Religious Leaders Turn To B-School To Manage Church Investments

Church of England leaders are turning to business education at INSEAD to help them manage budgets and investment portfolios.

Business education: coming to a church near you in 2015.

Britain’s bishops are turning to business school, with 36 of the religious leaders set to study mini-MBA degrees that will be funded by the Church of England, in a sign of the increasingly diverse make-up of management education.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the principal leader of the Church, has dispatched the flock of bishops to brush up on their leadership skills, as the Church seeks to change its management culture.

They will study leadership courses at INSEAD, a leading global business school.

INSEAD has just received a €5 million donation to help it construct a new Leadership Development Centre.

A Church of England review chaired by Lord Green, the former chairman of HSBC, said that alongside the apostolic call, bishops, like deans, are “also responsible for extensive budgets and investment portfolios, for business and for process”.

Serving bishops will begin their studies with three modules lasting three days each – “building healthy organisations”, “leading growth” and “reinventing the ministry”.

Funding of £2 million has been allocated for the bishops’ management training, according to the Sunday Times.

The initial figure for “talent management and leadership development” outlined in the Lord Green report put the figure at £785,000 per annum from 2017.

In total, the report said the proposed new approach to management by the Church would require an additional investment of £2 million between 2014 and 2016.

It is the second recent foray into business by the Church, as in December it was given the green light to launch a credit union.

The Churches’ Mutual Credit Union plans to offer savings accounts and loans from February 2015.
 
It is hoped the union will offer an alternative option to “payday lenders”, most of which are not expected to survive tough new restrictions on lending imposed by regulators.
 
The management courses will complement rather than replace senior clerics’ spiritual training. 

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