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 two 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 The National Institute in Church Finance and Administration (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. The 2015 sessions run June 1-11 on the Emory University campus in Atlanta.

Registration for summer 2015 is now open: please visit for more detailed  information than below.

About the Institute
The National Institute in Church Finance and Administration (NICFA) program fulfills the curriculum requirement for achieving certification by The Church Network powered by the  National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA). NICFA seminars are intentionally ecumenical in course content, teaching approach and enrollment, all denominations are welcome.Satisfactory completion of all program components allows the participant to apply for certification as a Certified Church Administrator.

Requirements for Certification as a Church Administrator (CCA)

Completing certification (CCA) is not a requirement of attending The National Institute in Church Finance and Administration (NICFA) or any CEU modules. If you think you may want to pursue certification later, register with The Church Network so that you will get credit for CEU. The following information is taken from The Church Network’s (NACBA) web site.

I. Core Courses
Candidate must complete 2 weeks of core courses for academic study through one or a  combination  of the approved training centers.

The National Institute in Church Finance and Administration (NICFA) Core Curriculum weeks One (June1-5) and Two (June 8-11) held at Candler School of Theology satisfy this requirement.

II. Continuing Education Units (CEU) Contact Hours
Candidate must complete 4 CEU (40 contact hours). Once a candidate has submitted a registration form to The Church Network (NACBA) and $25 fee, they may begin accumulating CEU for certification. CEU earned prior to registration will NOT count toward the 4.0 CEU (40 contact hours).
These 40 contact hours must include 4 required modules which are offered each year at national conference and in The Church Network online learning lab, and may be offered by one or more of the approved training centers.

a. Required Modules (0.8 CEU)
   The required modules are offered at NICFA Saturday June 6 and Thursday June 25, 2015.

                   I. Theology and ethics of church administration (0.2 CEUs) June 6
                  II. Self-care for administrative leaders (0.2 CEUs) June 6
                  III. Church technology basics (0.2 CEUs) June 25
                  IV Church technology trends (0.2 CEUs) June 25

·bAdditional Modules (32 CEU)
     NICFA seminars on June 23 and 24th count towards the “other” CEU requirement.

The other 32 contact hours CEU may come from any Church Network CEU approved course offered through the Chapter CEU program, National and Regional programs, Training Center CEU (NICFA), The Church Network's online learning lab or CEU offered by registered provider partners.

If an individual decides at a Church Network conference to begin, they may submit a registration form and fee with their CEU request form for that conference, as long as they meet the submit within 30 days of end of conference time limit. Those conferences CEU will count towards certification.

IIIAdditional Requirements

  • Candidates must complete an action-based certification project as outlined in the Project Guidelines Booklet. Projects papers are available for download in the resource store on the NACBA web site, are free to members and fee based to non-members. Click here for more information and to register to do a certification project paper through NICFA at Candler School of Theology.
  • Candidate must subscribe to The Church Network Code of Ethics
  • Candidates must complete the certification process within five years of their official start date as stated above.

For more information please visit The Church Network (NACBA) web site.

Professional training standards for the National Institute of Church Finance and Administration are established in cooperation with:

Emory University Online Catalog Listing Several NICFA Projects »
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