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

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is pleased to announce it has renewed its 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.

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 scholarship—equivalent to 50%—thanks to the generosity of Villanova University benefactors. The Partnership scholarship of 50% is a baseline for all Philadelphia students and can be coupled with additional Villanova MSCM scholarships.

In addition, CCM will award up to fifteen scholarships of $5,000 each for Hispanic pastoral leaders seeking to earn an MSCM and is made possible by a grant to the CCM from the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

Our unique partnership with Villanova equips church leaders whose hearts are on fire for our Lord, with the skills they need to be successful Missionary Disciples and responsible stewards of human, financial, and other resources entrusted to our care,” said Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez. He continued, “I am deeply grateful to Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD; Wen Mao, PhD, 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 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 two years of part-time study.

“Archbishop Perez and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are forming missionary disciples to share the good news of Jesus and to serve our city,” says Matthew F. Manion ’11 MSCM, and The David Grenon Family Faculty Director, Center for Church Management. “The Center for Church Management is committed to supporting those leaders with the strategic, financial, and management knowledge needed to steward the church’s resources in a manner worthy of the Gospel.”

Patrick Travers, Director of the UPenn and Drexel Newman Center at St. Agatha-St. James Catholic Church, graduated last May. He said, “The Church Management was a game-changer for us at the Newman Center. From leadership skills to organizational culture and management, I have been continuously implementing learned practices in our organization. I can’t imagine trying to run a parish or Catholic organization without the knowledge and skills I learned in my studies.”

To date, 13 students from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have completed the program. In addition, four students from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are enrolled in the program, three of whom are on track to graduate this spring. So far, 2 students are planning to enroll in the May 2024 cohort.

The Villanova School of Business currently has similar partnership arrangements with the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia; 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 Indianapolis, Indiana; 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, Villanova University’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 Center for Church Management has provided education in Church Management for Philadelphia Seminarians for over five years and will welcome six current seminarians to our 2024 Summer Certificate in Church Management for Men in Formation. The center currently has 15 Diocesan Partnerships, which shows the trust that U.S. Catholic diocesan leaders have in our curricular applicability and the impact our students can make.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top ranked among business schools in the nation. 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 information, please 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

Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
215-587-3747 (office)

Shannon Wilson
Associate Director, Communication
Villanova School of Business