The priest who earned an MBA


Executive MBA programs draw professionals from many backgrounds. In any class, you’ll find lawyers, doctors, and engineers pairing up with marketing managers and accountants. And that’s no surprise. Every trade or institution is, at its heart, a business.

A good example is the Roman Catholic Church. Numbering 1.25 billion followers, the church is more than a community of faith with a message of salvation. It is also a flourishing organization with a 2,000 year track record. Like any business, it includes hierarchies and assets, with operations that range from education to missionary work. To maximize return and provide the best service to its members, church leaders must be well-versed in business fundamentals from finance to strategy.


That’s one reason why you’d find Father Pete McCormick in EMBA classes at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. A member of Poets&Quants’ Best-and-Brightest’ EMBAs for the Class of 2015, Father Pete, as he’s called, serves as the university’s director of campus ministry. And he enrolled at Mendoza with a clear mission. “As priests,” he tells Poets&Quants, “we’re asked to be thoughtful and good stewards of the resources that we’ve been given – and ultimately to communicate the message of the gospel. I want to do that as effectively as possible.”

Without the collar, few would guess Father Pete’s true vocation. With an easy laugh and reassuring manner, Father Pete could easily be pictured as the all-city basketball player who captained his high school team. And basketball remains a passion for him. He currently serves as the chaplain for Notre Dame’s men’s basketball team. In fact, he still steps onto the court occasionally, where he’s known for a deadly jump shot (and an occasional elbow in the paint). And would you believe that he still rocks the mike as a disk jockey who goes by the moniker, “DJ McSwish?”

Read this entire story on the Poets & Quants website.

Originally published by Jeff Schmitt at on July 13, 2015.