National Institute for Church Finance and Administration

National Institute in Church Finance and Administration (NICFA)

Real Possibilities: NICFA at Candler Powers the Business of Ministry

NICFA at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology powers the business of ministry by training church administrators, pastors and volunteers in the business of running a church. Legal and tax matters; personnel, office and financial management; strategic planning; conflict resolution—churches that attend to these details allow ministry to thrive. Master these skills at NICFA as you:

  • Start on the path to Church Business Administrator certification
  • Benefit from Candler’s outstanding faculty and state-of-the-art instructional space
  • Learn through mentoring, cohort groups, networking and online options even after the class term ends
  • Choose to attend one week or up to four weeks

Legal and tax matters. Human resource management. Strategic planning. If you’re responsible for managing the business of the local church, these issues can keep you awake at night.

Enter NICFA at Candler School of Theology, which offers comprehensive training to those involved in the business of running churches. Offered each June in partnership with the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church, NICFA has been helping church administrators, pastors and volunteers navigate everything from finances and property management to marketing and conflict resolution for more than 40 years. This year’s session runs June 3-28 on the Emory University campus in Atlanta.

Registration for summer 2015 is now open.

The NICFA program fulfills the curriculum requirement for achieving certification by the National Association of Church Business Administrators (NACBA) and the United Methodist Association of Church Business Administrators (UMACBA). NICFA seminars are intentionally ecumenical in course content, teaching approach and enrollment. Persons from all denominations are welcome.

Professional training standards for NICFA are established in cooperation with Candler School of TheologyThe National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA), and The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of the United Methodist Church.

The cost for attending NICFA varies, please see the table below. Fees include lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

DenominationRegistration FeeTuition for Each Week
United Methodist$100 (non-refundable)$150 (Scholarship from GCFA applied)
Other Denominations$100 (non-refundable)$400

Late Registration Schedule

After these dates a $25 late registration fee will be added for each seminar.

Seminar IIA - May 19, 2014
Seminar IIB - May 26, 2014
Seminar IA - June 2, 2014
Seminar IB - June 9, 2014

A $50 late registration fee for each seminar will be added to registrations made 7 days before the start of the seminar.

Register early to avoid late fees!

This is an individual, self directed project and the final requirement for certification as a church administrator. The project is optional and details regarding project requirements will be provided during NICFA. Interested parties may view a list of previously completed projects by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

Upon completion of the Institute program (Seminar IA and IB, Seminar IIA and IIB, and a Church Finance and Administration Project Paper), graduates may apply for certification through the National Association in Church Business Administration (NACBA) and/or other denominational associations. Denominational certification guidelines and applications should be obtained from those organizations.

For a list of archived projects, visit the Emory University discoverE website. Click on the "View" button for the project you are interested in. This will take you to a detail page that contains a link to the electronic version of the project. Click on the hyperlink after "Electronic access." This will open the file in Adobe Acrobat

For additional information concerning seminar standards go to

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