A Business Degree Designed for the Clergy

It is because the care of souls is the “art of arts,” as St. Gregory the Great wrote in his Pastoral Rule, that the good pastor puts the administrator’s tools to work for the spiritual good of his flock. The Master of Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management at the Busch School of Business is a one-year online program in management, accounting, finance, planning, and decision-making, that keeps spiritual goods firmly in view. The program’s goal is for its graduates more effectively to imitate the Master who “came not to be served but to serve” (Mt 20:28).

The M.E.A.M. program begins with three online courses in the Fall Term and includes a one-week intensive course held in person at the Villa Maria retreat center in Springfield, Illinois, in September. The normal mode of instruction is asynchronous, so that course lectures can be watched or listened to at the students’ convenience. Assignments are spaced to make allowance for pastoral duties. The two-course capstone on ecclesial decision-making is taught by real-time videoconference seminars. Tuition is $700 per credit hour for a total cost of instruction of $21,000. Admission is by letter of application to the Director, with approval and recommendation from the relevant Vicar, Superior, or Ordinary required.

The program’s faculty is drawn from the Busch School of Business. Their instruction will be supplemented by guest lecturers and seminar-leaders from parishes, schools, dioceses, and apostolates around the United States. 


  • EAM 501: Ecclesial Leadership for Apostolic Mission (3 credits)

    The shift from maintenance to mission in the life of the Church a half-century after Vatican II and its implications for parish leadership and management. Consideration of examples of institutional change in parishes, schools, and dioceses. Emphasis on management based upon the primacy of character.
  • EAM 502: Governance Structures in the Church and Canon Law of Temporal Goods (3 credits)

    The organizational law of the Church and the use of its material assets. How the Church’s structure is understood theologically and expressed juridically affects the way in which this fundamental right is exercised and how the responsibilities it gives rise to are fulfilled.
  • EAM 503: Personnel Management and Administration (3 credits)

    An overview of the strategies, policies, methods, realities of human resource management.
  • EAM 504: Strategic and Operational Leadership (3 credits)

    A framework for efficient organizational management that focuses on making the organization effective and efficient at every level. Specific topics addressed include the history of management and organization concepts, perception, attitudes and individual differences, motivation, communication, group dynamics, organizational structure, culture and effectiveness, leadership and decision making.
  • EAM 505: Accounting: Principles and Practices (3 credits)

    The principles, practices, and rules of accounting. Financial statements. Budgeting. Reporting. Internal controls and audits.
  • EAM 506: Communication in Ecclesial Settings (3 credits)

    Principles of effective and authentic communication. Importance of transparency and trust. Marketing strategies to avoid. Digital services and platforms.
  • EAM 507: Catholic Education: School, Parish, and Beyond (3 credits)

    Principles and practices of Catholic education with a focus on the roles and responsibilities of parish leadership. Considers the governance and management of Catholic schools, parish education, youth programs, adult education, and other apostolic ventures such as homeschool co-ops, camps, service organizations, and online communities.
  • EAM 508: Stewardship, Planning, and Asset Management (3 credits)

    Principles of effective parish-based fundraising. Management of physical plant. Capital campaigns, project management for building and renovation.
  • EAM 509: Ecclesial Decision Making, I: Crisis Management (3 credits)

    Seminar course based on the case-study method. Examples include: COVID responses. Charter cases. Intra-parish conflict about everything from liturgy and the use of parish facilities to personnel disputes and financial mismanagement.
  • EAM 510: Ecclesial Decision Making, II: Implementing Strategy (3 credits)

    Seminar course based on the case-study method. Parishes and apostolates re-organizing their efforts toward evangelization, including making adaptations to demographic changes, cultural changes, and political pressures.

Academic Calendar 2021-22

September 13-17 Intensive Week EAM 501: Ecclesial Leadership for Apostolic Mission
August 30 - December 18 Fall Term EAM 502: Governance Structures in the Church and Canon Law of Temporal Goods
EAM 503: Personnel Management and  Administration
EAM 504: Strategic and Operational Leadership
January 10 - May 7 Spring Term EAM 505: Accounting: Principles and Practices
EAM 506: Communication in Ecclesial Settings
EAM 509: Ecclesial Decision Making, I: Crisis Management
May 9 - August 13 Summer Term EAM 507: Catholic Education: School, Parish, and Beyond
EAM 508: Stewardship, Planning, and Asset Management
EAM 510: Ecclesial Decision Making, II: Implementing Strategy