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

Online Sessions:
Seven Consecutive Fridays
Jan. 17 – Feb. 28, 2020
1 to 3 p.m. ET

A special orientation session will be held on Jan. 14, 2020, from 2-3 p.m. ET. Please be sure to attend to ensure you can easily access all of the Foundations courses that follow.

Download the flyer


Registration for this program is now closed.

Questions? Email CHA or call (800) 230-7823.

CHA's Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership Program provides executives, board members, directors, managers, clinicians and other leaders in Catholic health care with a foundation in core theological and ethical principles that are at the heart of the Catholic health ministry. The program addresses the interest many leaders have expressed to deepen their understanding of the moral principles of the church in serving the needs of patients, families, communities and the common good.

The Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership Program is a "must-have" primer for new and current leaders in Catholic health care. Over the last two decades, thousands of leaders have broadened their understanding of the ministry through the program's in-person or online formats.

To enhance learning and engagement, the online Foundations Program features a refreshed course design and new, interactive, web-based learning platform that offers additional resources and opportunities for participants to reinforce their learning experience and ongoing professional development.

The online course takes place in a series of sessions on seven consecutive Fridays from Jan. 17 to Feb. 28, 2020.

Each session includes presentations, as well as opportunities for interaction via online chat 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 Jan. 14, 2020 from 2-3 p.m. ET.

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. Individual participants are also welcome, and we are happy to link them with participants from other locations for all group discussions.

  • Early registration discount for CHA members: $400 per person through Nov. 8, 2019
  • CHA members: $450 per person starts Nov. 9, 2019
  • Other registrants: $900 per person
  • Group discount: 10 percent off each individual registration for groups of five or more


Fr. BouchardFr. Charles Bouchard, OP, S.T.D., Senior Director, Theology and Sponsorship, CHA, St. Louis
Bruce ComptonBruce Compton, Senior Director, International Outreach, CHA, St. Louis

Nate Hibner Nathaniel Blanton Hibner, MTS, Ph.D., Director, Ethics, CHA, St. Louis
Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHA, Washington, D.C.
Brian Kane Brian Kane, Ph.D., Senior Director, Ethics, CHA, St. Louis

Carrie Meyer McGrath_150Carrie Meyer McGrath, M.Div., MAS, Director, Mission Services, CHA, St. Louis
Rooney_DiarmuidDiarmuid Rooney, M.S.Psych., M.T.S., D.Soc.Admin., Senior Director, Ministry Formation, CHA, St. Louis
Brian Smith_150Brian Smith, MS, MA, M.Div., Vice President, Sponsorship and Mission Services, CHA, St. Louis
Julie Trocchio_150Julie A. Trocchio, MS, Senior Director, Community Benefit and Continuing Care, CHA, Washington, D.C.

This Program Will Benefit:

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

Program Objective:

Completion of this program will enable participants to begin articulating and integrating spiritual, theological and ethical principles of Catholic health care and apply them to their work.


The curriculum weaves biblical, theological and spiritual aspects of health care ministry in a model that incorporates adult learning methods within a framework of ministry formation and development.


Diarmuid Rooney and Online Manager from CommPartners
This session will review features of the online platform that will be used throughout the program, how to navigate the various screens, how breakout sessions will be handled, and answer any questions. The orientation will also provide an introduction about CHA and the programs and services available to members who work in Catholic health organizations. Participants will also receive a helpful glossary of Catholic health terminology.

SESSION ONE — FRIDAY, JAN. 17, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Ministry in Catholic Health Care
Carrie Meyer McGrath, and Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is to enable participants to articulate what it means to say that Catholic health care is a ministry of the church, and to describe the emerging role of sponsors. The themes include:

  • 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?

Jesus, The Foundation of Catholic Health Care
Carrie Meyer McGrath
The objective is to enable participants to express the relationship of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to the foundation and work of Catholic health care. The themes include:

  • What are the implications of describing "the healing ministry of Jesus" as the foundation of our ministry?
  • How do we understand Jesus as a healer of the whole person?
  • What are the foundational healing stories for the Catholic health ministry?
  • What is the role of sacred Scripture as a spiritual touchstone for leaders?

