Master’s program explores Christian leadership in new interdisciplinary, online setting

NOEMY BANUELOS
STAFF WRITER

The rich variety of online programs at Franciscan University of Steubenville will soon be joined by a new and distinguished Master of Catholic Leadership program.

This program is going to be launched in spring 2019 and is expected to reach eager applicants around the nation. Tiffany Boury, who holds a doctorate in instructional management and leadership, said that the preparation for this program has become “multi-disciplinary with a vast array of departments (theology, catechetics, psychology, business) working to build courses that are rooted in the Catholic tradition.”

With a gifted core team of collaborators, the vision of this program is intended to flourish nationwide. Conscious of the growing resources at Franciscan University, the core members “seek to create opportunities for others and share the resources (they) have been blessed to have here at Franciscan University,” said Boury.

A master program in Catholic leadership stands out among other online programs; it not only offers an intelligent and sophisticated training experience but also introduces a new cohort model. This cohort is said to accept 20 students, explains Boury, which allows the participants to gain a more intimate interaction with the professors, and it also fosters a communal online atmosphere which will aid in the later “part of the program involving an action research project,” said Boury.

The program consists of six foundational courses: Foundations of Leadership, Catholic Understanding of the Human Person, Human Resource Management, Organizational Communication, Strategic Finance for Leaders and Contemporary Topics in Catholic Leadership.

These academic courses “go deeper than simply teaching the latest theories of leadership; they explore what makes leadership in its essence true, beautiful and good,” said director of online programming and instructional design Cory Maloney, who holds a doctorate in information systems and communication.

This notable program is designed to provide the necessary tools for students who seek “to learn to live in the world as disciples of Jesus Christ whatever their vocation or profession,” said core member Amy Roberts, who holds a masters in theology and Christian ministry.

According to Roberts, “those who take the educational track of the master’s in Catholic leadership will be equipped to lead professional educators to provide a richer Catholic education in their schools, integrating this Catholic understanding of education into all dimensions of school life – curriculum, discipline, extracurricular activities and, of course, faith formation.”

As director of this master program, Boury emphasizes the importance of preserving its “Franciscan identity:” to educate, to evangelize and to send forth joyful disciples.

Further, this program “provides a distinctively Franciscan formation in servant leadership, focused on transforming individual lives, organizations and society,” said James Mello, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership and is involved in strategic planning.

According to Mello, the program “aims to create a corps of leaders that serve the Church through diverse professional fields.”

Providential to the current struggles today and the call for faith-filled guidance and direction, this program hopes to aid future initiatives in the nation’s professional and social sphere. Leaders formed “in this program will explore leadership through the heart and mind of Catholic teaching infused with wisdom across disciplines, which begins with understanding the human person,” said Maloney.

These initial tracks will pave the way for future tracks that will eventually be offered for other disciplines. For further information on the Master of Catholic Leadership program, please contact Director Tiffany Boury at tboury@franciscan.edu.

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