Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


The study was designed with a goal of generating a template for Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation for Catholic School Administrators, which would have flexibility to adapt to cultural differences in various Catholic dioceses in the United States. The focus of the data gathering was the Baltimore Province, inclusive of the dioceses of: Arlington, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia; and Wilmington, Delaware. The need for such a template can be documented based on several recent studies by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. These studies indicate that the personal perception of what it means to be Catholic is shifting. In many cases, people applying for administrative positions in Catholic schools today are less prepared in terms of knowledge of the faith, practice of the faith, and Catholic spirituality than those who came before them. To ascertain what the template for a formation program should look like, data was gathered to address three research questions: 1.Which statement more clearly reflects your understanding of lay ecclesial ministry? a. Lay ecclesial ministry is a privileged limited share in the ministry of the ordained. b. Lay ecclesial ministry is an intrinsic responsibility in the Church stemming from baptism. 2. How do our Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation Programs provide a solid, on-going support for continued growth in human, intellectual, spiritual, theological, faith and moral development? How are participants properly prepared to apply this development specifically to the practicalities of leadership in Catholic education? 3. What needs to occur to ensure that our ecclesial catechesis of the baptismal commission effectively assists us in recruiting Spirit-filled enthusiastic candidates for positions in Catholic school leadership? How do we best market our programs in Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation for Leadership in Catholic schools? What type of leadership succession plan do we put in place to pave the way for the Catholic schools of the next decade or next century?