VSB was ranked No. 17 in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of “Best Online Degree Programs: Graduate Business.”
The business school also received recognition in the “Student Services and Technology” category, ranking No. 11.
This is the first time the University has participated in the online graduate program ranking process.
The U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of online business programs scores the following: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology.
The data supplied for this ranking was based on VSB’s Master of Science in Church Management program.
This pioneering, two-year online graduate business program helps church leaders apply sound business approaches to church-management-related issues and decision making.
“The Church is not a business but it does have a stewardship responsibility to use its resources effectively to carry out God’s work on earth,” said Charles Zech, director of the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics and faculty director for the graduate program.
“Frequently, that requires the use of sound business management tools,” Zech said, “Every Catholic university is being asked to show how it is different, how it displays its Catholic identity.”
“As a premier Catholic university housing a premier school of business it is important that Villanova takes a leadership role in improving church management at all levels. This is the only church management program of its kind in the country.”
Few people know what church management is or what it actually does.
Churches are characterized by both human (organizational) and godly (spiritual) attributes.
The church is at once the body of Christ and a human institution, Zech noted.
Because of its unique dual nature, the local church requires both spiritual and organizational management.
Church management becomes a challenge of blending the spiritual with the organizational.
“About a quarter of our students are Protestants, which makes for richer class discussions,” Zech said.
These class discussions span the entire world and lend to the idea that the program has become globalized over the years after its transformation into an online program.
“Because of our ability to use technology we are truly a global program, with students on four continents, including six U.S. time zones. Our program contributes to Villanova’s name and reputation, as well as that of VSB, being known throughout the world,” remarked Zech.
Even more impressive is the fact that a number of faculty were “tasked with leaving their comfort zone by applying their functional areas of expertise in a faith-based manner,” Zech said.
Furthermore, they needed to present this material in an atypical way over the web in an engaging fashion.