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Beginning 2021, the Center for Church Management (CCM) in the Villanova School of Business will offer a certificate in Catholic School Management for K-12 Catholic school administrators.

The program is designed to provide school leaders with business skills and knowledge necessary to successfully manage their schools in a Catholic context.

The non-credit program will consist of 12 online modules, each with prerecorded videos and interactive components with real-world scenarios and exercises, which participants will complete in a self-paced format over the course of a year.

The modules will cover topics unique to Catholic school leaders such as budgeting and financing for mission; data-driven decision making; advancement, stewardship and donor relations; enrollment, recruitment and tuition management; contract negotiations and vendor relations; and spirituality of administration.

The certificate was developed with funding from the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education and is being offered in partnership with the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

While CCM has traditionally worked with church leaders at the parish and diocesan levels, this is its first program specifically designed for Catholic school leaders.

“NCEA is excited to partner with Villanova to provide school leaders with high-quality training in finance and school management,” said NCEA interim president/CEO Kathy Mears. “We know this resource for certification will be of great value to Catholic school leaders and will better enable them to achieve the mission of their schools. It is a uniquely designed program to enhance management skills and deepen the spirit of leadership.”

The certificate program fills a unique need for school leaders, according to Daniel Guertin, CCM’s associate director. “Despite having advanced educational degrees, many school administrators lack the business acumen and background necessary for leading their schools,” he said.

Catholic schools have a long history in the American educational system of providing quality, faith-based education. However, changing demographics in cities and suburbs, consolidations of parishes and competition from charter and private schools have presented unique challenges for Catholic schools.

The certificate “will help these leaders obtain the skills needed to effectively manage a changing Catholic school landscape. As a Catholic university rooted in the Augustinian values of truth, unity and love, Villanova is committed to helping school leaders improve their business and management skills as they nurture the next generation of students formed in Catholic education,” Guertin said.