Catholic School Leadership (Certificate)

Educating current and future educators is a pillar of Saint Mary’s — one we have been committed to for over a century. Grounded in our Lasallian Catholic mission and identity, Saint Mary’s empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. The Catholic School Leadership graduate certificate is designed to provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to become an ethical leader and changemaker in today’s dynamic world of Catholic education. 

At Saint Mary’s, you will learn to serve with character and integrity. Your personal, professional, and spiritual growth will flourish.

Learn to Lead with Confidence and Character

Designed for busy adult learners, the graduate certificate in Catholic school leadership is ideal for both current and aspiring teachers, leaders, and school administrators. Courses are fully online, giving you the flexibility you need. 

The graduate certificate in Catholic school leadership can be an additional credential for students who have already earned a graduate degree or be used as a pathway to earn the M.A. in Education. In this certificate program, you will be prepared to lead with character and to foster the educational and spiritual flourishing of your community.* 

Students will be formed to grow as leaders who are prepared to serve students and support faculty with curriculum, pedagogy, assessments, and operations as well as serve as faith leaders in their communities. By blending theory and practice, you will learn techniques to foster and implement positive changes. You will graduate from this certificate program prepared to lead and serve your students, families, colleagues, and community.

Learn more about Saint Mary’s Character and Virtue Education

Program Highlights

  • Mentorship program provides you with personalized guidance to develop, nurture, and support your educational journey and professional goals.
  • Spiritual retreat at the beginning of the program provides an opportunity for you to engage with faculty and peers, creating a unique experience for personal, professional, and spiritual growth.
  • Cohort model provides a community experience with a focus on a shared learned experience throughout the entire program, building relationships and a supportive learning environment.
  • Courses taught by experienced faculty with expertise in the contemporary reality of American Catholic education who also have experience serving as leaders of Catholic schools. 
  • Designed with the working adult in mind, offering flexible course schedules, supportive academic and student support, and the opportunity for you to meet life’s obligations while meeting your professional goals.

"Catholic dioceses need quality teacher preparation. Saint John Baptist de La Salle founded the brothers to be teachers, and Saint Mary's continues this tradition of preparing faith-based educational leaders today."

-  the Most Rev. John Quinn, AFSC, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester

"Having been a student in Catholic school for 25 years, I know firsthand the value of Catholic education. Offering the necessary support and flexibility for busy adult learners, this graduate certificate is intended to be a pathway for teachers and staff in Catholic schools to further their own education. Saint Mary's is proud to contribute to forming the next generation of Catholic school leaders."

 - Michael Hahn, Ph.D., assistant dean of the School of Education


Meet Your Current and Future Goals

Catholic school leaders serve as spiritual leaders and apply the Catholic faith to every aspect of a Catholic school and its community. In the 2020-21 school year, there were 5,981 primary and secondary Catholic schools, serving over 1.6 million students in the U.S.1 The demand for professional, ethical leaders is needed from rural to inner city schools across the country and in our own communities. In Minnesota, there are 190 Roman Catholic schools for the 2021-22 school year, serving over 46,603 students.2

Continue Flourishing at Saint Mary's. The Saint Mary’s Accelerators are stackable graduate certificates you can take to build a complete master’s degree. Credits earned in this graduate certificate program can be applied toward the following convenient, affordable master’s degree programs: 

M.A. in Education All credits can be applied to this program. 

Program Outcomes

  • Articulate a clear identity as a Catholic educator and spiritual leader grounded in a Catholic theology and the history of American Catholic education. 
  • Holistically apply Catholic faith, culture, and life to curriculum, pedagogy, assessments, and operations. 
  • Critically assess school structures, systems, and culture, ensuring they align with Catholic mission and values. 
  • Demonstrate professional, ethical, and intentional leadership practices. 
  • Establish best practices for responsible stewardship, communication, and accountability. 

1Digest of Education Statistics, education, tables, figures, charts, schools, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, outcomes, federal programs at (visited January 31, 2022).

2Best Roman Catholic Private Schools in Minnesota (2021-22) at (visited January 31, 2022).


Michael Hahn, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean of Education

School of Education

Core Assistant Professor

LaSalle Hall - TC Campus, LSH 166

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5150

Michael Hahn Ph.D.