Meet the team
Michael P. Vilardo, D-Min.
Dr. Vilardo keenly understands the key elements that make a ministry vital and effective in the 21st century. Whether through a church or other ministry organization, he can analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses that will enable or cripple ministry effectiveness.
- His knowledge of keys for effective ministry developed over 30-plus years of leadership in various ministry settings including churches, Christian schools, para-church organizations and church related institutions across the U.S.
- Early in his career his Doctor of Ministry studies at United Theological Seminary led to a well developed understanding of critical components for revitalization of declining ministries. Specifically researching the challenges in a declining church, he formulated a six point strategy for strengthening church ministry. His thesis, “Connecting Church and Community,” clearly describes the components necessary for ministry vitality. These “keys” have benefitted churches in varied settings over 20 years.
- He is committed to strengthening the effectiveness of ministry—whether it is a strong, established church that experiences the challenges of growth or a declining ministry that sees its past as the “glory days.” Careful analysis and appropriately applying important keys for successful ministry are both part of his “toolbox” and experience.
Dr. Vilardo continues to build on his formal education where he earned his graduate degrees. After earning his Master of Divinity in 1979, graduating Cum Laude, he was identified as one of a select number of pastors in the United Methodist Church to be trained as a “Growth Plus” consultant. As a representative from one of the then largest United Methodist Conferences, he trained under denominational leaders to become an expert in congregational development. Areas of expertise include:
- Vision and mission assessment and development
- Resourcing ministries through transformational stewardship teaching
- His Doctor of Ministry focus, “Connecting Church and Community—Revitalizing Churches Today,” heightened the skills developed earlier in his career and equipped him for Transforming Christian Ministries across the country.
President/Founder, Transforming Christian Ministries
- Established a growing presence in the consulting field of faith organizations for capital stewardship campaigns and other related services to strengthen Christian ministries across the country.
- Created partnerships with LeWay Resources, Gateway Ministries and Catalyst Faithworks to serve the extensive needs of ministry clients today.
President, RSI Institutional Services
- Led entire Pursuant Group (RSI owners) in sales and new business with over $1.1 million in sales in a depressed economy
- Stabilized a declining business
Sr. Vice President, RSI
- As 1 of 3 national consultants, led campaigns with premier church clients across the country
- Served as a member of the RSI Leadership Team with responsibilities for supervision of over 40 consultants across the nation
Vice President, RSI
- Created a formal supervision, evaluation and promotion structure for all RSI consultants
- Led the “Knowing We Have Satisfied Clients” process and served as the primary contact with dissatisfied clients to create with them a plan to raise their level of satisfaction
- Directed the planning and management of 3 annual all-consultant staff conferences for training consultants and introducing new services
Vice President of Fund Development and Community Relations, Twin Towers Retirement Community, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Conducted the largest capital campaign to date raising over $3 million
- Grew the Annual Fund Campaign by 50%
- Created a fully staffed development department with Donor Relations experts and other staff members
Senior Minister First United Methodist Church, Newark, Ohio
- Led a congregation of 1500 members to a 10% increase in attendance
- Initiated an annual leadership development training and annual mission/vision planning process that grew ministry impact in the surrounding community
Senior Minister Christ United Methodist Church, Middletown, Ohio
- Led a plateaued congregation in an economically depressed, population declining community to grow from 240 members to 750 members
- Attendance rose from 100 to 450
- Budget grew from $39,000 to $491,000
Rick Vilardo, M.Div., M.B.A.
For more than 25 years, Rick Vilardo has served in ministry as an entrepreneurial leader. The founding and lead pastor of two separate congregations during his career, Rick has a passion for building God’s church from the ground up. Teaching, preaching, leadership development and fiscal management energize him.
Rick’s visionary leadership also extends beyond the local church. He has served as both a Growth Plus consultant for the United Methodist denomination and as an independent consultant for a national capital stewardship firm, where he utilized his knowledge and experience in a broader ministry to strengthen existing faith-based organizations. His expertise in strategic planning, stewardship campaigning and capital acquisitions enabled scores of non-profits to exceed their goals, while staying true to their vision and core values.
Rick graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Franklin University in Columbus, OH. He resides in Westerville, OH with his wife, Cynthia, and their two sons.