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February 14, 2017

Lilly Endowment Awards $750,000 Grant to North Park University

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Pastors receive financial management and leadership training through School of Business and Nonprofit Management, Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, and the Seminary.

Published by PR Newswire

CHICAGO (February 14, 2017) — Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders awarded North Park University with a $750,000 grant to provide specialized curriculum and programming geared for pastors and church leaders. To lead financially strong congregations, pastoral leaders need to be well versed in accounting, finance, human resources, and operations. As such, the seasoned educators from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM) and the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management (Axelson Center) will work with North Park Theological Seminary (NPTS) to readily offer pastors financial management and leadership training.

North Park joins other higher education grant recipients Northwestern, Villanova, and Seton Hall universities, as well as magazine and online publication Christianity Today. Rev. Dr. David Kersten, dean of North Park Theological Seminary and vice president of church relations remarks, “I hope this national effort will form a closer relationship between business schools and seminaries.”

With North Park’s existing dual master degree program in seminary and business, the University is well-positioned to provide immediate instruction to pastoral leaders. In courses from both the business and nonprofit management school and seminary, students acquire the business skills they need to run financially strong congregations, in conjunction with their calling to serve the church.

Coursework includes language and content unique to churches, pastors, and church leadership. Several flexible learning options featuring the dual focus in business and church leadership, include:

  • Master’s degree in church administration
  • Doctoral degree in Church leadership
  • Joint MDiv and MBA or MNA programs (dual degree program in seminary and business/nonprofit management)
  • School of Business and Nonprofit Management five-course certificate program in
    • Church administration
    • Human resource management
    • Nonprofit financial management
    • Nonprofit marketing analysis and consumer behavior
    • Principles of church administration
    • Nonprofit board governance and volunteer management

Non-credit options include:

  • Custom-designed workshops for specific organizations and/or groups
  • Annual conference
  • BootCamp and workshops

“We encourage pastors and lay leaders to consider our offerings as they are further developed over the coming three-year period. We will offer a continuum of educational opportunities, both credit and non-credit, to strengthen financial and leadership capacity,” says Wesley E. Lindahl, North Park’s Dean of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management.

Resources at North Park: School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM), North Park Theological Seminary (NPTS), and the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management (Axelson Center)

Another resource within SBNM is the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management (Axelson Center). Founded in 1999, the Axelson Center offers expertise in teaching a wide range of management and leadership topics on a non-credit basis. That expertise has often been directed towards faith-based nonprofit organizations and will be joined with that of SBNM and NPTS to ensure the provision of a wide range of opportunities for faith leaders through this new initiative supported by the Lilly Endowment.

Scholarships Available

In concert with North Park’s philosophy of offering access to quality higher education, participants are eligible to receive 50 percent scholarships towards certificates and custom workshops.

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