North Park University In Chicago Urges Seminary Students To Take MBA


Chicago's North Park University has been making great strides in developing well-rounded individuals in its campus halls, encouraging seminary students to take on an MBA on the side to give them an intensive training on various business processes.

The trend has becoming increasingly prevalent in previous years especially as churches need more "professionalizing of staff."

North Park, affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church built by Lutheran immigrants in the 1800s, is the only education and training center for ministers of the Evangelical Covenant in the continental United States. It also accepts students from other denominations in the Protestant faith and produced 41 graduates in the most recent commencement.

Dan Aleshire, the executive director of the accrediting body Association of Theological Schools also pointed out that two main reasons for seminarians bolstering their business resume are the expansion of religious organizations by creating nonprofits and the need for leadership in the various sects, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Other schools which offer dual degrees in divinity and business are Seattle Pacific University, University of Notre Dame and Eastern University. Duke University also offers a program which combines a Masters in Divinity and an M.B.A. on the way to a Juris Doctor law degree.

Seminary students and priests with business-related degrees are not exactly new. Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, located near the University of Notre Dame du Lac in South Bend, Indiana, for example has Fr. Mark Thesing, C.S.C., as a member of its Supervisory Committee, CU Insight reported.

Thesing has been a priest since 1986 and holds a B.S. in Mathematics, an M.B.A. and a Master of Divinity from Notre Dame. He also serves in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business as the Director of Finance and Administration.

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