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Faith and Payday Loans: A Response to Predatory Lending

Thursday, April 20th, 2023-12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

According to a 2023 survey by Lifeway Research, more than 3 in 4 Christians believe it is a sin to lend money in a way that hurts the borrower financially. Still, 1 in 3 people have used payday loans themselves.

Watch our webinar titled “Faith and Payday Loans: A Response to Predatory Lending?” Co-sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, our panelists analyzed the key findings of a recent online survey conducted by Lifeway Research in partnership with the Faith for Just Lending Coalition. The survey examined the experiences and views of 1,000 Christians from 27 states about payday loans.

Luke Bretherton, Research Professor of Moral and Political Theology at Duke University, and Whitney Barkley-Denney of the Center for Responsible Lending joined us to discuss alternatives to payday lending, policy recommendations to protect borrowers, and how people of faith can play a key role in helping those who are caught in a cycle of payday loans.


Whitney Barkley-Denney is a deputy director of state policy and a senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). She works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors. Prior to CRL, Whitney worked on a range of election law issues as director of the Michigan Election Law Project and field director for Election Protection 2008, coordinating law students and attorneys to monitor polls for election irregularities during the 2008 presidential campaign. Whitney clerked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, serving in the Voter Protection Division, working to enforce the 1964 Voting Rights Act. She accepted a fellowship from Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps to do foreclosure assistance work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, developing legal and policy expertise in foreclosure, consumer lending, and for-profit colleges. In 2013 and 2014, Whitney was appointed to the US Department of Education’s Federal Rulemaking Committee on Gainful Employment and Programmatic Integrity, helping to set federal financial policy for students.

Whitney attended The College of Charleston, in Charleston (SC), and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, being named 2009 Woman Law Student of the Year by the National Women Lawyers Association. When she’s not at work, Whitney enjoys theater.


Luke Bretherton is Robert E. Cushman Distinguished Research Professor of Moral and Political Theology and senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Before joining the Duke faculty in 2012, he was reader in Theology & Politics and convener of the Faith & Public Policy Forum at King’s College London. His latest book is Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy (Eerdmans, 2019). Specific issues addressed in his work include euthanasia and hospice care, debt and usury, fair trade, environmental justice, racism, humanitarianism, the treatment of refugees, interfaith relations, secularism, nationalism, church-state relations, and the church’s involvement in social welfare provision and social movements. Alongside his scholarly work, he writes in the media (including The GuardianThe Times and The Washington Post) on topics related to religion and politics, has worked with a variety of faith-based NGOs, mission agencies, and churches around the world, and has been actively involved over many years in forms of grassroots democratic politics, both in the UK and the US. His primary areas of research, supervision, and teaching are Christian ethics, political theology, the intellectual and social history of Christian moral and political thought, the relationship between Christianity and capitalism, missiology, interfaith relations, and practices of social, political, and economic witness.


Thursday, April 20th, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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