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The Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management® (GSCFM®)


The Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management (GSCFM)

The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) is the leader in executive education for the credit and financial management community. NACM entered the arena of continuing executive education over 75 years ago, decades before major colleges and universities. Today, NACM continues its dedication to the global promotion and enhancement of the business credit professional through its many educational programs, led by the GSCFM. Enrolling in NACM’s top-tier Executive GSCFM Program is one of the best investments you can make in your future.

The Graduate School of Credit & Financial Management has moved away from its traditional programming and format and is looking to a fresh, invigorated new delivery platform and curriculum.

GSCFM provides the same superior application-based, executive education but offered conveniently as a hybrid program in 2024. Two components will be held in-person at NACM’s headquarters office in Columbia, Maryland. Two components will be presented online via Zoom.  A participant must complete all four components and upon successful completion of the final component will earn the GSCFM Executive Award.



The GSCFM Curriculum

The GSCFM program currently focuses on 4 essential business and professional growth disciplines: Advanced Financial Statement Analysis; Legal Environment of Credit; Advanced Negotiations and Leadership

Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

Instructor:  Brian Lazarus

The objective of this course is to make credit professionals better aware of the information contained in a firm’s financial statements and how to analyze it. An improved awareness equates to improved knowledge about credit risk. Skills employed include comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, computational, reasoning, synthesis of information, evaluation and communication. Through a combination of lectures, cases analyses, and exercises, the course will emphasize analysis and interpretation of cash flows, financial ratios, accounting fraud and irregularities--to assess a firm’s liquidity.

Legal Environment of Credit

Instructor:  Jason Torf, Esq.

Comprehensive knowledge of business laws specific to the field of credit is critically important to each decision today’s credit executive makes on a daily basis. This intensive course will focus on a broad range of advanced legal issues affecting the credit decision. This course will encompass a combination of lectures, readings, case studies and interactive discussions to enable participants to increase their knowledge of the complex issues in corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, contracts, bankruptcies, antitrust and negotiable instruments as they impact credit decisions.

Advanced Negotiations

Instructor:  Bill Russell

All business dealings and transactions, whether small in dollar amounts or in the number of products purchased and sold, result from underlying negotiations which are generally memorialized in written agreements between the parties. To create effective agreements, a mastery of negotiation skills is essential, and is attained through practice. This course, though the use of readings, class lectures and negotiating problem-solving exercises, will help participants better understand and master negotiation skills.


Instructor:  Francis Eberle, PhD

Leaders set the tone for the organization. Ultimately, great leadership is a progression. High-performing leaders are on a continuing journey to understand themselves and their employees better, in order to get the best out of everyone. Through readings, case studies and class lectures, this course will help participants increase their leadership skills, improve their ability to be persuasive leaders and gain fresh insights into Emotional Intelligence and how to grow it as a leader. Participants will also complete a Behavioral Intelligence Profile and discuss the results during the program.


The 2024 Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management® (GSCFM®) Schedule

Advanced Financial Statement Analysis
Brian Lazarus, CPA, CGMA
June 24-28, 2024
Online via Zoom

Legal Environment of Credit
Jason Torf, Esq.
August 5-7, 2024
Online via Zoom

Advanced Negotiations
Dr. Bill Russell
August 19-20, 2024
In-person at NACM in Columbia, MD

