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The Master's of Education in Catholic School Administration

EDU 520 Budgetary Considerations in Catholic School Administration (3 credits; 12.8 CEUs)

Elizabeth Faroul
Purchase for $900

Course Title:      Budgetary Considerations in Catholic School Administration


Instructor:        Fr . Michael W. Davis

Phone:               786-486-0921


Office Hours:    9:30am-4:30pm, EST                                                                                      revised  9/10/22

Course Description:  A study of the managerial philosophy, budgetary components, fiscal variables, supervisory dexterity, fiscal management practices, marketing principles and institutional advancement considerations essential for Catholic school administrators in their work to promote institutional vitality by attending to present and long-range needs.

Course Objectives:  At the end of the course, the participant will be able to:

  •       Define the distinctive mission of the Catholic School and how this mission is to guide all fiscal decision making and actions by a Catholic school administrator;
  •       Identify the wide range of expenses that go into the institutional operation of a Catholic elementary or secondary school, with particular attention to personnel and their employment benefits, classroom instruction and supplies, and plant management;
  •       Formulate a tuition and fees structure, taking into account its various exigencies, that adequately addresses all items on the expense side of the operational budget;
  •       Identify all potential revenue streams that can affect the operational budget, not forgetting

ambient activities likewise needing accountability, e.g., bookstore/gift shop/spirit store, cafeteria operation, athletic department considerations, and the Development Office;    

  •       Define the terms: operational budget, calendarized budget, cash flow, long-range plan, strategic plan, marketing and institutional advancement, and be able to articulate their inter-relationship;
  •       Develop an annual budget for an elementary or secondary Catholic school, addressing revenue considerations and all items of the expense side of the chart of accounts;   
  •       Develop a budgetary control system, taking into account personnel supervision, purchase order system or purchase approval plans, finance council or board support, and monthly reconciliations;
  •       Understand the component parts of a formal, written, long-range plan for an elementary or secondary Catholic school;
  •       Outline techniques in studying data, relative to enrollment recruitment, matriculation, retention, communication with various publics, school image, and advancement potential;
  •       Be able to discuss the concepts inherent in an effective marketing plan for a Catholic elementary or secondary Catholic school;
  •       Grasp the elements that form a comprehensive development program for a Catholic elementary or secondary school, including parental and community involvement;
  •       Discus the range of development initiatives, including but not limited to fundraising projects, special events, annual giving, planned-giving, capital campaigns, alumni associations, foundations (distributable income);
  •       Understand the importance of financial reporting to various publics, audits, and accountability;
  •       Be able to interpret data and trends that will impact institutional vitality and long-ranging budgetary considerations.

Course Requirements:

  1.       Participants will be required to attend all on-line or in-class presentations;
  2.       Complete selected readings in Catholic school finance, administration, marketing and development (with 10 weekly synthesis/integration papers of one page in length). Can be submitted via the e-mail above, by Friday evening each week of the term.
  3.       A Mid-Term Case study, utilizing budgetary principles;
  4.       An institutional budgetary assessment analysis paper or a marketing plan for a Catholic elementary or secondary school.
  5.       A summative final exam, which will include 5 essay questions from which four are chosen.

Course Materials

      (Required Materials)

  •      Business Management in Catholic Schools by Joan Correia, OP, NCEA, 1998
  •      Running a Smooth Financial Operation in the Catholic Grade School or High School by David Gervasio, NCEA, 2017 *
  •      Catholic School Governance and Finance by Rosemary Hocevar, NCEA, 2020 *
  •      Administrator’s Survival Guide by Annette Marif Jones and Thomas J. Kelly, NCEA, 2020 *
  •      Strategic Planning Survival Guide by William J. Campbell, SM, Ed.D., NCEA, 2012 *
  •      Effective Catholic Schools: An Exploration by Anthony Bryk, Peter B. Holland, Valarie Lee, and Ruben Carriedo, NCEA, 1984, 1992 *.

