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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has renewed its partnership with Villanova University’s Center for Church Management to offer an innovative two-year, online Master of Science in Church Management (MSCM) degree designed to provide students with skills in effective church management.

Those working for any parish or ministry of the archdiocese who are interested in the pursuing the degree can receive a $14,700 scholarship – 50% of the tuition – thanks to Villanova’s benefactors.

“The Master of Science in Church Management program is designed to equip students to be responsible leaders and stewards for the church in the complex landscape of the 21st century,” said Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez.

He expressed gratitude to Villanova’s president, Augustinian Father Peter M. Donohue; Joyce E. A. Russell, the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business; the faculty and staff of the university and its generous benefactors “for making this tremendous opportunity available and affordable for those who seek to lead within our local church,” the archbishop said.

The MSCM program educates an international student body of church leaders and managers — including parish business managers, people serving in pastoral ministry roles who would like to provide greater value and support to their parish or diocese, and individuals who have worked in business professionally and want to transition to church work.

The program is built upon a solid business curriculum and a faith-based approach to church management. Courses cover an array of management topics including leadership in religious organizations, civil and church laws, financial oversight and human resource management in a ministry setting.

The degree can be completed online in only two years of part-time study.

“We are committed to providing education and scholarship in the Augustinian Catholic tradition on strategic, management and financial matters in service to leaders of churches and other Christian ministries,” said Matthew F. Manion, faculty director of the Center for Church Management and a 2011 graduate of the MSCM program.

“We have been very impressed with the students from the archdiocese who enrolled in the past and we are excited to continue this partnership with Archbishop Pérez. Working together, we will grow the pool of leaders who can combine the mission of Jesus Christ with sound management of the church.”

Ten students from the Philadelphia Archdiocese have completed the program and another three are on track to graduate this spring including Matthew Davis, director of the newly formed archdiocesan Office of Ministry with Young Adults.

“I have loved being part of the MSCM program,” Davis said. “I have gained valuable insight into a broad array of areas important for 21st century leadership in the church, from strategic planning and leadership to human resources and stewardship to financial planning and church and civil law. I would highly recommend the program to anyone wanting to grow in their ability to serve God and the church.”

The Villanova School of Business currently has similar partnership arrangements with the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey; the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts; the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida; the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; the Archdiocese of New York, New York; the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; and the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey.

For more information visit the website at Business.Villanova.edu.