Mendoza School of Business

Notre Dame summer conference offers business training to Catholic leaders

Published: May 5, 2011 / Author: Carol Writing

For 10 days this summer, leaders of Catholic organizations nationwide will gather at the University of Notre Dame for a program aimed at adding hard business skills to support their missions of service and faith.

The leaders include those in Dr. David Suley’s service area, which includes 88 of some of the poorest, geographically dispersed dioceses in places such as Alaska, Montana, Puerto Rico and New Mexico. Suley, the director of Catholic Home Missions Appeal for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), says the priests are pressed to adequately cover the area, and the laity has limited training in either theology or leadership. Tight budgets and few development opportunities add further strain.

Home Missions plans to send 10 of its people to the Catholic Leadership Program, held July 11 to 21 on the Notre Dame campus. The annual program, open to leaders of Catholic organizations, is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Nonprofit Executive Programs and the Mendoza College of Business as part of their ongoing philanthropic mission to provide nonprofit executive education in areas relevant to the current challenges that leaders face.

“What is being offered by the Mendoza School of Business is a sign of hope,” Suley said. “You are inviting the church of the poor into your program, which I think is awesome. It’s good for all of us to be reminded that although these leaders come from some of the poorer regions, they still contribute significantly in terms of the riches of their faith and culture.”

The Catholic Leadership Program features a range of experts discussing topics including nonprofit board governance, implications of immigration, fund development, and finance and budgeting. In addition, the program offers special sessions unique to Catholic organizational needs, such as establishing a corporate structure that conforms to both Nonprofit Law as well as the Church’s Canon Law.

The cost for the program has been reduced to $475 from the usual fee of $3,200, which includes instruction and materials, most day-time meals, and a final banquet. Arrangements also have been made for low-cost lodging for all participants.

The deadline for registration is June 15.

“The Catholic Leadership Program is central to Notre Dame’s commitment to serve its Catholic mission,” said Marc Hardy, director of Nonprofit Executive Programs at the Mendoza College of Business. “It extends the core values of Notre Dame and the Mendoza College by strengthening the business acumen of the leadership of Catholic organizations that assist those in need, enhancing the quality of Church life, and strengthening educational and catechetical programs.”

Speakers include Father Daniel Groody, C.S.C., director of Notre Dame’s Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture; Sister Melanie Di Pietro, director of Seton Hall University Law School Center for Religiously Affiliated Corporations; and Mark C. Germano, president of consulting firm Creating Solutions, which specializes in nonprofit organizations.

Hardy noted that Notre Dame offers the program at a very low fee because the University wants as many leaders of Catholic organizations as possible to benefit.

The USCCB Subcommittee on the Home Missions will sponsor its participation through a special grant from the Catholic Home Mission Appeal. The dioceses can send one member of their professional staff on a first-come-first-served basis. If the program is successful, the Mendoza School of Business and the USCCB Subcommittee on the Home Missions hope it can be expanded in future years to serve as many of these dioceses in need as possible.

The Nonprofit Executive Programs are part of the Nonprofit Professional Development at the Mendoza College of Business. Its mission is to develop exemplary leaders serving nonprofit organizations by providing certificate programs and executive training to meet the special needs of nonprofit leaders.

Contact: Marc Hardy, 574-631-1087,


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