       (Optional Materials)

  •      Seven Steps to Strategic Planning for Catholic School Leaders by Melodie Wyttenbach, Ph.D., NCEA, 2020
  •      How to Hire a Development Officer by Jack Peterson, NCEA, 1990.
  •      Catholic School Management Letter, Volumes I through XVI, by Catholic School Management, Inc., Madison, CT., 1979-1994
  •      Elementary School Finance Manual, NCEA, Washington
  •      Strategic Marketing for Educational Institutions by Phillip Kotler and Karen F.A. Fox, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1985.
  •      Effective Church Accounting by Richard J. Vargo, Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1989.
  •      The Role of the Principal in Development by Rev. Joel M. Konzer, SM, NCEA, 1991.
  •      Building an Endowment: What, Why and How? By Steven Beaird, CFRE and Rev. William E. Hayes, SJ, NCEA, 1999.
  •      Comprehensive Planning in Catholic Schools by Justin Morrill, NCEA, 2000.
  •      Gateway to the Future: essays on Institutuional Advancement, editor Mary E. Tracey, SNJM, NCEA, 2000.

Course/Student Learning Outcomes

The concepts mentioned in the course objectives are of critical importance toward the development of leadership competencies in the fiscal administration of Catholic grade schools and high schools. By the end of the course, the participant will be able to:

  •      Have understanding of a mission-driven approach to fiscal administration in Catholic schools;
  •      Have awareness of the component parts of the institutional chart of accounts, with understanding of the revenue stream and expense dimensions of organizational life;
  •      Formulate a budget for a Catholic elementary or secondary school;
  •      Know of the significance of fiscal oversight and reporting;
  •      Evaluate institutional data and trends, as a way to foster competent decision-making regarding day to day and long-term planning;
  •      Understand the significance of Catholic school marketing and public relations initiatives;
  •      Have insights and options in the formulation of an effective Catholic school institutional advancement and development branch of revenue stream cultivation.              

Course Lecture Outline

  1.       Being mission-driven/our Catholic faith as essential to the fiscal administration of Catholic schools/ the reason we spend our money;  
  2.       Catholic identity and our mission;
  3.       Be good stewards of limited resources/be efficient/effective/always guided by mission;
  4.       The expense side of the operation;
  5.       Personnel matters;
  6.       The financial team; working definitions/bookkeeping;
  7.       Development/institutional advancement/tuition and revenue;
  8.       Mission statements/enrollment/recruitment;
  9.       Revenue side of the budget/be aware of potentialities for revenue;
  10.       Revenue side of the budget/intricacies;
  11.       Revenue side of the budget/fabric of topics/ marketing/advertisement/recruitment;
  12.       Marketing/financial aid/budget formation;  
  13.       Monies beyond the budget/reserves/conservative budgeting/fiscal staff;
  14.       Recommendations for a flourishing Catholic schools under Gospel mandate;
  15.       Parental involvement/audits/long-range planning;
  16.       Long-term fiscal health considerations/long-range planning/boards/planning models;
  17.       Timeline of school budgeting process/sample budget format;
  18.       Bookkeeping general principles/financial reporting;
  19.       Budget formation/having sight/insight/credibility/transparency; budgeting as the “key” to financial control;
  20. Preparing financial reports;
  21.       Hands on experience: Catholic church and school, finances, a consultant ‘s perspective;
  22.       Management skills: a financial consultant’s perspective;
  23.       Development Director/job description/mission at the forefront/essential tasks;
  24.       Tuition and tuition collection: a Tuition Accounts Manager’s perspective;
  25.       Development Office: A director’s perspective;
  26.       Importance of Development: a director’s perspective;
  27.       How to hire a Development Director;
  28.       Marketing plans/benefits of Catholic schools/image promotion/recruitment and retention;
  29.       Advancing the cause/fiscal realities/always seek efficiency;
  30.       Invitation to best practices/ churches and schools should always embrace accounting techniques that favor proper financial management procedures; vendor contract considerations;
  31.       Strategic planning/ institutional and budgetary review and analysis;
  32.       Financial planning calendar/budget implementation/annual reports;
  33.       Parental Involvement/recommendations for success of Catholic schools/development objectives for financial success/beginning the budget formation process all over again.        

