The Online M.S. Ecclesial Administration and Management degree empowers pastors (and lay men and women) to implement best managerial practices. Designed with a theological and spiritual framework, MEAM responds to the needs of  dioceses, schools, hospitals, and non-profits inspired by the Catholic Faith.

In his Pastoral Rule, St. Gregory the Great writes that to shepherd the flock is the “art of arts,” the good pastor cultivates administrative skills  to promote the spiritual good of his flock and advance the Church’s mission of evangelization and sanctification. MEAM is a one-year online program in management, accounting, finance, planning, decision-making, and the virtues of leadership. The program’s goal is for its graduates to imitate the Master who “came not to be served but to serve” (Mt 20:28) and thereby to steward the treasure and talent of God’s creation.

Since best practices in canon law and in business require that ordained pastors entrust many leadership roles to competent lay professionals, the Degree Program offers clergy the skills and formation in the virtues of leadership needed to effectively delegate to laity. The Program also offers laity and consecrated religious the theological and canonical principles, along with the hard skills, to effectively manage Church institutions. 

Spirituality of Management

As the “Light of Nations”, the Church must exemplarily testimony to the Gospel in the use of her resources. The effective pastoral use of her temporal goods and the stewardship of all her assets entails a spirituality of management for those in leadership roles, both clergy or lay. In service of the Church in the United States, the Church Management Programs at the Busch School aim to promote the faith with an ecclesial effort to reform, to aid the poor, and to promote holiness throughout the world.

The program’s faculty is drawn from the Busch School of Business, comprising experts in civil and ecclesial practice. Instruction is supplemented by guest lecturers and seminar-leaders from parishes, schools, seminaries, dioceses, and apostolates. The Degree Program includes individual courses redesigned to to respond to the 6th edition of the Program of Priestly Formation, approved by the Holy See on June 24 of 2022.

Curriculum

  • EAM 501: Introduction to Church Management (3 credits)

    This course introduces students to the managerial and financial skills necessary to run a parish. Students will explore different models of parish leadership and learn effective ways to collaborate with lay staff, volunteers, and fellow priests. Students will also learn the legal and canonical requirements of the administration of temporal goods. A theological framework of the sacrament of Holy Orders as a consecration for service of the People of God while relying upon the professional expertise of competent lay professionals infuses the presentation of the hard skills so as to capacitate the future priest to effectively entrust administrative and managerial tasks to the laity so as to free himself up for those duties of which only the ordained enjoy competence. This course is offered independently and may also serve as the introductory course for the MEAM program. It will implement an asynchronous e-learning format that can be completed during a Vocational Synthesis period or other pastoral period and is designed to leverage the experience in the pastoral setting to accelerate learning of theory in practice under the supervision of a local instructor.
  • 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 2022-23

  • March 7- May 6 - EAM 501: Introduction to Church Management
  • Tuesday April 4 - Open Admissions for MEAM beginning in Summer Semester on May 8,
    2023.