Applicants must meet the following prerequisites:
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or the international equivalent of a bachelor's degree as verified by World Education Services.
- At least three years of teaching and/or administrative experience in a primary or secondary school. Catholic school experience is preferred, but not required.
- Currently employed full-time in a school as a principal or a teacher who aspires to move into a leadership position.
- A commitment to teach in or lead a Catholic school for three years upon completion of the Certificate in Catholic School Leadership.
Requests for any exception(s) should be addressed to the Director of the Institute for Catholic School Leadership at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.
All applicants must submit the following seven items:
- Completed online application
- Current resume
- Personal essay (1,000 words or less) responding to the following questions:
- What is your philosophy of education?
- What is the rationale for your application and what do you hope to gain from your participation in the Catholic School Leadership certificate program?
- Official transcripts sent directly from all post-secondary institutions attended.
- Three letters of recommendation including:
- An academic reference, such as from a former professor or in some cases a colleague who can speak to your academic preparedness to do graduate-level course work.
- A letter from your pastor commenting on your suitability for a ministerial role in Catholic education and attesting to your readiness for formation.
- A letter from your principal or your immediate supervisor (note: if the pastor in the previous letter is your supervisor, this third letter can be from a colleague).
- A non-refundable $40 application fee
All required application materials should be sent directly to:
University of St. Thomas Graduate Admissions
1000 LaSalle Ave
TMH 201, Box 5
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2005
Applications will not be reviewed until all items have been submitted. Application materials will be retained by the University of St. Thomas.
The Admissions Committee conducts a comprehensive review of each application file, considering the candidate's academic background, the personal statement, and letters of recommendation to understand the strengths, skills, and unique potential of each prospective student.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the delivery of academic programming at the University of St. Thomas and The Saint Paul Seminary, the start of the next Certificate in Catholic School Leadership cohort will be deferred until the Summer of 2021. Individuals who have already begun their online application are encouraged to complete the application process at this time. Others interested in applying for the next (Summer 2021) cohort will benefit from greater tuition discounts if their applications are completed prior to September 1 or December 1.
All admissions materials are processed through the Office of Graduate Admissions at the University of St. Thomas. To link to the university's online application portal, click here and select The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity button.
Tuition for the 2021 cohort = $3,000
Payable in four installments billed at the beginning of each term: June 2021, September 2021, February 2022, June 2022.
Tuition for the Certificate in Catholic School Leadership includes academic coursework, room and board (including meals), and costs related to scheduled events in the Certificate program.
- Out-of-pocket expenses for students include those activities the student opts to participate in outside of the scheduled events in the certificate program.
- Graduate certificate students are not eligible to receive Title IV funding, and thus students cannot obtain federally insured student loans for this program.
2021 Summer Calendar
- June 19-July 2: Session I
- July 3-July 11: Break for the week of July 4th
- July 12-23: Session II (virtual/online)
2021/2022 Academic Year Calendar (2021 cohort)
Fall Semester 2021
- September 8: Fall Semester classes begin
- December 15: Classes end
- December 22: Final exam period ends
Spring Semester 2022
- February 2: Spring Semester classes begin
- March 19-27: Mid-term break
- May 13: Classes end
- May 20: Final exam period ends
Will the Catholic School Leadership certificate program begin a new cohort in the Summer of 2021?
Yes! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the delivery of academic programming at the University of St. Thomas and The Saint Paul Seminary, the start of the Cohort 2020 was deferred until the Summer of 2021. We are accepting new applications for the Summer 2021 Cohort. Please be aware that there has been an adjustment to the Summer 2021 Residency Schedule. The first two weeks of classes will be from June 21 to July 2, 2021 at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity and the final two weeks of classes will be virtual/online from July 12 to July 23, 2021.
What is the advantage of the Catholic School Leadership program over other administration programs?
The Catholic School Leadership certificate program is designed to prepare you for the specialized ministry of Catholic school leadership. The program integrates a rigorous academic program with the four dimensions of formation (spiritual, intellectual, human and pastoral). Furthermore, the Catholic School Leadership certificate program addresses the unique and characteristic needs and concerns of administration within a Catholic context.
I already have an administration degree, what can I gain from this program?
In most cases an administration program focuses on the requirements for government (public) schools. This program will prepare you with the unique skills needed within the Catholic school context including the areas of law, finance and marketing. In addition, this program will prepare you intentionally for your role as a spiritual leader of a Catholic school.
Why is it recommended that I live in residence at the seminary during the summer sessions?
The daily and weekly schedule of the four-week residential session includes numerous activities to advance an integrated formation process. The building of community is likewise a key ingredient. Time spent in classes, formational activities, private and communal prayer, and social interaction provides opportunities to build relationships with fellow students in the cohort. This community of Catholic school leaders will continue to support you as you move into your leadership practice. Although we remain flexible to accommodate the individual needs of our students, living in residence at the seminary is highly recommended to ensure the optimal formation benefit of this immersion experience.
As a Catholic school teacher, how does the Catholic School Leadership program prepare me for a leadership position in my school?
Principals and other school leaders face a myriad of challenges and situations that require specialized preparation. The Catholic School Leadership certificate program is designed to equip leaders with the skills they need to nurture a vibrant Catholic culture, cultivate spiritual and academic excellence in faculty and students, and apply executive management skills to grow and improve their schools.
As a practicing Catholic, have I not already received sufficient preparation for my role as a Catholic school leader?
While it is expected for a Catholic school leader to be a practicing Catholic, the specialized ministry of Catholic school leadership requires an advanced and distinctive formation for the role of spiritual leader. This program will provide that specialized formation. Participants in the Catholic School Leadership certificate program benefit from the seminary’s expertise in preparing people for leadership positions in the Church and the world through professional and graduate-level educational programs.
What is my financial obligation with this program?
Due to the generosity of benefactors of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, we are able to offer the certificate program at a substantial discount.
Applicants for the Summer 2021 Cohort will benefit from the currently posted tuition of $3,000.
Please Note: Tuition costs are for the entire 14-month program, which is payable in four equal installments.
Will I get a principal license with this certificate program?
No. Preparation for State Licensure may be pursued through the Educational Specialist degree program, in the School of Education at the University of St. Thomas.