Institute for Catholic School Leadership Names Founding Director

Father Joseph Taphorn, rector and vice president of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, recently announced the appointment of Merylann (“Mimi”) J. Schuttloffel, Ph.D., as founding director of the Institute for Catholic School Leadership.

The newly established Institute for Catholic School Leadership provides comprehensive education and formation for those entrusted with the leadership of Catholic schools. This distinctive formation equips leaders to nurture a vibrant Catholic identity and community, cultivate spiritual and academic excellence in faculty and students, and apply executive management skills to grow and improve their schools. The Institute for Catholic School Leadership serves Catholic school teachers, who aspire to move into leadership positions, and current principals in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the upper-Midwest. The institute will launch its inaugural program, a graduate-level certificate in Catholic school leadership, in the summer of 2019.

“I have always believed that the preparation of Catholic school leaders requires more than an academic program and that a critical piece includes the meaningful and effective collaboration with the pastor,” Dr. Schuttloffel said. “That is why I am particularly pleased that the Institute for Catholic School Leadership has been established at The Saint Paul Seminary.”

Originally from Minnesota, Dr. Schuttloffel is recognized internationally as a leader in Catholic education. With more than 40 years of experience in parochial and public schools, Dr. Schuttloffel has taught every grade from preschool through graduate school in urban and rural settings. Most recently she served as Professor of Educational Administration and Policy Studies in the Department of Education at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. (1996-2018). From 2003-2018, Schuttloffel directed CUA’s Catholic Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral program in addition to the Catholic School Leadership MA and Advanced Graduate Certificate programs. Schuttloffel served as Chair of the Department of Education from 2006-2016. Upon her retirement, Schuttloffel was designated Professor Emerita.

Dr. Schuttloffel’s research explores the intersection of Catholic identity, leadership and culture. Her concept of contemplative practice is a leadership model specific to Catholic educational contexts. She is an expert on faith formation and Catholic identity formation within Catholic schools. She has presented at numerous national and international educational conferences, and she has written extensively on the importance of recruitment, formation and retention of Catholic educational leaders.

Dr. Schuttloffel is the author of Character and the Contemplative Principal (1999) and co-author of Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward (2009), both published by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). Dr. Schuttloffel’s new book, International Explorations of Contemplative Leadership in Catholic Education (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group) will be published in 2019.

Dr. Schuttloffel is the NCEA recipient of the C. Albert Koob President’s Merit Award for her national contributions to Catholic educational leadership preparation and the Teresan Citation Award for her leadership and service from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. She has served as a delegate to several national and international seminars on Catholic education, including the World Congress for Catholic Education (2015), convened by Pope Francis, and the White House Forum on Catholic education (2012), hosted by President George W. Bush.

Dr. Schuttloffel has consulted with numerous American dioceses and religious congregations, as well as dioceses in Belgium, Chile, England, Netherlands, Poland and Australia. For 10 years, she taught courses in Belgium for the Brothers of Charity as part of CUA’s program in Special Education and Nursing. She is also an advisor to the Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute at Bethlehem University, West Bank Occupied Territories.

“I am thrilled to appoint Dr. Mimi Schuttloffel as the founding director of the Institute for Catholic School Leadership,” said Fr. Taphorn. “This institute responds to an urgent need in the Church today, namely, helping our Catholic school administrators to create a culture in their schools where students can be formed into disciples of Jesus Christ.” Taphorn also noted that the Institute for Catholic School Leadership will be a strong addition to the seminary’s effort to become a national center of formation for both clergy and lay leaders.