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School Pastors' Institute


We regret to announce that we will be postponing the School Pastors' Institute this summer. We recognize that the closure of parishes, churches, and schools for the foreseeable future is likely to require the rescheduling of many events, which will impact the schedules of those who have already registered or were planning to attend the SPI.

Please save the date for June 21-23, 2021. Registration will open in October 2020. 


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In July of 2011, the Alliance for Catholic Education launched the School Pastors' Institute (SPI), a leadership formation symposium for pastors of a Catholic school. Developed at the request of (arch)bishops from across the country, the SPI is designed to respond to the unique and increasingly complex challenges and opportunities related to serving as a pastor of a parish school. Since 2011, the SPI has brought together 1,060 pastors from 134 different (arch)dioceses to look more closely at the crucial role that the pastor plays in the parish school, as well as to foster best practices and collaboration among those engaged in this vital ministry. Now, more than ever, we need pastors understand, support, and advocate for Catholic schools.

Conference Goals and Content

The School Pastors' Institute is animated by our mission to embrace, educate, and empower children, families, educators, leaders, pastors, and others committed to the apostolate of K-12 Catholic education. The conference will be rooted in three key areas: pastor as spiritual leader, the pastor and principal relationship, and the unique and critical role of the pastor in the Catholic school. Topics will include Catholic identity, financial management and advancement, the formation of personnel, the recruitment of Latino children to Catholic schools, and public funding for Catholic schools. The SPI will also include breakout sessions for first-time school pastors, international priests who are new to the U.S. Catholic schools system, pastors with alternative governance models, pastors of regional or combined schools, pastors of rural parishes, associate pastors, and high school chaplains.


The School Pastors' Institute will take place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, July 6-8, 2020. In addition to the main program, we are offering the option to stay an additional evening/day for a Day of Recollection, which will include several additional talks, time for personal reflection, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the opportunity for sacramental confession.

Please note the start/end times of the 2020 conference below in order to plan your travel accordingly.

  • School Pastors' Institute - Main Program: July 6-8, 2020
    The main program will begin on Monday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. and conclude on Wednesday, July 8, at noon.

  • Optional Day of Recollection: July 8-9, 2020
    The Day of Recollection will begin on Wednesday, July 8, at 3:30 p.m. and conclude on Thursday, July 9, at noon.


Registration for the 2020 School Pastors' Institute is now open!

The registration fee is $400 for the three-day, two-night main program, which includes room and board and all materials. For those who choose to attend the SPI with the additional Day of Recollection, the registration fee is $500. Please note that participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the University of Notre Dame. Please note that space is limited, so register early to reserve your spot. The deadline to register is April 30, 2020.

For any questions, please contact Steve McClure at  or 574-631-0014.

Interested in the SPI?

Although we have canceled the SPI for the summer of 2020, we will gladly continue to accept pastor nominations for 2021. If you know a pastor who would be interested in attending the SPI, please follow the link below to complete the nomination form. We will be happy to reach out to him to provide further details about the program.

If you're interested in attending the SPI but have questions regarding the program, please contact Steve McClure.

GeorgeVaniyapurackal SPI2017


"I learned a lot from the School Pastors' Institute; it inspired me to love St. Paul's Catholic School more deeply. Our devoted principal is committed to keeping the Catholic identity in our school, as are our teachers, who are trained by Notre Dame. I am happy to be their pastor, encouraging and appreciating their ministry at the school. I have been so impressed by the Notre Dame campus and its spiritual atmosphere radiating here."

Fr. George Vaniyapurackal
St. Paul's Catholic Church
Diocese of St. Augustine




"I was overwhelmed by my experience at the School Pastors' Institute; I can't wait for this new school year to start. This week has made me look at the school through a different set of lenses. I am also excited that my new principal graduated from the ACE program, and I truly believe this will allow us to be on the same page as we work together for the good of the children."

Fr. John Tetlow
San Juan Del Rio Catholic Church
Diocese of St. Augustine



"One of the great lessons I received from the School Pastors' Institute centered on opportunities one can take advantage of when supporting your school principal. It truly reaffirmed my commitment to strengthen, as a pastor, a ministry of presence, with the entire school family. I'm excited to bring back to our parish campus the resources that were offered, along with the experience that other participants brought to the table!"

Fr. Miguel González
St. James Cathedral
Diocese of Orlando