Grading Policy/Scale:

A+ ……………97 and above












F……………..59 and below


              Ten Synthesis/Journal Papers…….……………… 20%

              First Quarter Case Study Analysis…………….… 20%

              Mid-Term Case Study………………………………….20%

              Institutional Assessment/Marketing Plan….. 20%

              Final Exam……………………………………………………20%



Course Policies: Since this is a required course as part of the degree program in Catholic School Leadership, attendance at all lectures is presumed. 1.) A weekly integrative synthesis paper, which addresses readings in Catholic school fiscal matters is required to be emailed to the above e-mail address. 2.) A case study analysis based upon budgetary principles and categories, which includes recommendations for institutional enhancement, is to be done. 3.) The completion of case study will also serve as the mid-term. See special attachment. 4.) During the second quarter a ten-page institutional assessment is to be completed. It can either be: a.) an assessment of a Catholic School’s budget based upon budgetary principles as outlined in this course, augmented by best accounting practices, or b.) a prospectus for the opening of an office of institutional advancement and its development and marketing plan for a Catholic elementary or high school. 5.) There is also a written Final Exam, the full details of which are presented as an attachment on the course page.  


System Requirements: This course is offered asynchronously on our LMS, NEO.  To access the course and complete it successfully, you will need an internet capable device with sound and a current internet browser: either the current or the previous release of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, or Internet Explorer 11+ (for Windows 8 and previous versions), and Microsoft Edge (for Windows 10+) to run the LMS.  In addition, courses require the use of, a PDF viewer, word-processing software compatible with Microsoft Office suite and a current email address. For help with the NEO platform see the Help Center in the LMS, found by clicking on the “?” in the upper right hand corner after you have logged in.  For log in questions, registration questions, or problems with missing content or content malfunctions, contact the teaching assistant, Elizabeth Froula at


Proprietary Interest Policy: Faculty are permitted to refer to notable past work and achievements (including publications and educational activities not offered by Pontifex University, and even those offered for personal profit) in their published biography on the Pontifex website and course promotions. In the context of educational activities undertaken for Pontifex University, including videos, live or recorded, teachers, can recommend or bring to the attention such work for students (even if for personal profit, for example, books or podcasts) but only with approval by Pontifex University and when it is related to the teaching purpose of the class.  An instructor’s related work will be noted in the syllabus as appropriate.  Instructors may use their own materials as required in their courses and learning events as long as the materials are appropriate for the particular learning event.


Failure to comply with this policy will result in a warning or administration modification of course materials. Violations of this policy should be reported to the Provost.

Here is the class outline:

1. Course requirements

2. Lesson 1 Introduction

A Blend of Faith and Finances is Possible/Mission Clarity

3. Lesson 2 Catholic Identity and Our Mission

The various publics to whom Catholic school administrators are responsible with consideration to parochial schools, diocesan schools, inter-parochial schools, Religious Order schools, and privately incorporated schools.

4. Lesson 3 Be Good Stewards of Limited Resources/Efficiency and Effectiveness Guided by the Mission

The Principal’s job description in light of the responsibility for fiscal management.

5. Lesson 4 Expenses of Budgetary Considerations

Getting the program ready. Understanding the categories of expenditures that make up the expense side of the chart of accounts.

6. Lesson 5 Expense Side of Budget/Personnel Matters

Budget Director, Director of Accounts Payable.

7. Lesson 6 Bookkeeping/The Financial Team/Some Working Definitions

Marketing, recruitment, projections, registration, matriculation, and retention.

8. Lesson 7 Tuition/Revenue Streams/Development

Hiring the administrative staff, instructional staff, maintenance and custodial staff, chaplaincy and Campus Ministry staff, athletic and coaching staff, moderators of extra-curricular activities and compensation in light of credentials, experience, and job descriptions.

9. Midterm

10. Lesson 8 Mission Statement/Initial Reflections on Recruitment and Enrollment/Review of Course Req...

Salary scales, payroll, benefit packages (medical insurance, retirement plans disability, workers compensation, life insurance), services, scheduling.

