Catholic School Leadership

Edited by:
Anthony J. Dosen, DePaul University, Chicago
Barbara S. Rieckhoff, DePaul University

A volume in the series: Research on Religion and Education. Editor(s): Larry Burton, Andrews University. Anthony J. Dosen, DePaul University, Chicago.

Published 2016

The administration of Pre K – 12 Catholic schools becomes more challenging each year. Catholic school leaders not only have the daunting task of leading a successful learning organization, but also to serve as the school community’s spiritual leader and the vigilant steward who keeps the budget balanced, the building clean, and maintaining a healthy enrollment in the school. Each of these tasks can be a full time job, yet the Catholic school principal takes on these tasks day after day, year after year, so that teachers may teach as Jesus did.

The goal of this book is to provide both beginning and seasoned Catholic school leaders with some insights that might help them to meet these challenges with a sense of confidence. The words in this text provide research‐based approaches for dealing with issues of practice, especially those tasks that are not ordinarily taught in educational leadership programs. This text helps to make sense of the pastoral side of Catholic education, in terms of structures, mission, identity, curriculum, and relationships with the principal’s varied constituencies. It also provides some insights into enrollment management issues, finances and development, and the day in day out care of the organization and its home, the school building.

As a Catholic school leader, each must remember that the Catholic school is not just another educational option. The Catholic school has a rich history and an important mission. Historically, education of the young goes back to the monastic and cathedral schools of the Middle Ages. In the United States, Catholic schools developed as a response to anti‐Catholic bias that was rampant during the nineteenth century. Catholic schools developed to move their immigrant and first generation American youth from the Catholic ghetto to successful careers and lives in the American mainstream. However, most importantly, Catholic schools have brought Christ to generations of youngsters. It remains the continuing call of the Catholic school to be a center of Evangelization—a place where Gospel values live in the lives of faculty, students and parents. This text attempts to integrate the unique challenges of the instructional leader of the institution with the historical and theological underpinnings of contemporary Catholic education.

Series Editor Introduction. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Leadership in a Catholic Key, Anthony J. Dosen. What Makes a Catholic School Catholic Anyway? Anthony J. Dosen. Untangling the Structure of Catholic Schools, Anthony J. Dosen. Catholic Schools by the Numbers, Anthony J. Dosen. The Foundations of Curriculum in Catholic Schools, Anthony J. Dosen. Funding the Mission: An Examination of Financial Issues and Funding Efforts in Catholic Schools, Frank Montejano. Recruiting and Retaining Students, Barbara Stacy Rieckhoff. Faculty Development, Sr. Patricia Helene Earl. Understanding the Role of the Pastor, Barbara Stacy Rieckhoff. Operational Vitality, Barbara Stacy Rieckhoff. Afterword, Anthony J. Dosen and Ronald Hoover. About the Contributors. Index.