Priest Says New Church Administration Degree Trains Servant-Leaders

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The Busch School graduated its first class in this pastoral leadership program last week, with nearly 20 priests earning master’s degrees.

The one-year program is worth 30 credits and consists primarily of online courses, as well as a week of intensive classes in August in Washington DC. Courses examine parish finances, human resource management and strategic planning.

Father Fulton, who is also preparing to become assistant director of Catholic Social Services in southern Nebraska, said the program helps prevent problems such as financial dishonesty and burnt-out priests.

“A year or two or three after being ordained, [priests] are essentially the mayors of a city. They become pastors of parishes with 3,000, 5,000 families,” he said. This degree will help “the guys learn basic skills and take some of the stress out of church life.”

He said the program will give priests the tools to lead a parish to collectively achieve the same goals – “education of children, salvation of souls, service in the community, service in the parish.”

“This program helps give you the tools to effectively present a mission and vision to… work together, to get feedback from all these different stakeholders and ultimately build a united family under one umbrella looking for the same objective.”

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