North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

The Academy of Church Leadership

The Academy of Church Leadership Workshop Series

North Park University welcomes pastors, church staff, and lay leaders of all denominations to attend our workshop series, which will enable Christian leaders to ensure congregation growth.

Workshops will cover a number of topics from conflict management to financial management. Lunch, materials, and parking is included with all registrations. A 50% scholarship is also available for anyone affiliated with a church.

Help your congregation realize its full potential with the skills gained from our workshops.

Register for each workshop as listed below.


Al KamienskiAl Kamienski, Professor of Finance & Economics, North Park University School of Business & Nonprofit Management

Al Kamienski has a PhD in Educational Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Northwestern University, he teaches, consults, and authors at the intersection of business and education. Dr. Kamienski researches issues of economic freedom and subjective well-being, private choice in public education, and financial health in nonprofits. He is the Founding Director of the grant-funded Freedom Forum which explores issues of economic freedom in theory and practice. His professional experience includes global management consulting and corporate finance. Professor Kamienski holds teaching appointments at universities in China, France, and Germany; and has lectured in Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Spain. He is a recipient of the Zenos Hawkinson Award for Teaching Excellence.

Catherine Marsh

Catherine Marsh, Professor of Leadership & Management, North Park University School of Business & Nonprofit Managemnt

Catherine Marsh is professor of leadership and management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. In addition to her teaching and scholarship at North Park, Catherine plans and conducts seminars and workshops on diversity management, change management, conflict transformation, and team building for organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Her expertise stems from her experience working in the three sectors in five countries as well as urban and rural areas in the United States. Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, a Masters of Business Administration from North Park University, and a Doctor of Education from Northern Illinois University.

Kelly LoveKelly Love, CPA

As a licensed CPA with more than 14 years of accounting experience, Kelly has extensive experience as an accountant and auditor, and is currently in private practice. She focuses on applying her technical experience as an engineer to take an analytical, structured approach to applied financial principles and problem solving. Kelly has worked in public accounting with for-profit and non-profit clients as well as in corporate accounting for private industry before starting her own firm in 2005. She has assisted with Financial audits for Metra, PACE and RTA; the Chicago Public School System and many local towns and villages. She worked on compliance audits for the Inspector General in Washington DC, for entities contributing to restructuring efforts in Afghanistan. Focus on helping rising small businesses and not-for-profit organizations and church organizations thrive financially.

Trevor JamesTrevor James, Assistant Dean, School of Professional Studies, North Park University 

Dr. James has an extensive background in higher and adult education, as well as marketing, management, and HR experience in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Currently, Dr. James is the Associate Dean and Director of the business majors which include, Business Administration, Digital Marketing, Organizational Management and Nonprofit Management at North Park’s School of Professional Studies. He is also a full time faculty member at North Park and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in business, management, leadership, and biblical studies, and specifically developed courses and majors in church and ministry management, church administration, nonprofit leadership, faith and business, digital marketing and servant leadership.
Dr. James has served and chaired on many boards and committees for various churches, ministries, nonprofit and for profit companies. He currently chairs three committees/boards and sits on several others including his own church board which he was previously the chair.
Dr. James received master’s degrees in business administration and theological studies, along with academic certificates in human resources and marketing from North Park University and received a doctorate degree in leadership for the advancement of learning and service in higher education at Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI.

Tim O'BrienTimothy O’Brien, Program Director, The Academy of Church Leadership at North Park University

Tim serves as the Program Director for The Academy of Church Leadership. He has had a long career as practitioner (Controller, CFO, Consultant), and Professor of Nonprofit Management. He serves as a Church Treasurer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL and has provided consulting services to many nonprofits and faith-based organizations. Tim is a co-author of Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations, 3rd Edition to be published in Fall 2018 by John Wily & Co. and has written numerous articles on nonprofit management and development of religious institutes and has served as an international presenter and workshop leader. Tim received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Union Institute and University, and his Masters in Management from John F. Kennedy University.

Meike Vandersall

Meike Vandersall, Pastor, Presbyterian Church USA

Mieke is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a fundraising and communications consultant. She is the principal of Vandersall Collective, a boutique firm in New York City, in addition to the church planter for the congregation called Not So Churchy. Mieke is a graduate of the College of Wooster and Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Thad AustinRev. Thad S. Austin, Researcher, Lake Institute of Faith and Giving

Thad serves as the William and Edie Enright Fellow at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy where he is a PhD candidate and a Research Assistant at The Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. Recently, the national Association for Research in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) distinguished Thad with the 2017 Emerging Scholar Award. Thad’s research interests include social entrepreneurship in religious congregations, fundraiser effectiveness, vocation, and satisfaction, and historical understandings of the role of religion and race in philanthropy. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Thad also serves as Managing Editor of the Church Leader Collective for Seedbed Publishing. Prior to coming to Indiana, Thad served as Executive Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a 3,200 member congregation. In his free time, Thad loves to travel (41 countries and all 50 states, thus far), hike (has hiked the 1,100 miles between Pennsylvania and Georgia), sail, and spend time with friends.


 June 5th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Taking Charge of Your Church Finances

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Al Kamienski
 June 19th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Utilizing Conflict Constructively

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Catherine Marsh
 July 10th, 10:00AM-1:00PM QuickBooks for Religious Organization, 1…2…3

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Kelly Love
 July 24th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Why Are We So Good at Running Bad Meetings?

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 Trevor James
August 7th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Aligning Process, People, and Mission

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Tim O’Brien
 September 4th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Examining Your Wallet: Explore Money Matters from a Theological Perspective

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Meike Vandersall
September 25th, 10:00AM-1:00PM Fundraising: Creating A Culture of Church Generosity

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Thad Austin