he still maintains his real estate license). Eventually, he felt a call to ministry and went on to get his MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta.
Maginas then became an ordained minister in the PCA and spent the next ten years in ministry working as a campus pastor for RUF, primarily at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. As he was ministering to college students, he became incredibly familiar with the rhythms and dynamics of ministry life.
A networker by nature, Stephen has a vast web of relationships within the RUF and PCA worlds. These trusted relationships will no doubt serve him well as he seeks to serve pastors and ministry workers across the nation.
But it’s not just the relational aspects of the role that excite him. Maginas has always been passionate about personal finances. He’s often found himself helping other pastor and ministry friends think through real estate or financial questions.
“I’ve always sort of geeked out on this stuff, you know, personal financial wellness. Between that and my real estate background, in some ways, stepping into this role has been pretty streamlined. [In the past] I’ve ended up playing this sort of advisor role to a lot of other people because it’s just really complicated stuff. How do you navigate all the challenges when it comes to finances, taxes, and houses?”
Maginas has already been certified as a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), and now he’s on track to become a Certified Financial Planner in the next two to three years.
Meeting a Need and Serving the Kingdom
When asked what he loves most about his new role, Maginas gave two answers. The first was getting to serve pastors and ministry workers in such a tangible way.
“There’s just such a need for financial advising. Being able to help others navigate the complexities of life so that they can better do ministry, I think that’s what is so exciting about this role. When you feel like you’re gifted in a certain area, and you’re able to employ those in a way that serves the kingdom of God and serves the denomination, it’s really rewarding.”
He also spoke to the unique joys of seeing what God is doing around the denomination:
“I love being able to connect with people all over the denomination. The PCA is so much bigger than just RTS and RUF. Getting to see what the Lord is doing all over the world and through the denomination is a lot of fun.”
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