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Meet the experts who will teach at this year's Mission Leadership Institute
and review Institute reading materials

Faculty & Readings

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2019 Faculty

Amelia-HibnerAmelia’s work as Director, Recruitment and Admissions, at Aquinas Institute of Theology focuses on mission and identity at Catholic colleges and universities, particularly on efforts to train lay faculty and staff in the mission of the Catholic institutions where they work. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Saint Louis University and earned her Master of Theological Studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and her doctoral degree from Saint Louis University.
Dominic-ColonnaDominic served as Chair of the Department of Theology from 2003 until 2013 at Lewis University and has served as the Faculty Liaison for Mission since 2008. Dominic’s focus is making the Catholic intellectual tradition relevant to the lives of students and colleagues at Lewis and other Lasallian schools. He teaches a course in which students study the relationship between science and faith with colleagues from the Physics, Chemistry, and Biology Departments. The greater part of his teaching and research, however, focuses on using art analysis to both learn about theology and to cultivate discernment. He is currently leading a collaborative effort of American Lasallian universities to establish an international learning center in Rome.
Rev-Peter-DonohueThe Reverend Peter M. Donohue, OSA, is the 32nd president of Villanova University. Father Donohue is a tenured professor at Villanova who served as chair of the University’s department of theatre from 1992 to 2006. He annually directed musical theatre productions on campus, earning six Barrymore Award nominations and one Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. Father Peter earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in 1975 and was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1979. He has a master’s in Theatre from the Catholic University of America, a master’s in Divinity from the Washington Theological Union, and a PhD in Theatre from the University of Illinois.
Michael-Galligan-StierleMichael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., has been president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC, since 2010. Michael served for five years as Vice President of ACCU and for five years as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Assistant Secretary for Catholic Higher Education and Campus Ministry. He has a Ph.D. in sacred scripture and an M.A. in psychology. Michael has 30 years of experience in various higher educational settings as a campus minister, religious studies undergraduate and graduate professor, seminary teacher, diocesan higher education administrator, and practicum director for graduate students in pastoral ministry.
Graziano-MarcheschiAuthor, educator, lecturer, and storyteller, Graziano speaks nationally and internationally on topics of liturgy and the arts, scripture, and lay ecclesial ministry. He is the former Vice President for University Mission and Ministry at Saint Xavier University. For eighteen years, he served as the Chicago Archdiocesan Director of Lay Ministry Formation. Currently senior consultant/producer with Shalom World Television, he has been adjunct faculty at the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago and at Retreats International at the University of Notre Dame. With his wife, Nancy, he founded and directs Anawim Ministries, presenting retreats, parish missions, and concerts of drama and storytelling proclaiming Gospel themes throughout the US and Canada. Graziano holds an MA in Drama from the University of Minnesota, an M.Div. from Loyola University Chicago, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL.
Claire-NoonanClaire Noonan, D.Min., is a mission-centered leader and strategic thinker currently serving as Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Dominican University in Illinois. As the university’s chief mission officer, she works to strengthen the Catholic, Dominican identity of the institution and the intellectual and spiritual development of its students, faculty, staff, and affiliated community. She led the campus community through a visioning process that produced a strategic plan for 2022 designed to advance Dominican’s commitment to equity, global education, and experiential pedagogy. Under her leadership, the mission and ministry division has raised more than $1 million in philanthropic support. Recognized nationally for her expertise in Catholic higher education, she represents the Dominican Higher Education Colloquium on ACCU’s Charism Council.
Sr-Sean-PetersSean Peters, CSJ, Ed. D., a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, currently serves as Director of Mission Experience at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. Sean has held faculty and administrative positions at Saint Rose and Fontbonne University, led her religious community for eight years as Province Director and served as Executive Director of the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph for fifteen years. Sean frequently works as a meeting facilitator and has written articles and presented workshops on sponsorship, mission integration, the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic social teaching.

Kurt Schackmuth, Ph.D. – Institute Director

Kurt-SchackmuthKurt Schackmuth is Vice President for Mission & Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago and earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in History and an M.B.A. from Lewis University. He received the Midwest District’s Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award in November 2010. Kurt is responsible for the University’s efforts to promote and advance its Catholic and Lasallian Mission through mission-based hiring, orientation and formation efforts as well as through other initiatives and programs. He oversees the Division of Mission & Ministry which includes the Office of Mission and Identity, University Ministry, Office of Service Learning, and the Center for Ministry and Spirituality. Kurt also has responsibility for the University’s academic support programs and manages a portfolio of academic affairs initiatives for the Provost’s Office.



