Charles Zech, PhD, Receives Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Life

VILLANOVA, Pa., February 9, 2016 - Charles E. Zech, PhD, faculty director, Center for Church Management & Business Ethics, and professor of Economics at the Villanova School of Business, has been awarded the Monika K. Hellwig Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Life. Bestowed by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the award honors an individual who has significantly advanced Catholic intellectual life.

Dr. Zech is an innovator in applying sound business practices to faith-based institutions, and has authored or co-authored 12 books and more than 50 articles on various ways in which churches can meet their stewardship responsibility through good management.

 As the founding director of the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University, he pioneered the effort to put theory into practice by educating church managers on sound church business practices.

“He has heightened awareness of the need for the application of best practices from business to the management of church institutions,” says Rev. William J Byron, professor of Business and Society, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Dr. Zech established one of the nation’s first Master of Science degrees in church management at Villanova University. “Our educational program is, in effect, an MBA, but it’s applying business practices to a faith-based organization,” he explains. “Those of us in professional schools have a responsibility to enhance the Catholic intellectual life and the Catholic identity of our universities.”

Dr. Zech’s work in stewardship, leadership, and management has “changed how parishes operate and help[ed] people get more engaged in their church communities and more connected to Christ,” says Jim Kelley, Director of Development, Diocese of Charlotte, N.C.

“Dr. Zech’s impact on the faith-based community is immeasurable,” adds Daniel Wright, PhD, Interim Dean, Villanova School of Business. “His academic expertise, strength of values, and commitment have vastly improved how churches are run and have helped propel Villanova University to the forefront of church management education.”

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit

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