Francis Eberle, PhD
August 20-21, 2024
In-person at NACM in Columbia, MD


Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, May 15, 2024


Distinguished Instructors 

Brian R. Lazarus, CPA, CGMA, MBA

Brian R. Lazarus, CPA, CGMA, MBA

Brian R. Lazarus, CPA, CGMA, MBA has decades of professional experience in various levels of accounting, management and entrepreneurship as well as teaching courses in Accounting and Business, both in an online and traditional classroom format. He has served in positions ranging from Credit Analyst in a Fortune 300 company to Controller as well as Director of Accounting, in addition to establishing and managing his own consulting practice. He has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, an MBA as well as a Graduate certificate in E-Commerce. He is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), equivalent to a Chartered Accountant (CA) in other countries. Professor Lazarus is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Accounting Association. He also serves on Members in Education Committee of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA). Furthermore, he had previously served on MACPA's Financial Literacy Advisory Board. He has also volunteered his time to serve as a judge in competitions for high school students, organized by the Future Business Leaders of America as well as volunteered his time with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Maryland. He has been honored multiple times for his student centric focus and excellence in teaching including being awarded the prestigious NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Award. Professor Lazarus was recognized for his outstanding work by his peers who selected him for this high honor. Additionally, his excellence and service to the citizens of Baltimore resulted in Professor Lazarus receiving citations from both, the Mayor and Comptroller of Baltimore City. Furthermore, Professor Lazarus’ work on designing online courses has earned him the distinguished QM (Quality Matters) certification. Quality Matters is a global organization who is a leader in quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching. Professor Lazarus and his wife, also a CPA, have collaborated to create a very successful series of 26 mini lectures on various accounting/finance topics. These highly acclaimed mini lectures are housed in You Tube and have received over 2 million hits. They have been viewed by tens of thousands of students globally who have benefitted from these lectures. Professor Lazarus is a voracious reader and takes a keen interest in World War II movies and books. He loves to play chess with his daughter and read to his young son. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.

Dr. Bill Russell is currently Dean of the School of Business at Northwest Nazarene University.

Dr. Bill Russell is currently Dean of the School of Business at Northwest Nazarene University.

Dr. Bill Russell is currently Dean of the School of Business at Northwest Nazarene University. He formerly served as General Counsel and Associate Vice President for Advancement for Northwest Nazarene University; he retired from NNU in October 2016 after 14 years of service. Formerly, he served as the Executive Director for Community and Governmental Relations, Associate Dean of the School of Business and an Assistant to the President of the University at NNU; he has also held a position as Professor of Business Law and Business Ethics and has taught in the graduate and undergraduate programs at the School of Business. In past years, he served as Director of the NNU MBA program and was responsible for creation of innovative new MBA programs, including a Church Law MBA cohort and degree. In 2010, Dr. Russell was named the International Award for Teaching Excellence winner for by the Accreditation Association for Business Schools and Programs. ACBSP includes membership of 650 colleges and universities from 40 countries ranging from Argentina to Mongolia and Kazakhstan, and of course, the United States. In receiving the award, he competed as one of nine Regional award winners against other regional winners, professors from India, Paraguay, Indiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Prior to winning the International Award, Dr. Russell was awarded the 2010 Teaching Excellence Award for Region 7 (Western United States and Canada). Dr. Russell most recently held a position as Vice President and Regional Director for Transacction Partners, a cloud-based business financial outsourcing company which does significant work for Nazarene and other churches, in addition to non-profit and profit organization. He has published and spoken widely on issues relating to management and Higher Business Education. He has consulted with major corporations and international organizations on strategic planning, risk management, governance, and other business matters. Dr. Russell’s most popular speaking topic is “Thinking Like Warren Buffett,” a topic which Dr. Russell has been invited to address over three dozen times. Dr. Russell received a BA from the University of Kansas, a J.D. from the University of Denver, and an MBA from Regis University. He completed the Church of the Nazarene Course of Study and has earned a Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has been married to Nancy for over 37 years and enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren. Dr. Russell enjoys travel and has visited over 50 countries worldwide.

Jason Torf, Esq. is a bankruptcy and creditors’ rights partner in the law firm Tucker Ellis LLP

Jason Torf, Esq. is a bankruptcy and creditors’ rights partner in the law firm Tucker Ellis LLP

Jason M. Torf is a bankruptcy and creditors’ rights partner in the law firm Tucker Ellis LLP. Jason regularly represents clients in helping them solve their problems with troubled customers, both in bankruptcy proceedings and otherwise. Jason is a frequent speaker to NACM and other credit groups to help them understand practical steps their companies can utilize to minimize risk and maximize their recovery when dealing with a financially troubled customer. For more information about Jason’s background and practice, please visit

Francis Eberle, PhD, is leadership and organizational advisor, speaker and author.

Francis Eberle, PhD, is leadership and organizational advisor, speaker and author.

Francis Eberle, PhD, is leadership and organizational advisor, speaker and author. Francis believes that people development is business development. At Price Associates he coaches leaders, and teams to help them see things they may not see themselves, in particular those who may have run into a block or just want to up their game.

After spending more than 25 years as an executive, Francis is uniquely positioned to help individuals and organizations. He has successfully partnered with leaders and teams to improve their skills, plan strategically, solve complex problems, and grow financial and programmatic resources. He is also a facilitator and coach for The Complete Leader program.

