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The Academy of Church Leadership

About the Academy of Church Leadership

Being a pastor or church leader is more demanding than ever, and includes far more than spiritual leadership. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, The Academy of Church Leadership at North Park University is dedicated to equipping religious leaders with the skills needed for effective congregational growth. Programs focus on professional development in finance, management, and leadership for religious leaders.

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Featured Event

Strategic Pastoral Planning Conference

The Academy of Church Leadership Summer Conference will focus on Strategic Pastoral Planning. We utilize the gifts and skills of members of our congregations who together work on planning for the long-term viability of our churches. Our conference will take place in three parts:

June 10, 2021, 11 am–1 pm

Mission, Vision, &
Planning Methods

Dr. Timothy O’Brien, PhD

Dr. O’Brien is a practitioner faculty at The School of Business and Nonprofit Management and Program Director for TACL. He will present on the value of intentionally examining the mission of our institutions, the visioning that guides us in creating the future, and the structure and method of Strategic Pastoral Planning.

July 8, 2021, 11 am–1 pm

Financial Planning

Dr. Ann Ownby Hicks, PhD

Dr. Hicks is Dean of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management. She will present on financial planning. We look beyond the necessary annual budget planning to long-term planning for operations, capital and cash flow.

August 12, 2021, 11 am–1 pm

Community Discernment & Strategic Pastoral Planning

Dr. Angela Swain, PhD

Dr. Swain is an author and consultant. She will present on the distinctiveness of church planning and engaging the congregation is practical yet prayerful ways of planning together in community.

All workshops will be presented in person at North Park University, Johnson Center, Room 314, and will be live streamed for those participants who wish to attend remotely.

Register Here

Our Programs

The Academy offers academic programs, including a certificate in church administration and a joint MDiv/MBA or MNA.

Joint MDiv/MBA or MNA Program

Certificate Program

50% Tuition Reduction

As part of a long-standing commitment to keep education affordable, North Park University offers funds to qualified pastors, church staff, and lay leaders, plus non-profit and alumni tuition discounts. Beginning in the Fall of 2018 students who enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Church Administration will receive a 50% Tuition Reduction for the courses in that program.

Alumni Spotlights

Isaac Chong

Isaac Chong, MDIV, began the Certificate in Church Administration program after realizing that he was underprepared for the complexities of administering a church. “I believe this program is particularly important for pastors who are running administrative, governance, or financial aspects of their church, and I wish more seminaries included these classes!”

Read More About Isaac

Latonya Latimore

Latonya Latimore, a Chicago native, was looking for a program that would support the work of the youth and children’s ministry program that she and her daughter had just founded. “When doing my research for nonprofit programs, I was drawn to North Park’s ability to offer online courses and Top 10 listing for nonprofit management education.”

Read More About Latonya

Mark A. Smith

Mark A. Smith came to North Park University to become a strategic leader in full-time ministry with a focus on business and finance. “My leadership competency has been strengthened, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about healthy HR practices for churches and nonprofits, strategic management, risk management, and volunteer management practices.”

Read More About mark

Isaac Chong

Isaac Chong, MDIV, began the Certificate in Church Administration program after realizing that he was underprepared for the complexities of administering a church. “I believe this program is particularly important for pastors who are running administrative, governance, or financial aspects of their church, and I wish more seminaries included these classes!”

Read More About Isaac

Latonya Latimore

Latonya Latimore, a Chicago native, was looking for a program that would support the work of the youth and children’s ministry program that she and her daughter had just founded. “When doing my research for nonprofit programs, I was drawn to North Park’s ability to offer online courses and Top 10 listing for nonprofit management education.”

Read More About Latonya

Mark A. Smith

Mark A. Smith came to North Park University to become a strategic leader in full-time ministry with a focus on business and finance. “My leadership competency has been strengthened, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about healthy HR practices for churches and nonprofits, strategic management, risk management, and volunteer management practices.”

Read More About mark

Conferences & Workshops

Professional development in finance, management, and leadership.

Event Calendar

Contact Us

Timothy O’Brien, PhD, Program Director, The Academy of Church Leadership
Email Timothy

Rochelle Robinson-Levant, Associate Dean, School of Business and Nonprofit Management
Email Rochelle

About the Lilly Grant

Awarded to North Park to provide programming for church leaders.

Read More About the Lilly Grant

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