Educational Leadership Institute

The Center for Catholic and Urban Education


Online MS In Catholic School Leadership

As Catholic educators, we at the CCUE believe that it is our moral obligation to educate the future leaders of our Catholic Schools.  With the help of the Distance Learning Center, the Educational Leadership Institute, the CCUE has developed a completely online MS in Educational Leadership and MS in Catholic School Leadership that meets the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s requirements for a Principal/Curriculum Supervisor certification.  Cohorts are being recruited from Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware/Maryland, as well as the Jesuit Secondary Educational Association.

Professional Development

The CCUE provides a variety of forms of professional development for teachers, leaders and aspiring leaders in Catholic, and urban non-Catholic, schools, through the following initiatives:

  • A variety of credit and non-credit courses as requested by Catholic school offices or individual schools to meet specific needs.
  • A Summer workshop for Elementary and Secondary school teachers from West Catholic High School and ACESJU participating schools on Differentiated Instruction: Summer, 2013
  • A pilot program at West Catholic High School on Business: Summer, 2013.
  • Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy (JVLA): The JVLA is an Internet platform that enables high school students to take part in national and international learning communities.  The CCUE, along with Boston College, is exploring the possibility of using this platform to enable advanced middle school students to move on to high school level curricula.  Pilot sites for this program are currently being explored.


The CCUE will conduct scholarly research on educational leadership and related topics. In addition the CCUE will become a repository for research studies and other information regarding educational leadership and Catholic schools.

  • The CCUE Team meets with incoming cohorts of the Interdisciplinary Doctor of Education Program for Educational Leaders to encourage, and commit support to, dissertation research within the field of Catholic education.
  • The CCUE collaborates with ACESJU to study the effectiveness of the ACESJU program in order to provide constructive feedback to the ACESJU administration.
  • Father Brian Frain, S.J., currently serves as Research Fellow for the CCUE for the 2013-2014 school year.  Father will conduct research at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia.

Lectures And Symposia

In addition to the Annual Roundtable Discussion (see below), The CCUE is committed to hosting two public events each academic year. 

  • In January, in anticipation of Catholic Schools Week, the CCUE will host an award ceremony and lecture.  Two awards will be conferred:
    • The Robert Molyneaux. S.J. Award for exceptional advances in innovation and efficacy in Catholic education.  
    • The Ratio Studiorum Award for exceptional leadership in collaborative efforts to improve educational systems and contribution to the future and sustainability of quality Catholic education.

A lecture on a timely topic pertinent to Catholic educators will follow the conferring of the awards.

  • In the spring of each academic year a symposium will be held on a topic that relates to Catholic Education.  The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the religious order of the Daughters of Charity.  The CCUE plans to honor this anniversary with a lecture/panel discussion on the contribution of women religious to the education of Philadelphia’s children.


Until fall of 2011 the active agents working on the sustainability of Catholic schools in the region did not have a regular forum for communication, collaboration and resource development.  

In November of 2011, the Center for Catholic and Urban Education at Saint Joseph’s University convened a Roundtable Discussion on the Sustainability of High Quality Catholic Schools.  The event, co-hosted by the Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), the Connelly Foundation, and The Maguire Foundation, was attended by representatives of the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, administrators from eleven area Catholic colleges and universities, several Philadelphia area foundations and representatives of a variety of Catholic school models from both Philadelphia and Camden. The purpose of this gathering was to share Initiatives, make Investments, and Integrate strategies toward assuring sustainability for Philadelphia area Catholic schools.

A second Roundtable was convened in January of 2013 to address the proposed restructuring of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  More than 50 stakeholders of Catholic schools from Philadelphia and Camden attended.  At this meeting the Catholic Universities/ Schools Partnership was launched (see below).  Presentations were designed to update all attendees on the state of Catholic schools amid recent restructuring.

The CCUE is committed to continuing to provide a regular forum for communication – a Think Tank – for best practices and resource development, through annual Roundtable Discussions.

Catholic Universities/Schools Partnership (CUSP)

Modeled after a successful, but no longer existing, collaboration between representatives of Philadelphia universities and the School District of Philadelphia, CUSP strives to bring Catholic college and university administrators together with administrators of offices of Catholic schools, to utilize higher education resources to support the work of teaching in and leading Catholic elementary and secondary schools. 

To that end, a committee of representatives from the Education Departments or Schools of Education of each area Catholic college and university, meets regularly with representatives of the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to ascertain the needs of the school office and individual schools and then to strategize about how institutions of higher education can help meet those needs. 

Grant Writing

The CCUE will actively pursue funding through grant opportunities to support specific projects; for example professional development opportunities or CCUE/school partnerships. 


The CCUE has been providing, and will continue to explore opportunities to provide professional consultation on educational leadership, academics, governance and sustainability to individual Catholic schools, and where requested, Offices of Catholic Education at the diocesan level.

Participation at the National Level

The CCUE is active in the Catholic Higher Education Supporting Catholic Schools (CHESCS) division of the National Catholic Educational Association.