On Sunday, June 10, Archbishop José H. Gomez recognized the most recent graduates of the Parish Business Administration certificate program at Loyola Marymount University at a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.  

Most of those completing the program were either already working in Parish Business Administration or have obtained positions at parishes after completing the program. The program is a collaborative effort of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and LMU, and is offered through the LMU Extension to prepare qualified men and women to serve parishes in the ever-increasing need for professional Church management.

As the Church’s ministry grows in scope, reach and complexity, each parish faces the challenge of administering its resources effectively and fairly, while at the same time achieving compliance with both civil and canon law. Increasingly, parishes look to lay professionals trained in administration to ensure that pastoral ministry can take place in a way that both enhances and safeguards the mission of the church.

The teaching method consists primarily of lecture and class discussion. Guest speakers come from Archdiocesan leadership and other institutions. Participants are encouraged to present their own real-world experiences for class discussion. 

The typical class consists of 18-22 students who arrive with a wide range of experience and education. Generally, one-third are currently employed as a PBM (Parish Business Manager) or in similar positions in a parish, one-third aspire to the PBM position, and one-third are taking the class for personal enrichment to better serve their parish in a voluntary or other ministry function.  

Course topics include the role of the PBM, employee benefits and benefits administration, collaborative ministry and building consensus, the role of Finance Councils and Pastoral Councils, budget preparation and management, financial reporting, pastoral planning, lay ministry and multicultural experience in the church, ecclesiology, canon law and diocesan guidelines.

The program is open to all, especially anyone already working or seeking employment in parish administration and those involved in similar administrative positions in schools, hospitals, retreat houses and other church-related institutions.  

The next two-semester program is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2018. For more information, please contact LMU Extension at 310.338.1971 or https://academics.lmu.edu/extension/crs/programs/pba/