The Catholic Institute (TCI), in partnership with the Australian Catholic University, recently introduced a new qualification called the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture.TCI director Gerald Scanlan said the Australian qualification has four modules running over two years. Three of the modules will be taught by the Australians and one by TCI.
It started in January this year in Wellington and will be offered in Auckland in January, 2019.
“This is really intended for people in leadership roles or [who] hope to be in leadership roles within schools, parishes or Catholic organisations who want to explore what it means to lead a Catholic organisation,” he said.
Mr Scanlan said there are a lot of studies and existing programmes on leadership geared towards non-faith organisations.
However, he said if one is running a faith-based organisation, one’s leadership style and ethical conduct should be consistent with that faith.
“What we’re wanting to do is to encourage a greater respect for theologically based qualifications within Catholic enterprises, schools, Catholic agencies [and] diocesan organisations,” he said.
“We are in an environment now where people are expected to be proficient in the field that they’re working within.”
Mr Scanlan said they expect that people acquiring the qualification would be given an advantage when it comes to appointments and promotions.
“This [TCI] is an agency that the bishops have set up deliberately to encourage qualifications in staff and leaders in those organisations,” he explained.
Mr Scanlan said the New Zealand Catholic Education Office has expressed interest in this qualification.
The TCI website states that NZCEO has signalled its willingness to offer scholarships
for teachers in Catholic schools.
Because it is an overseas qualification, it is not eligible for an interest free student
loan from StudyLink.
The modules are a week long and are scheduled over school holidays.
The first unit is “Catholic Ethos and Care of the Person” which introduces “participants to theological foundations of their roles as leaders in a Catholic organisation”, according to TCI’s website.
The second is “Ethics in a Faith-based Context”, followed by “Catholic Social Thought in Practice”. The last unit is “Leading the Mission in Catholic Organisations”.
“It’s quite practical. It’s intended to give people things they can work on and take back to the organisations they are working in,” Mr Scanlan said.
He said the first group in Wellington is “doing really, really well”.
“They have a good learning ethic within the group,” he said.
People who are interested can visit TCI’s website at www.tci.ac.nz.
In another development, Mr Scanlan said the bishops and the Society of Mary are expected to make a decision on the possible merger of TCI and Good Shepherd College by the end of the year.
“That is still going on behind the scenes with the establishment board. And we’re making good progress,” he said.
He said the decision needs to be sustainable “and that means we can find the right staff and that we can afford it and that it’s [the merged body] relevant and valued”.
“If we did come together, at least it concentrates the staffing question,” he added.
The bishops earlier expressed concern about the challenges in staffing Good Shepherd College.