Boston College Announces New Master's Degree in Church Management

Nation's First Program to Address National Need for Business Training of

Church Personnel

Jul 05, 2006, 01:00 ET from Boston College

    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."
     Additional Contacts:
     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