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School of Theology and Ministry

Course Series & Certificate

Course Series, Class Titles & Descriptions

Tools For A Sustainable Future: Management Essentials for Churches & Nonprofits


Financial management can make or break a church or faith-based organization. Faith leaders receive training in soul and community care, yet they are rarely equipped with the necessary tools for hujan resource management, financial oversight, tax and benefit considerations, fundraislign, communications, and operations.

This unique class series and certificate program equips leaders, staff and board members with tools to engage issues of financial and organizational management that can dramatically impact the sustainability of their communities of faith.

This class series and certificate program is designed with action in mind—equipping each participant with tools for his or her organization. Areas addressed include issues of finance, operations, basic accounting, marketing and communications, stewardship or fundraising, as well as the development of both a personal and communal theology of finance and economics, and much more.

Churches and nonprofits face the responsibility of operations and staffing, along with overhead costs of buildings and utilities, while often shouldering a student debt burden in their personal lives in the process—due to the rising cost of seminary and graduate education. Course instructors bring not only subject matter expertise in leadership and financial management but come from a place of personal experience within faith communities and faith-based nonprofit institutions.

We are happy to offer this opportunity intentionally at a low cost to participants, and is made possible due to a partnership with Seattle University’s award-winning Albers School of Business and Economics and one of the most unique seminaries in the U.S.. Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry is one of 67 schools nationwide selected and funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to facilitate programs that respond to the growing issue of student debt and support the future of faith-based organizations

Participate at your own pace!

Take individual courses alone or with your staff team! You’re welcome to only take the courses that you are drawn to, or you can take all of them. Participants in the entire class series earn a Certificate in Church and Non-profit Management.


Certificate in Church and Non-profit Management


This certificate signifies completion of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry course series taught by graduate-level faculty, providing practical tools and developing skills for financial literacy and management specifically in nonprofits and churches.

Contact with any interest in graduate Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


1. Talking Faith & Money: At the Intersection of Theology, Economics & Organizational  Realities

This introductory course lays a foundation for all that the program will cover; participants grapple with their own individual and community’s theology and how it intersects with themes of money, economics, and organizational management.

2. Taking Strategic Action: Building Mission-centered Operations & Business Practices

While faith and mission fuel the way we are church and operate nonprofits, tools are often necessary and helpful to engage strategic planning and goal-setting in a way that is realistic while inviting participation and collaboration. Church and nonprofit leaders have the responsibility of building operations and practices that support themselves, their leadership teams and staff, volunteers and community members. This class will provide practical tools for establishing those operations and business structures that support sustainable growth and honor everyone involved.

3. Developing the Must-Haves of Marketing & Communication

How can we tell the story of our church or community in a way that winsomely represents its heart and soul well? Where, when and how can we share meaningful content that represents our unique communities? This class will provide an overview on basic marketing and communications opportunities and resources, including how to create a communications plan for gatherings, programs and community life.

4. Overseeing Organizational Finances

While church and nonprofit leaders may not directly manage the sums and figures of accounting, skills and knowledge are imperative to sustainably manage and oversee accounting and finance operations. This introductory class gives participants the language and knowledge base they need to help their community thrive and foresee issues before they become fatal obstacles.

5. Managing Personal Finances

This class provides concrete tools for church and nonprofit leaders navigating their call to service as a vocational or bi-vocational leader. Participants are able to work through strategies for individual and family responsibilities, along with the realities of holding university and seminary student debt along with other financial challenges.

6. Cultivating Private Donors & Community Partners for Fundraising

Opportunities exist everyday for individuals, community organizations, and grants to fund programs and initiatives within churches and nonprofits. This class provides an opportunity for participants to become acquainted with the basics of fundraising and to cultivate skills for making those asks in a way that is true to the heart of their work.

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