Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 23, 2015 - Priests and Seminarians Learn Parish Management Skills at Management as Ministry

Diocesan and Religious Priests and seminarians from across the United States gathered on the CUA campus to learn best practice management skills in the first ever Management as Ministry seminar this past week-end. The three-day seminar was co-sponsored by the School of Business and Economics and the School of Theology and Religious Studies, and was developed over the past semester through the assistance of a five-member MSBA field study team. 

"Formal seminary education contains very little preparation in traditional business skills such as management, accounting, budgeting, finance and marketing," explained Brian Engelland, associate dean of the School of Business and Economics. "Yet, the role of a pastor is very much like that of a corporate CEO. Pastors need business skills and the Management as Ministry seminar was designed to teach future pastors the basics of business." 

The seminar featured sessions designed to help make pastors more effective managers and thus, more effective in their primary role as ministers. For instance, by applying best practices in delegating assignments to staff personnel, pastors can spend less time putting out fires and more time administering the sacraments. Session topics were developed as a result of input from pastors and a project steering committee comprised of Seminary Rectors.

The seminar included sessions on motivating employees, canon law, pastoral management, hiring and firing employees, parish fundraising, accounting, budgeting, financial controls, saving for retirement, digital marketing, on-line marketing tools and managing church facilities. Session participants were each given a workbook containing detailed information.

Faculty for the seminar included outstanding presenters from The Catholic University of America such as Harvey Seegers, JackYoest, Maureen Brookbank, Frank Vinik, Phil Brach, Bill Kirst, Luanne Zurlo, Mike Williams, and Paul Radich. These faculty were assisted by Fr John Enzler, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Maribeth Leonard, the parish council liaison from the Diocese of Arlington, and two seasoned priests - Fr. Frank Donio and Fr. Justin Ross - who added colorful stories from their own experience.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015 - Teaching Catholicism to Capitalists

In preparation for Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, DC, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) this coming fall, the students and faculty have begun an important conversation about justice in our society. On Wednesday, May 13, two experts launched this discussion at “Teaching Catholicism to Capitalists.

Monsignor Martin Schlag (left), with Professor Andreas Widmer.
First, Monsignor Martin Schlag, of the Santa Croce University in Rome and Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, shed light on Pope Francis' “Evangelii Gaudium” from an Anglo-American perspective. His talk provided great insights into the pope’s understanding of capitalism from his experiences in South America where capitalism is marred by classism and cronyism. He described how this is different from the free-market capitalism experienced in the United States and in other parts of the world that is much more open to all and can in fact be a great vehicle of inclusion and human flourishing.

Second, Andreas Widmer, of CUA’s School of Business and Economics and author of The Pope & The CEO: Pope John Paul II's Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard, presented the newly-released findings of Faithful Measure: Gauging awareness of the Catholic Church’s Social Doctrine. This fascinating new data shows that Catholics and non-catholics alike misunderstand key tenants of Catholic Social Doctrine. Of concern, most Catholics think they understand terms such as social justice, solidarity, and property rights, but when they are asked to identify their definitions, do little better than non-Catholics.

The key theme of both talks, which was discussed at length during the vibrant Q&A with the audience, was that the global Church needs to improve her communication and understanding amongst her people of different languages and cultures. For example, Schlag explained that the root word that the pope would have used in “Evangelii Gaudium” that has been translated into English as “inequality” would actually mean “unjust inequality” and is distinct from the word the pope would have used for “just inequality.”

We all intuitively know that not all inequality is unjust. God has created us each uniquely, with different skills and talents, and called to distinct vocations. Not all of us will go into business, or medicine, or Church work. This type of inequality cannot possibly be what ails capitalism, as it is found in every economy in the history of the world. The type of inequality that the pope specifically condemns is the kind that is not natural and that arises from corruption and greed.
How are we to know what is meant by the word “inequality” if it is not clarified? Similarly, how are we to know what the Church means by the terms of Catholic Social Doctrine if the Church does not adequately teach its members? Much like this example of inequality, Widmer’s research team demonstrates that there is this sort of confusion amongst the Church on all manner of terminology from Catholic Social Doctrine.

