Posted May 31, 2006
Policy Implications for Parish Management
From a study of parish
management by Dr. Charles Zech, Director of the Center for the Study of
Church Management at Villanova University
Pastors need training in leadership which they feel is important but for
which they are relatively unprepared. This training could occur in the
seminary or, more likely, as continuing education after ordination. At a
minimum, it should occur before a priest assumes his first pastorate.
Pastors need less training in specific administrative skills, but should
have enough of a background to perform their governing office as required in
Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the
Non-Ordained Faithful in Sacred Ministry of Priests. Again, this might be
acquired through continuing education.
Even parish business managers feel themselves to be inadequately prepared
for many of the administrative and leadership tasks which they are called
upon to perform. This is not surprising, since many of them come to their
positions without formal business background. The ministry of parish
business manager needs to be professionalized.
Confirming other research, parish business managers tend to disregard the
spiritual aspects of their positions. But if they are to serve in a
faith-based community, they need to possess a certain degree of
spirituality. This needs to be a criterion for the position as much as
technical business skills are a criterion.