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.

Church Leadership Retreat

As church leaders we often struggle to address biblical and pastoral concerns, as well as financial, logistical, and operational needs of the church. Our retreat will help you bridge that gap. We will offer a comprehensive and intensive three day retreat that will include resources and education on everything from investment management to mission administration.

Join us for the Third Annual Church Leadership Retreat, at North Park University October 27-29, 2020.


Register for Workshops:

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.

Student Testimonial: Isaac Chong

Isaac Chong, MDIV began the Certificate in Church Administration program through the School of Business and Nonprofit Management after realizing that upon entry into the field of church and organizational leadership with his MDIV from a local seminary that he was not prepared for the actual complexities of leading and administering to a church. He noted, “I knew that if I was to be prepared for my role, I had to get more practical training on the legal, financial, and operational complexities of the church in all of its unique characteristics.”

While in the program, he really enjoyed learning about financial management as specific to nonprofit organizations, as having received an undergraduate degree in Economics, he was not prepared to understand financial oversight for a nonprofit organization. This course in particular, gave him the eyes and an understanding of how to gauge the financial health of the church. He stresses that he wishes that more seminaries offered this course and training to pastors.

When asked how he planned to utilize the information and knowledge gained in this program into his career, he noted, “I’ve already been using it since I graduated! Right now, I am on track to be ordained as the church’s first Executive Pastor. Without the training I got with the Church Administration certificate, I would not know the role of governance, how to read balance sheets and oversee the financial operations of the church, or how to supervise and inspire the staff (of whom I supervise the day-to-day activity). It would have taken a lot longer and been much more difficult for me to do what I do now without the benefit of the classes that the certificate entailed.”

As he continues to reflect on his overall experience in the Certificate in Church Administration program, he noted, “I’m grateful for North Park for offering this program in the first place! More and more, I realize how important it is for pastors to not only receive training in the biblical and theological aspects of ministry, but also the practical and legal. Leading people in the church is not simply about what we know, but also what we learn and practice, and the process of undergoing study and further training is necessary if we are to continue pursuing excellence in our life with God. I believe this program is particularly important for pastors who are running administrative, governance, or financial aspects of their church who did not receive training through experience, and I wish more seminaries included some of these classes as part of their degree program!”

Isaac currently works in Orange County, CA at EKKO Church as the Operations Director.

Conferences & Workshops

Professional development in finance, management, and leadership.

Event Calendar

Contact Us

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

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

About the Lilly Grant

Awarded to North Park to provide programming for church leaders.

Read More

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Our admissions team will contact you and send more information about North Park and the opportunities available to you here.

Request More Information