Vision and Voice for Catholic Higher Education      Learn More




More than 40% of presidents in Catholic higher education today have served for more than 6 years — the present average length of tenure. This figure indicates an impending wave of retirements.

Leaders in Catholic Higher Education

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is committed to equipping Catholic higher education’s next generation of leaders with the knowledge, skills, and reflection required to meet the 21st century demands of Catholic colleges and universities. 

To that end, the ACCU Leaders in Catholic Higher Education program offers rising leaders a distinctive portfolio of competencies across four distinct categories:

Category 1: Inspire Christian values
Category 2: Connect Catholic faith to knowledge and research
Category 3: Embody the Christian message in a faithfully Catholic way
Category 4: Serve all in the search for meaning and transcendence 

This program serves three audiences:
  1. Administrators and faculty currently working within Catholic higher education and who aspire to advance in leadership positions.
  2. Administrators and faculty who are outside Catholic higher education and who seek to enter the world of Catholic colleges and universities.
  3. Those who are in current positions of administrative leadership in Catholic higher education and who seek to deepen their understanding of Catholic higher education in their existing position. 



View this short introduction to our new Leaders in Catholic Higher Education online lessons.

Help shape the Leaders in Catholic Higher Ed program!





Discerning the Presidency

Thank you to all who participated in the two-day Discerning the Presidency conference held on the beautiful campus of the University of Notre Dame in June 2019. We are grateful to the university for the generous financial support that made this event possible. 

Participants, be sure to complete the brief online survey so that ACCU can continue to support you in your leadership aspirations. 

Questions:  Contact Lorraine Sloma Williams 


Development Areas

Programming in the form of online offerings, in-person meetings, conferences, webinars, workshops, seminars, reflection days, retreats, and pilgrimages will ensure development across the four competency categories. Learning from existing programs such as those offered by various charism groups and current ACCU programs (e.g., ACCU’s Rome Seminar, Collegium, and IACHE) will round out the LCHE program.

Across each of the four competency categories, development will focus on:

  1. Knowledge: the history, content, and theoretical foundations needed for decision making; emphasis is on the WHAT of Catholic higher education.
  2. Skills: the aptitudes and practical application necessary to equip the leader to excel in his or her current leadership position and beyond (entry level, mid-level, executive); emphasis is on the HOW of Catholic higher education.
  3. Reflection: formative experiences and spiritual growth opportunities to probe and identify reasons and habits of character enabling a personal transformation; emphasis is on the PERSONAL CHARACTER TRAITS needed to lead within Catholic higher education.

The three development areas of knowledge, skills, and reflection will be developed as leaders gain knowledge, refine application skills, and engage in personal transformation opportunities to advance their professional leadership.


Learning Artifacts

As the participant completes the lessons within the four modules, Learning Artifacts will allow the leader to solidify and make practical the knowledge, skills, and reflection cultivated through the lessons. Learning Artifacts may be tangible elements, such as:

  • a memo to student affairs colleagues.
  • a reflection essay following a pilgrimage to the homeland of the founding congregation.
  • a discussion series with faculty.
  • talking points for a conversation with the local bishop.
  • the creation of a short informative video for the campus community.  

Learning Artifacts are not a "test," but rather an authentic opportunity to allow the learner to solidify learning in a competency category. 


Other Information

The program is now beta-testing! 
Please contact us if you are interested in being a beta tester for our online platform.