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.
Although the current situation is still evolving, which may have implications for the 2021 summer conference, we are hopeful that we will be able to host the School Pastors' Institute next summer at the University of Notre Dame. If you're interested in attending, please save the date for June 28-30, 2021. This is, of course, subject to change, so we ask that you please check back in January for an update on the 2021 program.