MANAGEMENT & For Catholic seminarians, some Wawa-inspired management training #PhiladelphiaInquirer

By Harold Brubaker, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer, Monday, April 27, 2015, 9:01 PM


Running a Wawa store and managing a Roman Catholic parish might not seem to have much in common.

But last week, a group of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary students, a year from being ordained as priests, had the last of five management-training sessions inspired by a program that St. Joseph’s University professors developed for the convenience-store chain.

For the seminarians, the Thursday management classes at St. Joseph’s Haub School of Business were in sharp contrast to the philosophy and theology classes that are central to their formation as priests.

“None of us entered the seminary to be administrators,” said Stephan Isaac, one of the 11 attending the session last week.

But Isaac, who is from the Diocese of Allentown, added that he knew having the skills needed to run a parish smoothly – especially in dealings with the committees of parishioners who help guide it – was not a luxury for a pastor: “It’s a necessity.”