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SFU partners with The Salvation Army to develop online training program

Salvation Army officers and non-profit-sector professionals from across Canada will be able to earn the Certificate in Non-Profit Management entirely online.
September 23, 2013
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By Amy Robertson

SFU Continuing Studies has partnered with The Salvation Army, Canada’s largest non-governmental direct provider of social services, to create an online program that will train Salvation Army officers as well as other non-profit-sector managers and employees.

Developed with resources from the $3.3 million Salvation Army Development Endowment Fund, one of SFU’s largest endowments, the online certificate program will be co-owned by SFU, The Salvation Army and Booth University College in Winnipeg, an official education partner of The Salvation Army.

Program with national reach coming in 2015

SFU will deliver an open-enrollment version of the program, called the Certificate in Non-Profit Management, for the first time in 2015 (pending Senate approval). It will take place entirely online.

The program, which SFU’s Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) is building for use in both SFU’s and Booth’s learning management systems, includes two features that make it unique among SFU’s online programs. One is an online tutorial that will prepare prospective students to learn online—a feature Brian Naicker, the director of CODE, hopes to apply elsewhere. It will also feature e-textbooks and other e-resources.

The certificate comprises four 13-week courses on the following topics: financial stewardship and management, human resource management, business and strategic planning and leadership, program design, and project management. There are tentative plans to include a another course on fundraising, marketing and board governance in the non-profit sector.

“We’ve broken some serious ground with this program,” says Naicker. “It’s taken a lot of time and expertise from a lot of people, and I’m delighted that we have a national footprint for SFU. That has been a very gratifying part of this project.”

Booth University College will offer the program to Salvation Army officers using the same curriculum with some Salvation Army-specific additions.

Certificate will serve Canada’s non-profit sector

“The collaborative approach to building this program will be the key to its success,” says Judy Smith, the program director who is overseeing the certificate.

“I think it will resonate with people working in the non-profit sector, which is a tough sector to work in these days; the landscape is constantly changing. People working in the sector are highly skilled, creative and resourceful. But I think many will welcome the opportunity to strengthen their skills and develop new strategies for navigating competing demands while staying true to their organizational values.”

“The expertise that’s housed at SFU is able to help Booth support The Salvation Army in its efforts to serve people across Canada,” says Donald Burke, the president of Booth University College. “There’s been a process of learning about one another that allows us to bring together resources in unique ways to address our needs. Working together really brings together the best of both organizations.”

Planning for the program began in November 2011. This is the second program that SFU Lifelong Learning and The Salvation Army have co-developed with funding from The Salvation Army Development Endowment Fund. The first was SFU’s online Certificate in Restorative Justice, which launched in January 2010.