CHESTNUT HILL, Mass., July 5 /PRNewswire/ -- To respond to a growing
need within the Catholic Church to better manage its business operations,
financial resources and personnel, Boston College has announced the
creation of the nation's first graduate program in church management,
beginning this September.
The program will include two options: a master's degree in pastoral
ministry with a concentration in church management, and a joint
MBA/master's degree in pastoral ministry.
Offered as both full and part-time programs, the degrees are geared
towards individuals who work in pastoral ministry within a Church setting,
as well as those handling the financial or personnel management of a
diocese, Catholic hospital system or social service agency. It is estimated
that the Catholic Church does approximately $100 billion of business per
year in the United States, much of it done by individuals with little
formal training in management and financial practices.
Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, said he hoped these new
offerings would benefit individuals involved in the management of
church-related institutions throughout the country.
"I think recent years have shown there is a need for training in church
management, especially in Catholic parishes, schools and dioceses," said
Father Leahy. "I am delighted that Boston College's Institute for Religious
Education and Pastoral Ministry and Carroll School of Management are
collaborating on these graduate programs."
BC Theology Professor Thomas Groome, who directs the Institute for
Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, first conceived of the idea
while attending a conference of both business and Catholic Church leaders
last year. "It was apparent that the business leaders did not fully
understand the language of the Church, and the Church leaders, including
the bishops present, did not fully understand the language of business,"
said Groome. "If we are to move beyond crisis to renewal, then it is
essential that we train managers who are competent in both the theology and
mission of the Church and in the best practices of management. Boston
College, with its strength in both theological education for ministry at
the Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and in
management through the Carroll School of Management, is ideally suited to
help meet this most urgent need in the Church."
Carroll School of Management Dean Andrew Boynton praised the new
initiative as a way for Boston College to be of service to the Catholic
Church and the wider community.
"In addition to developing highly skilled, values-driven leaders, an
important aspect of our mission as part of a Jesuit, Catholic university is
to be of service to the many communities -- local, national and global --
which sustain us," said Boynton. "To tailor a program of business and
financial management education to suit the needs of religious institutions
is a natural expression of that mission."
The master's degree in pastoral ministry with a concentration in church
management will involve the standard master's curriculum in ministry with
at least four management courses in the Carroll School of Management and a
field placement in a church-management role. It will take two years to
complete full time and will also be offered on a part-time basis.
The MA/MBA option will be available as a dual degree that can be
completed full-time in three years. Intended for laity, priests or
religious working in significant roles in Church management, this option
will also be offered on a part-time basis.
Students in both programs will be required to participate in an
integrative colloquium aimed at helping people to integrate the worlds of
religious institutions and business. They will also interact with faculty
and students in BC's theology department, Boisi Center for Religion and
American Public Life, Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics and Church
in the 21st Century Center.
Applications and information on scholarships and financial aid are
available through Boston College.
"Given that so many of the current challenges and problems of the
Catholic Church can be traced, in part, to poor management of resources and
personnel, the need for this type of formal training in ministry and
management has never been greater," said Groome.
"We look forward to helping the Church to address this crucial need."
Tom Groome, director of religious education and pastoral ministry,
Jen Bader, associate director for academic affairs, IREPM, 617-552-8440
Andrew Boynton, dean of the Carroll School of Management, 617-552-4107
Jeffrey Rinquest, associate dean for graduate programs, CSOM,
SOURCE Boston College