After identifying this problem, Widmer and Schlag began to lay out some beginning steps the Church can take to improve her communication and improve her mutual understanding of such key doctrines as we prepare ourselves for Pope Francis’s visit. The whole event is available to watch here.

Jacqueline Isaacs, is Research Associate in the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015 - Liberal Arts Students Prepare for Business Careers at Unique Workshop

This past May 11, The Catholic University of America’s School of Business and Economics and The Cardinal Newman Society co-hosted a “Catholic Business Career Discernment Day” for Catholic college students wishing to pursue a career in business as a faithful Catholic.

The program featured a panel of graduate alumni from the business school, a panel of Catholic business executives, and a keynote presentation by Dr. Andrew Abela, founding dean of the School of Business and Economics at Catholic University. Dean Abela stressed the importance that a liberal arts education has in understanding "the larger social, historical, philosophical and even theological contexts that businesses operate within." He explained that business is indeed a vocation, following the words of Pope Francis in his Evangelii Gaudium: “Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.” 


Dean Abela concluded by explaining how the core principles of the Catholic Church's social doctrine, solidarity, subsidiarity, common good, and respect for the human dignity, inspire the business practice.

The event was featured in an article by The Cardinal Newman Society, where they stated: 
"Students interested in pursuing careers in business were given a chance to hone their networking skills, speak to successful businesspeople, and learn how a business career can be pursued in a faithful Catholic manner. The workshop was attended by students from Ave Maria University, Belmont Abbey College, The Catholic University of America (CUA), the College of the Holy Cross, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.
Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told participants that CUA’s business school was a perfect host and organizer of the event, because of its unique synthesis of faith and business skills, especially in its Master of Science in Business Analysis (MSBA) program for students who did not major in business as undergraduates. The foundation of a liberal arts major actually contributes to a career in business, said Marykate Kelly, director of career development and corporate relations at the School of Business and Economics, to the Newman Society following the event."
Read full article here

May 19, 2015 - Professor Widmer on the New Climate Economy on Vatican Radio

Andreas Widmer, director, entrepreneurship programs, was interviewed by Vatican Radio for the program "The new climate economy: how economic growth and sustainability can go hand in hand".

Professor Widmer joined Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Dutch Ambassador to the Holy See, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington on the discussion about how economic progress and the reduction of climate risk can complement each other. 

The radio program was hosted in anticipation to the conference on "The New Climate Economy" that will be held on Wednesday May 20, 2015 in Rome. Following on from a previous interfaith conference about the moral/religious imperatives of environmental sustainability, this second conference - ahead of the Pope's ecology encyclical - aims to look closer at the practicalities of getting business and politics on board.

Watch the interview below.

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015 - Board Member named an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Award Finalist

Denis McFarlane, CUA graduate and member of the Board of Visitors of the School of Business and Economics, has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Award in the Greater Washington Region.

Over the last several years, the School of Business and Economics has been privileged to have Denis McFarlane as a board member and also a regular guest speaker, providing strategic direction and development support to our school as well as mentoring and advising our students.

Mr. McFarlane is founder and CEO of Infinitive, a Washington, D.C.-based process engineering and project management firm. Infinitive was honored as one of Consulting Magazine’s “Best Small Firm’s to Work For” in 2008 and 2009. Denis previously served as vice president of sales and business development for Accenture and has over 19 years of consulting experience with Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. McFarlane is once again recognized among entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in their businesses while at the same time serving their communities.

Please join us in congratulating Denis McFarlane on this outstanding recognition. Please read the full article here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 7, 2015 - New Video Release at the 11th National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

On May 7, 2015, the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America sponsored the 11th Annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC, where over 900 Catholic leaders from around the country gathered in an atmosphere of fellowship and prayer.   

As the media sponsor of this important event, we had the pleasure to launch a brand new video featuring some of our faculty, students, alumni, and members of our Board of Visitors. It communicates our message about how we are redefining business education in America.


In an effort to raise awareness of our mission we also made available copies of A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions and Insights from Catholic Teaching to all of the attendees. The book, co-edited by the dean of the School of Business and Economics Dr. Andrew Abela and Dr. Joseph Capizzi of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, serves as an essential guide for any business leader who wishes to grow in their understanding of Catholic Social Doctrine as applied to business.


We hope you enjoy our new video and continue to support CUA’s School of Business and Economics.