Francis is an author, (his most recent book is Connected Leadership; Engage your workforce to lead themselves), as well as of blogs, white papers, and policy briefs. He has presented widely on leadership, organizational development, and education policy. He received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, a Masters from the University of Connecticut, a PhD from Lesley University and a Harvard Business School Executive Management program graduate. He is certified as a coach and facilitator for a suit of psychological assessment tools, and virtual facilitation.


What to Expect from the NACM Graduate School

Rich in experience and diverse in expertise, NACM’s GSCFM students bring incredible insight and talent to the classroom. Your program peers will be a definitive part of your experience, offering valuable professional relationships you can rely on for years after completion.

As a rigorous program for advanced working professionals, the GSCFM Program requires a full commitment from students. To be prepared, advance reading assignments may be given for each discipline. Participants are expected to complete any advance reading assignments prior to the start of each course. A complete list of assignments, case studies and textbooks will be shipped prior to the start date. In addition, evening assignments may be given. Attendance at all scheduled sessions is mandatory, in addition, participation in the discussion of the assignments and cases, and all outside assignments is required. Failure to meet any of these requirements will jeopardize the participant’s certificate of completion.

The duration of each course component varies—typically between 2-5 days depending on the subject matter.


Exclusive Opportunity to Earn the CCE Designation

At the conclusion of all 4 disciplines, the standard application process is waived and participants are given the opportunity to take the CCE (Certified Credit Executive) exam. The exam must be completed on one of the national test dates and successfully passed to earn the CCE designation within one year of completion of the last component.


Application Process and Tuition Investment

The 2024 GSCFM is offered as a hybrid program, broken into four components, presented both in-person and online. Tuition covers the cost of course materials, course instruction and meals during the in-person components. Travel and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the student for the in-person components.

Tuition must be paid in full prior to any materials being sent for a course.

Complete Program (4 hybrid components)

  • Advanced Negotiations
  • Leadership
  • Advanced Financial Statement Analysis
  • Legal Environment of Credit

Program Registration Deadline – Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Tuition and Payment OptionsMember tuition rate: $5,500
Non-member tuition rate: $6,900


Tuition must be paid prior to any materials being sent for a component.


Travel and Accommodations for the In-person ComponentsTuition covers the cost of course materials and meals during the in-person components. Travel and accommodations costs are the responsibility of the student. Program participants may make their hotel reservations at Staybridge Suites Columbia. The hotel is adjacent to NACM Headquarters office where the program is being held.

Make your hotel reservations by phone, 410-964-9494, and mention NACM to secure the our meeting rate of $119 for a studio suite. To ensure you receive a room at the NACM meeting rate, make your reservation as early as possible.  The meeting rate is based on availability. When making your reservation, be sure to review or inquire about the hotel’s deposit and cancellation policies.  Check in time is 4:00pm and check out is 12:00pm.

The Staybridge Suites Columbia Hotel 8844 Columbia 100 ParkwayColumbia, Maryland 21045Phone: 410-964-9494

The Staybridge Suites Columbia Hotel is conveniently located 12 miles from Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Transportation is provided by NACM for offsite dinners.  Please contact BWI’s website for hotel transportation options to and from the hotel.


Financial Scholarship Assistance

The NACM Scholarship Foundation, Inc. provides scholarships for financial assistance for GSCFM students. Scholarship amounts are determined based on need and availability of funds. Please visit the NACM Scholarship Foundation to learn more.


Refund and Cancellation Policy

Due to the inherent costs associated with this program, no refunds are available within thirty days of the course’s start date. Cancellations made prior to thirty days out are subject to a $100 administrative fee. For questions, comments or to confirm administrative policies, please contact the NACM Meetings Department at 410-740-5560.


Continuing Education (CEU) Information

The Education Department of the National Association of Credit Management has reviewed the educational content of this advanced-level program. Participants attending these courses will earn continuing education units (CEUs), all of which are valid for CCE recertification points.

Advanced Financial Statement Analysis: 2.4 CEUs
Advanced Negotiations: .8 CEUs
Leadership: .8 CEUs
Legal Environment of Credit: 1.0 CEUs

These continuing education units have been awarded in accordance with the standards recommended by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training. The CEU is a nationally recognized unit designed to provide a record of an individual’s continuing education accomplishments. One CEU is awarded for each 10 contact hours of instruction.