11. Lesson 9 Revenue Side of the Budget/Be Aware of Potentialities for Revenue

Vendors, services and contracts, uniforms, books, cafeteria, technology and internet, phones, cleaning and custodial supplies, plant repairs and maintenance, security, and bookstore/gift shop.

12. Lesson 10 Intricacies of Recruitment and Enrollment which affect the Revenue Stream

13. Lesson 11 The Fabric of the Revenue Side of the Budget/Marketing/Advertising/Recruitment

Cafeteria considerations, vendor or internal management, federal, state breakfast/lunch programs, financial considerations, item pricing, pre-paid plans, or purchase-at-will program/charges.

14. Lesson 12 Marketing/Financial Aid/Intro to Budget Formation

Bookstore/Spirit/Gift Shop considerations, vendor or internal management, expenditures, revenue.

15. Lesson 13 Revenue Streams/Monies Beyond Tuition/Reserves/Always Stay in the Black/Fiscal Staffing

Understanding the categories of income that make up the revenue side of the chart of accounts.

16. Lesson 14 Recommendations for the Flourishing of Catholic Schools

Tuition Accounts Manager, Director of Accounts Receivable

17. Lesson 15 Explanation of Mid-Term/Parental Involvement/Audits/Long Range Planning

Tuition and Fees, cost-based pricing versus other methodologies of fiscal pricing, collection systems and products.

18. Lesson 16 Long-Tern Fiscal Health Considerations/Planning/Boards

Tuition assistance and scholarships, discounts, legal issues, delinquent accounts.

19. Lesson 17 Timeline of School Budgeting Process / Sample of Budget Format

Cash flow considerations, calendarized budget, payment schedules, deferring income, tracking receivables and payables.

20. Lesson 18 General Principles for Bookkeeping and Financial Reporting

21. Lesson 19A Have Sight and Insight for the sake of Transparency and Credibility

Budget formation, formats, procedures, involvement of all publics, and the bottom line. In light of the structural and moving parts of the institution, budgeting is the “key” to financial control.

22. Lesson 19B Preparing Financial Reports

Budget formation, formats, procedures, involvement of all publics, and the bottom line. In light of the structural and moving parts of the institution, budgeting is the “key” to financial control.

23. Lesson 20 Hands on Experience in Catholic Church and School Finances/ A Consultant’s Presentation

Guest Lecturer: Gisella Pastrana

24. Lesson 21 The Management of School Finances / A Financial Consultant’s Presentation, part B

Communication of the proposed budget and its approval processes, budgetary revisions, publishing of budget to all required constituencies, holding stake-holders to their collective responsibility.

25. Lesson 22 The Job Description of a Development Director / Mission at the Forefront of Essential T...

Monthly reconciliations, record-keeping, accounting systems, banks accounts, budgetary analysis: a work that is never done.

26. Lesson 23 Tuition / Tuition Collection / A Tuition Accounts Manager’s Perspective

Fiscal reporting, balance sheets, activities reports, cash flow , comparative analyses, annual reviews and audits. Churches and schools should always embrace accounting techniques that favor proper financial management procedures. Best practices.

27. Lesson 24 The Development Office / A Director’s Perspective

Institutional and budgetary review and analysis in light of the mission.

28. Lesson 25 The Importance of Development and Advancement / A Director’s Recommendations

Marketing, advertisement, public relations, networking

29. Lesson 26 Open Listing of the Position of Development Director / Founding of an Alumni Association

Beginning the budget formation process all over again.

30. Lesson 27 Budget and Fiscal Considerations Reflections on Marketing, Image and Recruitment

31. Lesson 28 Maintaining Clarity in Mission/ Seeking to always Advance the Cause of Christ / Fiscal ...

32. Lesson 29 Maintaining Clarity in Mission/ Seeking to always Advance the Cause of Christ / Fiscal ...

33. Lesson 30 Strategic Planning / A Budget Timeline / Planning Calendar

34. Final Exam

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