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About the School Pastors' Institute

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 formed and served over 1,300 pastors from 146 (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 who understand, support, and advocate for Catholic schools.


SPI Impact Over 12 Years


SPI Diocesan Representation Map


Conference Goals and Content

The School Pastors’ Institute is animated by our mission to embrace, educate, and empower children, families, educators, leaders, and pastors serving in Catholic schools. The SPI is rooted in three key areas: 

  • the pastor as spiritual leader
  • the pastor and principal relationship 
  • the critical role of the pastor in the Catholic school

Over the four-day summer conference, participants will hear from keynote speakers on a wide variety of topics relevant to priests who serve in a parish-school context, such as executive management of a Catholic school, recruiting and hiring school leadership, financial management and advancement, and strengthening the pastor-principal relationship to name a few.   

Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in a series of breakout sessions that address some of the unique and more specific realities that school pastors often encounter. Some of the breakout sessions to be offered include first-time school pastors, international priests new to the U.S. Catholic school system, working with the school board, planning effective school liturgies, working with the superintendent, best practices for serving multicultural parish-school communities, and how to measure your school’s mission and what truly matters. 

Summer Conference 2024

Date and Location

The 2024 SPI summer conference will take place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, July 8-11. 

  • We will begin with an opening reception and dinner on Monday, July 8, at 5:00 p.m.
  • The conference will conclude on Thursday, July 11, at noon. 

Conference Registration

Registration for the 2024 School Pastors' Institute has now closed. If you are still interested in attending and would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact Steve McClure.


Nominate a Pastor

We welcome pastor nominations! If you know a pastor who might be interested in attending the SPI, take a moment to fill out the nomination form below.

Nominate a Pastor



Fr. George Vaniyapurackal"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 Catholic Church
Diocese of St. Augustine
Fr. John Tetlow"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 Río Catholic Church
Diocese of St. Augustine
Fr. Miguel Gonzalez"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