Franciscan adds online business master’s program

STEUBENVILLE – Franciscan University of Steubenville has added an online master of business administration program.

“The Online MBA brings the Franciscan University classroom to people who lead busy lives and maybe can’t afford to move their family to the Ohio Valley,” said Michael Welker, chair of the business department.

In addition to the educational components that characterize a comprehensive MBA, the Franciscan University Online MBA is unique among its peers due to its “virtuous and faith-based approach, grounded in Catholic principles,” said Welker.

“The common sentiment is that God doesn’t care about business, that it’s OK to lead a divided life, which leads to corruption. In Franciscan’s Online MBA, business ethics will be overtly woven into every course. The professors will convey Catholic social teaching, from the City of God by St. Augustine to Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise on Happiness, and the social doctrine from Pope Leo XIII to Pope Francis. The strategic vision of the program is that God calls us to business in order to participate in his creative and redemptive work that leads to the flourishing of humanity.”

Franciscan’s online courses engage learners through use of Web 2.0 tools, such as vodcasts, podcasts, wikis, blogs and other digital tools, officials said. Using the Blackboard Learning Management System, students also engage with one another and the professor through online discussion forums, student-created blogs or presentations and occasional live online sessions using Blackboard Collaborate, where students experience a live presentation from the professor or another expert in the field and can ask questions.

The Online MBA requires the completion of 37 credit hours, which are offered in eight-week increments. This fall five MBA classes are offered: Business Ethics & the Law; Managerial Accounting; Production & Operations Management; International Business; and Buyer Behavior.

In the summer of 2011, Franciscan University of Steubenville launched its first online program, the master of science in education. The program uses a media-rich online learning environment to give kindergarten through 12th-grade educators the methodologies they need to become successful online educators, officials said.

Charles Joyce, director of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s MS education programs, said the cyber learning component also benefits a teacher working at a brick and mortar institution.

“Today’s students are media savvy. They are digital natives and are connected to technology constantly. The Online MSEd gives educators skills and instructional delivery methodologies that match the learning styles of the 21st century learner,” he said.

Completion of the Online MSEd can also lead to an administrative licensure and opportunities to secure state-approved endorsements from Franciscan University, thus providing educators with more career options, officials said.

Franciscan University of Steubenville, in 2014, expects to begin offering an online master of arts in catechetics and evangelization.

The program will draw upon the international reputation of the university’s graduate and undergraduate theology and catechetics programs.

To further enhance the engagement and collaboration, students in this program will participate in brief on-campus residencies during their studies. Franciscan University of Steubenville sees this program responding directly to St. Francis of Assisi’s call to “rebuild Christ’s Church” through making Franciscan’s uniquely dynamic and orthodox Catechetics program available to catechists across the country and even around the world, officials said.

The Online MBA and MSEd programs are accredited by the North Central Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Board of Regents and adhere to the same rigorous academic standards of all Franciscan University academic programs. For information, call (800) 783-6220, e-mail, or visit