IPS Parish Leadership and Management Programs


1Education and Training, in service to the Church, guided by learning drawn from research and critical engagements with pastoral leadership teams, parish consultants, Loyola faculty and graduate students.


2Consultation, informed by research, as a critical expression of outreach to pastoral ministers and to those in dioceses and religious organizations who lead them and serve them.


3Research the formation and performances of effective pastoral leaders and lay leaders and their cultivation of vital parish communities.



Training and skill development services for pastoral and parish leaders

  • Courses and workshops in communication, conflict management, and pastoral leadership
  • Design seminars for parish strategic planning, scenario planning, and parishioner leadership development
  • Free web-based services

Formational programs and services addressing the spiritual core of pastoral excellence

  • Formation and spiritual direction for persons and pastoral leadership teams, an essential first priority
  • Retreat programs for parish staffs, councils, and individual ministers
  • One-day programs to help pastoral teams recharge and network with other teams

The transition from one pastor the the next went flawlessly and it was because of the attitudes and lessons we gleaned from experiences with Sr. Phyllis and the other INSPIRE mentors.

Parish Team, West Suburban parish


The Institute of Pastoral Studies aspires to leverage INSPIRE learning to be a national clearinghouse for professional pastoral leadership consulting practice. It offers a distinct form of pastoral consultation for pastors, lay ministers, and parish leaders, based on eight years of INSPIRE engagement with over 40 pastoral leadership teams in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Proven pathways that integrate personal and team learning

  • Informed by Center research initiatives and feedback system
  • Enhancing awareness of personal and team spirituality as critical disciplines
    • Center consultants understand parish consultation as a unique discipline
    • They are proficient in consulting for organizational development, management and leadership, but…
    • Center consultants must also bring personal histories of successful leadership performances in church settings

Modeling, drawing from, and witnessing to the value of University/Local Church partnerships

  • Based upon INSPIRE, the original institutional partnership initiative of Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) and the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Continuing INSPIRE’s partnership mission of Identifying, Nurturing, and Sustaining Pastoral Imagination through Resources for Excellence, a nine-year program made possible by the generous support of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program
  • Developing a continuing international partnership with six German dioceses and Ruhr University, Bochum, DE

Our staff has…a new foundation…helping us to heal and, through us (with God’s help), bringing healing to our faith community.

Parish and staff, Chicago West Side parish



The IPS Parish Leadership and Management Programs are founded on an already established body of INSPIRE research and will be dedicated to learning, testing, and documenting processes that grow vibrant, mission-focused Catholic parish communities.

IPS Parish Leadership and Management Programs Promote Educational Experiences that Aid in:

  • Effective pastor performances
    • Cultivating competencies of pastor and staff
    • Best practices of pastoral leadership
    • How to balance spiritual and corporal realities
  • Effective lay ministers and critical lay-ecclesial ministries
  • Forming and nurturing parishioner leaders
  • Pastoral strategies that grow parish life and Catholic mission
  • Dealing with difficult transitions

Theological inquiry

  • Exploring communities of Word, Worship, and Service following Christ, responding to the Spirit’s call
  • Practical theology applied to today’s pastoral leadership challenges
    • The nature and mission of the local parish community
    • Parish in relationship to local and universal Church
  • Toward Catholic identity, mission and vision
  • Parishes engaging community, society, and world
  • Church and parish in transition

It is quite remarkable that INSPIRE has focused on those devoting their lives to ministry. It is gratifying to be seriously considered for the work we as a pastoral staff are accomplishing.

Pastor, Chicago North Side parish