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Archdiocese of Philadelphia Renews Partnership with Villanova School of Business to Offer Master of Science Degree in Church Management

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Crest and the Villanova School of Business

Villanova, Pa., March 10, 2021 –The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is pleased to announce it has renewed a unique partnership with Villanova University’s Center for Church Management (CCM) to offer an innovative two-year, online Master of Science in Church Management (MSCM) degree designed to provide students with a high-level skill set in effective church management.

In addition, qualified students who work for any parish or ministry of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its related entities who are interested in pursuing a MSCM are eligible for a $14,700 (50 percent) scholarship thanks to the generosity of Villanova benefactors. 

“The Master of Science in Church Management program is designed to equip students to be responsible leaders and stewards for the Church in the complex landscape of the 21st Century,” said Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez. “I am deeply grateful to Reverend Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., President of Villanova University; Joyce E. A. Russell, Ph.D., The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business; the dedicated faculty and staff of Villanova University; and its generous benefactors for making this tremendous opportunity available and affordable for those who seek to lead within our local Church.”

The MSCM program is part of the Villanova School of Business which is ranked the #5 Best Online Graduate Business Degree Program in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report.  It is designed to meet the needs of an international student body of church leaders and managers—including parish business managers, people serving in pastoral ministry roles who would like to provide greater value and support to their parish or diocese, and individuals who have worked in business professionally and want to transition to church work.

The program is built upon two foundational elements: a solid business curriculum and a faith-based approach to church management. MSCM courses cover an array of management topics, including leadership in religious organizations, civil and church laws, financial oversight, and human resource management in a ministry setting. Additionally, it can be completed online in only two years of part-time study.

“We are committed to providing education and scholarship in the Augustinian Catholic tradition on strategic, management, and financial matters in service to leaders of Churches and other Christian ministries,” says Matthew F. Manion ’11 MSCM, faculty director, CCM. “We have been very impressed with the students from the Archdiocese who enrolled in the past and we are excited to continue this partnership with Archbishop Perez. Working together, we will grow the pool of leaders who can combine the mission of Jesus Christ with sound management of the Church.”

To date, ten students from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have completed the program. In addition, three students from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are on track to graduate this spring including Matthew Davis, Director of the newly formed Archdiocesan Office for Young Adults.

Mr. Davis said, “I have loved being part of the MSCM program. I have gained valuable insight into a broad array of areas important for 21st century leadership in the Church- from strategic planning and leadership, to human resources and stewardship, to financial planning and church and civil law. I would highly recommend the program to anyone wanting to grow in their ability to serve God and the Church.”

The Villanova School of Business currently has similar partnership arrangements with the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey; the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts; the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida; the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; the Archdiocese of New York, New York; the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; and the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey.

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Editor’ Note: The first of its kind in the nation, VSB’s Center for Church Management is dedicated to serving the church through education and research. The Center offers a Master of Science in Church Management, as well as several certificate programs and resources for Church management. 

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top-ranked among business schools in the nation. Its online graduate business programs are ranked #5, and its online MBA program is ranked #17 by U.S. News and World Report. VSB 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 Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management – with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. 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

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 M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit