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Center for Church Management and Business Ethics in Villanova School of Business receives $750,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment

Villanova School of Business

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Center for Church Management and Business Ethics in the Villanova School of Business (VSB) at Villanova University was selected to receive a $750,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to develop programming to advance priests' financial literacy. The Center provides programming to help church leaders be stewards of their resources, respond to the economic needs of their parish and use their facilities effectively, thus building a stronger church.

"It is a true honor to receive The Lilly Endowment, and is a reflection of the unique educational programs we offer church leaders," says Charles Zech, PhD, faculty director, Center for Church Management & Business Ethics, and professor, economics. "Since Pope Francis' desire to overhaul Church finances, our Church Management program has been a leader in providing the proper foundation for economic success within the church. With this funding, we will "train the trainers", that is, work with seminaries to introduce financial literacy into the curriculum,” he continued.

The Lilly Endowment is a private philanthropic foundation that focuses on support for the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector. The Lilly Endowment's initiatives have been designed to identify, recruit and call forth a new generation of talented Christian pastors as they make their transition from theological seminary into the practice of congregational ministry.

The Villanova School of Business established the Center for the Study of Church Management in 2004—marking the first center of its kind in the nation. The Center was created to serve the Catholic Church in the United States through education and research. It offers educational programs——including an innovative Master of Science in Church Management Program—and conducts research in the areas of administration, professional financial management, and human resource management as they apply to the Catholic Church and its institutions. The Center’s constituents include all individuals in church leadership and administrative roles who are seeking to become better stewards of church resources by improving their business and management skills.

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 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to six Centers or Institutes 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, the Center for Church Management & Business Ethics and the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute) with each center and institute 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

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 collegesthe 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 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