CHA adds session on environmental stewardship to leadership program

December 1, 2023

CHA is adding a session on stewarding the gift of creation to its Foundations of Catholic Health Care Leadership Program.

Darren Henson, CHA's senior director of ministry formation, said the topic is one CHA had wanted to add even before Pope Francis issued his recent exhortation, Laudate Deum, calling for swift action on climate change.

"So many of our member organizations have an eye towards strategies on reducing carbon footprints and on other major initiatives committing to the care of all creation," he said.

Henson joined CHA over the summer and is leading the Foundations program for the first time, along with Lori Ashmore-Ruppel, CHA's director of sponsor services. In addition to the new session topic, the session on Catholic social tradition is being presented earlier in the program than it has before since so many of the other topics build upon it, Henson said.

Registration is open for the program. The orientation is Jan. 30 and the sessions run 1-3:30 p.m. ET Thursdays through March 21.

CHA has tailored the sessions to executives, sponsor and board members, physicians, nurses, clinical staff, pastoral care staff, and anyone else interested in learning more about the theological and ethical principles that are at the core of the Catholic health care ministry.

"Foundations is a very long-standing, highly valued program," said Henson.

Other topics that will be discussed during the program's eight sessions include:

  • Leadership in Catholic health care.
  • Spirituality, prayer and reflection.
  • Community benefit.
  • Global health.
  • Ethics and the Catholic moral tradition.
  • Clinical dimensions of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
  • Stewarding the ministry's culture and identity.
  • Models of the church: spirit and structure.
  • Sponsorship.
  • Integration, discernment and human flourishing.
  • Human flourishing and continuing the formation journey.

Participants will be asked to read articles, listen to podcasts, and watch videos to prepare for each session. Faculty for the different sessions includes CHA leaders.

"People have an appreciation for reflecting deeply on their own gifts, talents and values and having the opportunity to integrate them into their role in service to their ministries," said Henson. "They really begin to see the spark that happens when they bring together who they are with what it is that we do."

Registration is $295 or $590 per person for CHA members depending on membership type and $1,180 per person for non-CHA members. Register at


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