Following is the list of suggested pre-readings for participants in the 2019 Mission Leadership Institute. All chapters are from A Mission Officer Handbook, volumes 1 and 2. Both volumes can be purchased from




  Exploring Our Vocation as Mission Leaders   

Vol. 1, Introduction by Michael J. James, Oscar Mayorga, and Joseph J. Lehman, TOR

"Mission Matters: The Mission Leader – An Innovative Strategy in Catholic Higher Education"

DAY TWO – Mission Leader as Formator

  Essential Characteristics of the Mission Leader as Formator  

Essential Characteristics of Ex Corde Ecclesiae Handout
(NB: It is recommended that participants read all  Ex Corde Ecclesiae prior to the Institute)

Vol. 2, Introduction by Michael James, Daniel Justin, and Oscar Mayorga
"The Mission Officer: Collaboration, Inspiration & Accountability"

  What Does Storytelling Have to Do with My Ministry?  

Vol. 1, Chapter 19 by Kathleen Cornell
"A Sacred Trust: The Mission Officer and the Sponsoring Congregation"

Vol. 2, Chapter 8 by Maryellen Gilroy
"Animating Mission in Student Life through Strategic Cooperation"

  Formation Fishbowl: “Keeping it Real”  

Vol. 2, Chapter 12 by Andrew J. Thon, SJ
"Creative Tensions with Catholic Identity"

  Universal Church, Particular Charism  

Vol. 1, Chapter 18 by Sean Peters, CSJ
"Charism as the Primary Door into the Catholic Mission"

Vol. 1, Chapter 20 by Kevin O’Brien, SJ
"The Religious Charism of a University and Its Catholic Character: A Jesuit Way of Proceeding"

  Contentious Issues on Our Campus  

Vol. 2, Chapter 5 by Joshua P. Hochshild
"Supporting Mission through a Speakers Policy Addendum: Mount St. Mary’s University Speaker and Performance Policy"

Vol. 2, Chapter 29 by Craig B. Mousin
"The Ombudsperson and Mission"


DAY THREE – Mission Leader as Administrator

  Essential Characteristics of the Mission Leader as Administrator  

Vol. 1, Chapter 10 by Stephanie Russell
"Pastoral, Educational, and Administrative: Finding Our Deepest Identity in Jesus"

Vol. 2, Chapter 4 by Evelyn Saul Quinn
Academic Deans: Advancing Mission


Strategies for Engaging Faculty in the Mission


Vol. 2, Chapter 2 by James L. Heft, SM
"Advancing the Mission with or without a Mission Officer: The Role of Faculty"

Vol. 1, Chapter 26 by Kevin Hughes
"Engaging Departmental Faculty Early in Mission-Centered Hiring"


Making Time and Giving Voice to Catholic Identity


Vol. 1, Chapter 2 by Kati McMahon
"It Takes a Village: Creating & Sustaining a Mission-Oriented Culture"

Vol. 1, Chapter 5 by Kurt Schackmuth
"Advancing the Catholic Institutional Story through Art, Symbolism, and Architecture"

  Mission Leadership Role Playing Exercise   

Vol. 1, Chapter 15 by Graziano Marcheschi and Christine Wiseman
"The President’s Choice of a Mission Officer: Able to Frame Hard Questions, Live with Contradiction, and Stand in the Tension"

Vol. 1, Chapter 7 by Maragret Kelly
"Aligning Brand and Mission: The Mission Officer’s Role"


Presidential Perspectives on Mission Leadership: A Discussion


Vol. 1, Chapter 14 by Maryellen Gilroy, Lorraine Sloma-Williams, & Michael Galligan-Stierle
"The Mission Officer and the Mission Officer President"

Vol. 2, Chapter 21 by the Most Rev. Blase Cupich & Thayne McCulloh
"The Mission Officer: An Important Asset to the President & Bishop"


DAY FOUR – Mission Leader as a Catalyst


Catalyzing the Community for Mission


Vol. 2, Chapter 7 by Lorraine Sloma-Williams
"Standing at the Center of the Intersection:  The Mission Officer and Catholic Intellectual Tradition"

Vol. 1, Chapter 4 by Lois Sculco
"Creating and Strengthening a Campus-Wide Mission Effectiveness Commission"


The Mission Leader as Catalyst: Who Am I As a Catalyst?


Vol. 1, Chapter 11 by Melanie Morey
"The Mission Officer as Catholic Cultural Catalyst, Convener, and Conscience"