Joint M.Div./M.B.A. Prepares Well-Rounded Pastors

Garrett Haywood is the first graduate with a joint M.Div./M.B.A. degree. He works full-time as a minister to middle school students at Family Church Downtown.As Garrett Haywood worked toward a joint Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration, he became both a better pastor and manager.

In December, Haywood became the University’s first person to earn the joint degree. Family Church in West Palm Beach hired him full-time as a minister to middle school students two years ago, while he was still in graduate school.

Haywood drawn toward the joint M.Div./M.B.A. at the start of his seminary education. He had just finished a course on 1 Corinthians, in which the apostle Paul framed how people should think about pastors and church leaders — as stewards of the mysteries of God.

As he completed his coursework, Haywood gained the theological education and business acumen he needed to be a good steward. Financial accounting, managerial accounting, corporate finance and corporate strategies were “tremendously helpful” among the business courses, Haywood said.

“Ministry is getting harder and pastors are beginning to think more critically about utilizing the resources that they have,” Haywood said.

Haywood, an Orlando native, also took advantage of the University’s Accelerated Ministry Preparation program, which allows students to earn both their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees in as few as five years.

Haywood said he began to feel called to ministry in high school. He learned about an opportunity to pursue that calling during his freshman year of college, when a Family Church pastor came to his first-year seminar to talk about internships.

In fall 2014, Haywood was placed in Family Church Downtown’s middle school ministry — the ministry he now leads. His education serves him well as he manages budgets, people, databases and other resources for ministry, he said.

“There’s so much the church world is trying to figure out — strategies and tactics that the business world has already figured out,” Haywood said. When possible, the church should look to other industries to steward resources well, he added.

Haywood urges Master of Divinity students and aspiring pastors consider the joint M.Div./M.B.A. degree.

“I would strongly recommend it to others,” he said.

Photo: Garrett Haywood is the first graduate with a joint M.Div./M.B.A. degree. He works full-time as a minister to middle school students at Family Church Downtown.