Catholic University Business School Helps Clergy Prepare - Practically - to be Leaders
Congratulations! Your bishop has named you a pastor. Now what do you do? For some priests, it has been many years from when they attended seminary to when they become a pastor. Do they know how to tackle the administrative demands of being a pastor?
Close to 20 priests from dioceses across the country are graduating this week with master’s degrees in Ecclesial Administration and Management (M.E.A.M.) from Catholic University’s Busch School of Business.
In August, a new class of clergy will begin the one year 30-credit online program designed to prepare them for effective and efficient parish and diocesan leadership. The curriculum was designed in collaboration with the Catholic University schools of Theology and Religious Studies, Canon Law, and Architecture and Planning in order to maximize the student-priests’ access to University experts who can educate them in intersecting subject areas.
“For most new pastors — and even for seasoned ones — navigating the landscape of parish administration can be a complicated matter,” says Monsignor Joseph Celano, a student in the program from the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. “The M.E.A.M. program is designed with this complicated landscape in mind. It gives priests the practical knowledge and skills they need in areas such as financial administration, human resource management, strategic and operational planning, canon law, and other areas related to administration and management while placing it within the broader context of Catholic social teaching and the mission of the Church. Every priest, whether he is new to administration or he wants to hone a skill set he has already learned, can benefit from this program.”
The degree can also be helpful for clergy working at the diocesan level. “The M.E.A.M. program helps me daily in my role as vicar general and moderator of the curia,” says Rev. Jeffrey Day from the Diocese of Detroit. “I discuss often what I am learning with department directors and my archbishop.”
The program has been endorsed by many bishops, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and Chancellor of the University; Archbishop Jóse Gómez of Los Angeles; and Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen, N.J.
Cardinal Wuerl has called the program “a welcome resource to guide pastors and their finance councils through a planning and budgeting cycle with an eye to good consultation, collaboration, and communication.”