Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Priests and Seminarians Learn Parish Management Skills at Management as Ministry

Diocesan and Religious Priests and seminarians from across the United States gathered on the CUA campus to learn best practice management skills in the first ever Management as Ministry seminar this past week-end. The three-day seminar was co-sponsored by the School of Business and Economics and the School of Theology and Religious Studies, and was developed over the past semester through the assistance of a five-member MSBA field study team.

 "Formal seminary education contains very little preparation in traditional business skills such as management, accounting, budgeting, finance and marketing," explained Brian Engelland, associate dean of the School of Business and Economics. "Yet, the role of a pastor is very much like that of a corporate CEO. Pastors need business skills and the Management as Ministry seminar was designed to teach future pastors the basics of business."

 The seminar featured sessions designed to help make pastors more effective managers and thus, more effective in their primary role as ministers. For instance, by applying best practices in delegating assignments to staff personnel, pastors can spend less time putting out fires and more time administering the sacraments. Session topics were developed as a result of input from pastors and a project steering committee comprised of Seminary Rectors.

The seminar included sessions on motivating employees, canon law, pastoral management, hiring and firing employees, parish fundraising, accounting, budgeting, financial controls, saving for retirement, digital marketing, on-line marketing tools and managing church facilities. Session participants were each given a workbook containing detailed information.

Faculty for the seminar included outstanding presenters from The Catholic University of America such as Harvey Seegers, JackYoest, Maureen Brookbank, Frank Vinik, Phil Brach, Bill Kirst, Luanne Zurlo, Mike Williams, and Paul Radich. These faculty were assisted by Fr John Enzler, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Maribeth Leonard, the parish council liaison from the Diocese of Arlington, and two seasoned priests - Fr. Frank Donio and Fr. Justin Ross - who added colorful stories from their own experience.

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