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UST Business Dean Inspired to Create a Master of Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management

UST Crest LogoThe desire and calling to help clergy has always been in Mario Enzler’s heart.

Inspired by Saint Pope John Paul II

From being a former Swiss Guard of Pope St. John Paul II (the Saint’s birthday is May 18 and Enzler wrote a book –“I served a Saint”- celebrating it) to a successful international banker to becoming the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Enzler continually aims to live out his vocation and positively impact the lives of those he encounters. 

“At the Cameron School of Business we do not educate to create more efficient workers or more satisfied consumers, but freer – and better – persons,” Enzler said. “As educators, we accept as axiomatic the ancient view that the purpose of education is first and foremost moral, not utilitarian. We, therefore, seek not merely to inform our students, to fill their minds, but to form them as persons by holding up for them the classical ideals of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.”

During Enzler’s early time in Academia, he noticed the need and demand for clergy to learn practical business and managerial skills. Thus, especially after many hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the adoration Chapel, the creation of the Master of Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management (M.E.A.M.) came to be in 2017.

Learn more about the Master’s in Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management (M.E.A.M)

The Master is a professional degree that prepares clergy for effective and efficient parish and diocesan leadership. The 30-credit degree consists of a weeklong on-campus intensive, immersion session and online coursework, which can be completed in as little as eleven months. The program’s goal is to take inspiration from the proven best practices established in the secular business environment and assist the clergy and key figures in parishes, dioceses, and religious orders to manage day-to-day administrative responsibilities and to best respond to particular challenges and difficulties that might arise. 

Clergy Act like CEOs of Small Companies

Clergy and other key figures in parishes, dioceses, and religious orders essentially act like CEOs of their own small companies. Practical business skills like accounting, finance, human resources, and communication strategies, are not taught in seminary. When sent off to lead a parish, many priests often yearn for the knowledge of these practical business skills. The Master of Science in Ecclesial Administration and Management degree gives clergy access to these valuable and practical business skills. 

The program has been incredibly successful since its creation. “My fourth class of priests will graduate this summer and will go on to implement the knowledge they have learned” said Enzler. The program allows for clergy to be more prepared and ready to take on day-to-day administrative responsibilities and challenges they may face. 

“The M.E.A.M. degree provides a vital component of ongoing priestly formation during this critical time in the life of the Church in the United States,” Enzler said.

Enzler’s courageous view now gives the priest-learner a broad body of knowledge for effective, transparent, and value-added leadership in the modern-day administration of a parish or diocese. Specifically, classes on personnel management, budgeting and asset maintenance, and financial reporting provide enriched learning to build competencies that priests use every day.

Forming Priests as Servant-Leaders

“This degree forms the priest as a servant-leader who will be a responsible steward and ethical shepherd for the people of God,” said Fr. Justin Fulton from Lincoln, Nebraska. 

For more information on the M.E.A.M degree, please contact Dr. Mario Enzler at enzlerm@stthom.edu or 713.525.2120. Learn more at www.stthom.edu/meam