Church Administration



2 foundation courses + 1 or more electives


$49 per course


Link to Register:

If you’re a pastor who feels more comfortable preaching a sermon on Leviticus than crafting a budget, you may have found yourself saying “No one ever taught me how to run a church.” If you’re a lay leader wondering how to apply your management experience to the ministry team you’re leading, you may have found yourself saying something similar: “No one ever taught me how to run a church.” 

Whatever you emphasize when you muse about your lack of preparation for the church administration responsibilities you now hold, this specialization is for you. You’ll learn how to engage the work of leading management theorists and business leaders on strategic management, finance, HR, and other foundational topics while—crucially—maintaining a theological focus that situates these practices within the church’s mission of discipleship, worship, and witness. 

You’ll also develop practical skills, including how to steward your time more effectively, cultivate a clear sense of vision and mission, conduct performance reviews, and implement sound finance practices. And if (as we strongly recommend) you complete this specialization together with other key leaders in your church, you’ll also build invaluable shared understandings and convictions about the management of your church that will set the table for effective collaboration for years to come. 

Courses in this Series

  1. Church Administration Theology and Time Management (required course – REGISTRATION OPEN)
  2. Strategic Management for Churches (required course – coming Summer 2023)
  3. Human Resource Management for Churches (elective course – coming Fall 2023)
  4. Financial Management for Churches (elective course – coming Spring 2024)


Rae Cho

Rae Cho earned Th.D. and M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He teaches classes on theology and practice of Christian leadership and administration and Asian American theology at Duke Divinity School. He served as the church administration head at an Asian American church in Silicon Valley while working at a management consulting firm and then a high-tech startup, and he has provided consultation to churches on church administration. He also holds M.S. and B.S. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Read More Rae Cho

Learning Objectives

By the end of this certification, you will be able to:

  1. Foster church team-building and conviction on theology and practice of church administration;
  2. Address major practices (topics) of church administration theologically and managerially; 
  3. Offer a theological approach to church administration (drawing on Duke focus and strength in theology) by pursuing theological goals through management tools; 
  4. Draw on management excellence and know-how as resources to be theologically deployed for church administration;
  5. Offer principles and know-hows on key concrete practices of church administration.

Certification Outcomes

By the end of this certification, you will be able to:

  • Explain what is (or ought to be) distinctive about church leadership and administration.
  • Draw upon management excellence and know-how in a theologically appropriate way. 
  • Develop a plan to steward your time more effectively.
  • Implement key practices of strategic management in your church.
  • Execute basic staff stewardship practices, including hiring processes and performance reviews.
  • Establish financial policies and procedures that enable your church to use financial resources wisely.
  • If completing the specialization as a team, develop shared understandings and convictions about some of the core operational issues faced by churches.