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The formal position of mission officer is relatively new, rarely dating back further than the 1970s.

Programs for Mission Officers

Today, 159 of the approximately 200 member institutions of ACCU have a mission officer. Though titles vary from “vice president for mission” to “special assistant to the president for mission,” the responsibilities are similar in that they devote special care to the Catholic mission at their campus.

Among the key responsibilities of a mission officer are:

Trustee Formation and Development: The mission officer has an important opportunity to collaborate with the president with regard to the board of trustees. The mission officer can assist in orienting new members to the institution’s mission and heritage and can provide boards with the requisite formation to carry out their roles as stewards of the mission.
Sponsoring Orders and Congregations: The mission officer needs to be in regular conversation with the chief representative of the sponsoring religious orders or congregation, and/or of the diocese. There may be a particular spirituality and charism that distinguishes the sponsoring order, and thus, shapes the identity of the college or university itself.
Academic Core: Teaching and scholarship are at the core of every university. The four characteristics mentioned in Ex corde Ecclesiae must find their expression in these essential activities. In this realm the mission officer, to be credible, must be competent and skilled in facilitating and bridging these conversations. Establishing a strong working partnership with the chief academic officer, deans, and faculty leadership is an indispensable factor in ensuring the centrality of the institution’s mission.


ACCU offers programs, events, publications, and other resources to assist the mission officer in these responsibilities and more.



Featured Programs

Mission Officers Conference

Dynamic speakers and engaging topics help mission officers in their work to enhance the religious identity of the Catholic college

Mission Leadership Institute

This summer event promotes networking and shared learning among campus mission officers

Strengthening Catholic Identity
This series of brochures — or single volume — can be used as a campus primer to discuss Catholic identity