Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership — An Online Course for Formation and Development


Executives, board members, directors and managers who work in Catholic health settings are leaders of a ministry. They bring many competencies to their work, but they often report that they do not have an adequate grasp of the basic theological and ethical concepts that are at the heart of the ministry. This program is designed to meet that need.

The Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership Program is a primer for new leaders in Catholic health care. Thousands of leaders have attended this program for more than two decades either through their own health system or through CHA’s on-site or on-line format. This program is a "must-have" for all leaders in Catholic health care.

The online course takes place in a series of sessions on six consecutive Fridays lasting up to two hours each. Each session will include one or two presentations, as well as opportunities for interaction via online chat, voice contact and online small group discussions. Since each session focuses on a key principle of Catholic health leadership, registrants are expected to participate in all sessions. Assignments and reading materials will be available for download prior to each session. An orientation session to familiarize participants with the online format is scheduled for Feb. 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

  • Early registration discount for CHA members: $375 per person through Dec. 21, 2017
  • CHA members: $425 per person after Dec. 21, 2017
  • Other registrants: $600 per person
  • Group discount: 10 percent off each individual registration for groups of five or more


To enhance interaction and benefits of the formational experience, we recommend that whenever possible registrants participate together with colleagues in groups at the same facility. The program is also beneficial to individual participants who don’t have a group at the same facility. Persons who participate individually will be linked electronically with participants from other locations for all group discussions.


Registration for this program is now closed.

Program Objective

Completion of this program will enable participants to articulate theological and ethical principles of Catholic health care and apply them to their work.

Who Should Participate?

  • Executives
  • Board members
  • Directors, managers and middle managers
  • Clinical staff
  • Pastoral care staff
  • Communications and marketing staff
  • Persons serving in leadership of partner organizations


Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, S.T.D., Senior Director, Theology & Ethics, CHA, St. Louis
Bruce Compton, Senior Director, International Outreach, CHA, St. Louis
Sr. Mary HaddadSr. Mary Haddad, RSM, Vice President, Sponsorship and Mission Services, CHA, St. Louis
Nate HibnerNathaniel Blanton Hibner, MTS, Ph.D.(c), Director, Ethics, CHA, St. Louis

Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, RN, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHA, Washington, D.C.


Carrie Meyer McGrathCarrie Meyer McGrath, Director, Mission Services, CHA, St. Louis
Brian Smith, MS, MA, M.Div., Senior Director, Mission Integration and Leadership Formation, CHA, St. Louis
Julie A. Trocchio, MS, Senior Director, Community Benefit and Continuing Care, CHA, Washington, D.C.

Certificate of Attendance

CHA will provide all Online Foundations participants with a Certificate of Attendance indicating contact hours for each individual session. Within a few days following each session, all program registrants will receive an email with a link to the session evaluation as well as information regarding the Certificate of Attendance.

Please note CHA does not offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) for any programs. Participants may submit Certificates of Attendance to relevant organizations that accept proof of contact hours as credit.

These include:

American College of Healthcare Executives: American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) members may self-report qualifying CEUs using the contact hour information provided on their CHA Certificate of Attendance. To self-report, log in as a member on the ACHE site; use the link on the left-hand side to self-report applicable contact hours for CEU credit.

NACC Board Certified Chaplains: National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) board certified chaplain members may self-report their continuing education hours (CEH's) using the contact hours information provided on their CHA Certificate of Attendance

For further information regarding Certificates of Attendance, please contact Danette Thompson, (314) 253-3408.




Tuesday, February 6, 2018
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Orientation & Intro to Online Platform

Fr. Charlie Bouchard, OP, S.T.D. & CommPartners


  • Review the overall platform to be used throughout the program.
  • Introduction to CHA – who we are – what we do
  • Glossary for Catholic health care terminology. 

Session 1

February 9, 2018
1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Jesus, The Foundation of Catholic Health Care
Carrie Meyer McGrath

The healing ministry of Jesus is the core of our mission. In this session, we will look at Jesus as a model of servant leadership and the role of sacred scripture as a spiritual touchstone for leaders. How do we reconcile the central role of Jesus in our ministry with the increasing diversity of our associates and patients?

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Express the relationship of the ministry of Jesus Christ to the work of Catholic health care.

ERDs and Catholic Social Teaching (Parts I and VI)
Fr. Charlie Bouchard, OP, S.T.D.

Catholic Social Teaching is the "public face" of the church’s moral tradition. This session will introduce the key principles of this tradition and discuss ethical issues around collaborative ventures. 

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Identify foundational concepts in Catholic social teaching and their implications for health care leadership.

Session 2

February 16, 2018
1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Ministry and Sponsorship in Catholic Health Care
Fr. Charlie Bouchard, OP, S.T.D. and Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM
What do we mean when we say health care is a ministry? What is the relationship of Catholic health care to the broader ministry of the church, including the heritage of the religious women and men who founded and nurtured the health ministry in the United States? How do we understand changing structures in sponsorship?

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Describe what it means to say that Catholic health care is a ministry of the church and what the emerging role of sponsors will be.

Session 3

February 23, 2018
1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Clinical Aspects of the Ethical and Religious Directives (Parts II, III, IV and V)
Nathaniel Blanton Hibner, MTS, Ph.D.(c)

The Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) define the moral and ethical framework for Catholic health care in the United States. What do we mean by “Ethics”? How does our understanding of ethics play out in provider/patient relationships and in specific issues at the beginning and end of life?

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Utilize the Ethical and Religious Directives as a leadership resource and articulate a basic process for ethical decision making in the health care setting.

Session 4

March 2, 2018
1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Community Benefit
Julie Trocchio

Community benefit programs are designed to increase access to health care and improve health in our communities. This program works with community partners to address significant health needs with an emphasis on low income and vulnerable persons. Community benefit is an essential part of our mission and the basis of our tax exemption. This session will present the basics of planning and reporting community benefit.

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Define and describe the importance of community benefit as part of Catholic health care.

International Outreach
Bruce Compton

Catholic health care has always transcended national boundaries, but in today’s global environment, international outreach, rooted in the imperative to preach the Gospel to the "ends of the earth," has taken on new importance. This session will help leaders see how CHA’s outreach activities support members, partnering organizations and the church. It will also help leaders to see how they can enhance their own international health activities.

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Describe the importance of international outreach and the role of the mission leader in developing an outreach program.

Session 5

March 9, 2018

Leadership in Catholic Health Care
Sr. Carol Keehan, DC

This session will outline important opportunities and challenges on the horizon for Catholic health care and their implications for leaders of this ministry. 

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Articulate important challenges on the horizon for Catholic health care and their implications for leaders of this ministry.

Session 6

March 16, 2018
1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Stewarding Organizational Culture in the Catholic Tradition
Brian Smith, MS, MA, M.Div.

Leaders are "culture bearers" who hold the organization’s integrity in trust and shape its culture. This session will help participants learn how to use leadership principles as tools for maintaining a distinctive Catholic culture. It will also explore how various spiritual practices can strengthen a leader’s personal and professional growth. 

SESSION OBJECTIVE: Develop a plan for ongoing development as a ministry leader in Catholic health care.