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VSB’s Center for Church Management Hosts International Interfaith Leaders in Partnership with the U.S. Department of State

Villanova, Pa., October 19, 2017 – In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and Citizen Diplomacy International, an interfaith group of six Russian Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders from religious social services agencies visited the Villanova School of Business (VSB) to meet with its Center for Church Management.

This group of international religious leaders visited the U.S. to observe models of faith-based social work, learn how religious initiatives can complement and cooperate with local governments, study strategies for outreach to non-religious individuals and individuals from other faith traditions, explore approaches to inter-denominational coalitions and examine the role of U.S. faith leaders as community advocates.

Because the program’s initiatives closely align with the mission of VSB’s Center for Church Management, Citizen Diplomacy International reached out to the Center because of its unique, interdisciplinary and faith-based approach to church management.

“My work with Citizen Diplomacy International is all about making connections, facilitating the exchange of ideas and encouraging future collaboration,” said Larry MacGabhann ’04 CLAS, ‘10 MA, ‘13 MBA, program associate for Citizen Diplomacy International in Philadelphia. “When we were tasked with putting together a program for religious leaders interested in exploring the intersection of faith, service, and organizational efficiency, I immediately thought of Villanova's Center for Church Management. The Center’s unique approach was tailor-made for the group’s focus.”

“Our Center for Church Management is a global resource for church leaders,” said Matthew Manion, Faculty Director, VSB’s Center for Church Management. “As such, it was a gift to host our colleagues from Russia and Belarus and share financial and management principles that will assist them in helping the marginalized in their communities.”

Citizen Diplomacy International was impressed by the Center’s enthusiasm to share its best practices with leaders of religious social services agencies who now better understand the unique management and funding challenges faced by their peers and have a greater appreciation of what unites people of faith serving others.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek and has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence (the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management) with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and teaching opportunities for business faculty. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit

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