Master of Nonprofit Administration

student testimonials

Ryan Heatherman - Student
 Ryan Heatherman
United States Marine Corps
Judge Advocate

For the last five years, I have had the honor of serving as an Officer and Attorney in the United States Marine Corps. After being a criminal prosecutor and later deploying to Afghanistan, I was offered an opportunity to lead one of our legal assistance shops. I immediately researched programs to further enhance my leadership skills and the University of Notre Dame impressed me with its advertised commitment to serving the "greater good." After attending the first session of the Master of Nonprofit Administration program I can confirm that this Catholic Business School's commitment to service is in fact genuine and in so many ways extraordinary. The Mendoza College of Business made it very clear throughout the entire course that the MNA program is highly valued and showed this by treating every student with the highest amount of respect and admiration. It is evident that both the professors and the administration simply wanted to help us become better, more positive leaders in our respective fields of service. Specifically, the MNA curriculum teaches professional business and leadership skills that allow the students to put their passion for service to practical and productive use. I have already benefited from key communication, budgeting, and personnel development skills that I learned at the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to the business curriculum, I benefited so much from the friendships I made with my fellow classmates. It is amazing how much the class bonded in such a short time. Sure, the Golden Dome, the Grotto, and "Touchdown Jesus" are awe-inspiring, but it is the people of the Notre Dame community that make the school so incredibly special.

Finally, the flexible nature of the MNA program allowed me to enjoy this amazing academic experience while maintaining full-time employment. If you are a socially minded nonprofit or for-profit leader, I enthusiastically recommend the MNA program and welcome you to our community.


Katie LeBlanc - Student
Katie LeBlanc
Catholic Healthcare West,
Director of Revenue Services

When I arrived on campus the summer of 2009 I had high expectations for the program of study but greatly underestimated how rich the total experience would be. Being a part of the Notre Dame community was inspiring on so many levels. As nonprofit leaders we are committed to service, and there is truly no better place to hone your skills to further this mission than Notre Dame.

During our first summer session learning occurred on multiple dimensions. Exceptional professors inspired learning through innovative teaching techniques and practical application of business practice in the non profit sector. A rich mix of non profit backgrounds allowed students to learn from one another and challenge our own frameworks of non profit management. And lastly, the community that developed between the students and faculty encouraged open discussion and support during a rigorous four weeks of study. The month I spent on campus was highly valuable and the lessons I learned will benefit me both professionally and personally.


Brian Riffel - Student
Brian Riffel
Fiscal Director, Bradley-Angle House,
Portland, OR

About three  years ago, I made a personal commitment to transition my career into the nonprofit sector. At that time, I had been a practicing tax accountant/CPA for about five years. With a strong fiscal background, I accepted the position of Fiscal Director with Bradley-Angle House, the oldest domestic violence agency on the West Coast.

Having achieved my initial goal of transitioning to the nonprofit sector, my next career objective was to become an effective executive director. I felt that simply remaining in my position would not adequately prepare me to lead a nonprofit organization, so I decided it was an excellent time to further my education. With the mission of the Notre MNA program being "to develop exemplary leaders serving nonprofit organizations," I believed that the MNA degree would not only aid me in securing a future position as an executive director, but more importantly, help in preparing me to become an outstanding leader.

I was also attracted to Notre Dame because the MNA is offered through the University's college of business. As someone with an undergraduate degree in business, as well as a background in public accounting, I believe in adopting a business-like approach to nonprofit administration and want to be trained by business professors.

The first summer of study exceeded my expectations. In addition to the quality of instruction, it was remarkable how highly valued we as students were made to feel by everyone associated with the program. The MNA has a rich history at Notre Dame; it is clear that the University has made a strong commitment to the program.

Spending four weeks on the Notre Dame campus was a thrill in itself; it is one of the most inspiring places I have ever visited. The opportunity to engage in meaningful learning in an environment with which I have a strong personal connection has already been an incredible experience.
I am confident that the MNA program from Notre Dame will move me forward in reaching my personal and professional goals; I recommend the program without reservation.


Amy Nghe - Student
Amy Nghe
Operations and Project Coordinator,
Management Sciences for Health,
Cambridge, MA

When I began researching graduate programs, I was looking for something that would help me develop management skills suited for the nonprofit sector. I began working in the nonprofit sector as a junior in college and my admiration for the industry grew stronger as the years passed. I knew I wanted to continue working for nonprofits because of their mission-driven sensibility. The MNA program at Notre Dame was ideal for me not only because the degree come from the business school, but also because the curriculum is tailored for those who want to excel in the nonprofit world.

During my first summer at ND, I found the administration and professors of the program to possess an unparalleled commitment to helping the students. Tom, Kim and Vicky went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed to tackle the four intensive weeks. All the professors brought extensive knowledge and insight to the classroom that stimulated us to think strategically about complex situations. Moreover, we were able to learn from each other's experiences as all nineteen extraordinary classmates that made up 'The Caucus' truly had diverse backgrounds in nonprofit work.

I am confident that at the completion of this program we will be able to analyze issues with a deeper understanding of the forces at work in the nonprofit world and with a solid framework in which to identify opportunities that are unique to this sector.


Patrick Patterson - Student
Patrick Patterson
V.P. Operations,
Volunteers of America Michigan

I have used every one of my MNA courses to improve our day-to-day operations. I am delighted to find the MNA pays an immediate dividend on problems I have been working on my entire career. The MNA is the business degree for nonprofits. I was looking for more education to sharpen my leadership. My agency has faced some challenges forced by changes to the tax code and a sluggish economy. I have real passion for the work we do. I want to survive to see more people served and I want my life to be instrumental in this service. I know how to work seventy hour weeks and scrape by. I am interested in working fifty hour weeks and seeing a host of new service for the poor in twenty years. I came to ND to get smarter and have found it everything I was after. It is quite a challenge but Tom, Kim and Judy keep us going and I find the faculty delightful. I received a page-long memo from three of my professors back with my grades. They happily made suggestions to help solve my agency problems and better plan our success. The faculty seems to be united in their goal to serve the world by educating men and women to change it. ND lives up to its image. It is both a place of great pride and great humility. ND's emphasis on Christian service is alive and real. If you are serious about your work or ministry, you should consider a greater vocation through the MNA.