SESSION TWO — FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Spirituality and Whole Person Care
Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is for participants to understand the importance of whole person care and the central role of spirituality in Catholic health care. The themes include:

  • What is whole person care?
  • What is the place of spirit within this understanding of what it means to be human?
  • What are the spiritual needs of a person, and how do we respond to these needs in our work?
  • What are spiritual practices, and how do they get expressed in a diverse and pluralistic workplace?

Community Benefit & Population Health
Julie Trocchio
The objective is to define and describe the importance of community benefit as part of Catholic health care. The themes include:

  • What do we mean by community benefit and the social determinants of health?
  • What are the social conditions necessary for an individual's dignity to be actualized?
  • What do you know about how your organization is responding to the needs within your organization?

SESSION THREE – FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Catholic Social Tradition
Brian Kane
The objective is to identify foundational concepts in Catholic social teaching and their implications for health care leadership. The themes include:

  • What is the Catholic social tradition?
  • What does Catholic social teaching mean as the "public face" of the church's moral tradition?
  • Considering the key principles of this tradition, what are some of the ethical issues that arise, for example, in collaborative ventures with other organizations?

Social Justice & International Outreach
Bruce Compton
The objective is to understand what international outreach means in Catholic health care and why it is a social justice issue. The themes include:

  • Catholic health care has always transcended national boundaries. In today's global environment, how has international outreach taken on new importance rooted in the imperative to preach the Gospel to the "ends of the earth?"
  • How are CHA's outreach activities supporting members, partnering organizations and the church?
  • How do you think you can enhance your own, and your organization's, international health activities?

SESSION FOUR – FRIDAY, FEB. 7, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Ethics and Discernment
Nathaniel Blanton Hibner and Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is to introduce participants to the extensive history of ethics and moral theology.  It will also situate the role of discernment in all ethical decision making. The themes include: 

  • What do we mean by "ethics" and "morality"?
  • When did the Catholic moral and ethical theology begin? How has it evolved?
  • Where is "discernment" situated in moral and ethical decision making?

Clinical Aspects of the Ethical and Religious Directives
Nathaniel Blanton Hibner
The objective is to introduce the Ethical and Religious Directives as a leadership resource and articulate a basic process for ethical decision making in the health care setting. The themes include:

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

SESSION FIVE – FRIDAY, FEB. 14, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Stewarding Organizational Culture in the Catholic Tradition
Brian Smith
The objective is to develop a plan for ongoing development and formation as a ministry leader in Catholic health care. The themes include:

  • In what ways are leaders "culture bearers" who hold the organization's integrity in trust and shape its culture?
  • How do leaders in Catholic health care use leadership principles as tools for maintaining a distinctive Catholic culture?
  • What are some core spiritual practices that can strengthen a leader's personal and professional growth?

SESSION SIX – FRIDAY, FEB. 21, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Models of the Church: Spirit and Structure
Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, and Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is to enable participants to understand the models and ethos of the church. The themes include:

  • How do we understand the church from servant to institution?
  • As institution, what is the structure of the church from parish to papacy?
  • Why is the mystical dimension of the church important to leadership in Catholic health care?

Sponsorship Today
Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, and Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is to introduce participants to the meaning of sponsorship in Catholic health care today. The themes include:

  • How has sponsorship emerged and evolved into its present structure?
  • What are sponsors responsible for, how are they structured and how do they live out their ministry?
  • What are some of the hopes and challenges facing sponsors now and into the future?

SESSION SEVEN – FRIDAY, FEB. 28, 2020, 1-3 P.M. ET

Leadership in Catholic Health Care
Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM
The objective is to enable participants to articulate important challenges on the horizon for Catholic health care and their implications for leaders of this ministry. The themes include:

  • What are the important opportunities and challenges on the horizon for Catholic health care?
  • In light of this, what are the implications for leaders of this ministry?
  • What questions do you have about these challenges on the horizon?

Ongoing Formation
Diarmuid Rooney
The objective is to prepare leaders for ongoing formation opportunities, both personally and professionally, through CHA offerings and other local and national initiatives.

Certificate of Attendance

Please note, CHA does not offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for any programs.

CHA will provide all Online Foundations participants with a Certificate of Attendance indicating contact hours at the conclusion of the program. All program registrants will receive an email with a link to the overall evaluation as well as information regarding the Certificate of Attendance.

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 (CEHs) 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.