Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership | SMUMN Skip to Main Content

2024 Minneapolis Graduate Commencement information and livestream
First year students submit deposit here

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Online Graduate Certificate in...

Online Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership

Prepare to lead in Catholic education.

Whether you’re destined to lead within the classroom or serve as an administrator in a Catholic school, our online certificate program ensures you’ll be prepared to lead a Christ-centered school with personal character and integrity. At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, our faculty has a deep understanding of the contemporary reality of Catholic school education, which will guide you in nurturing the intellectual and spiritual flourishing of your school’s community. This program provides the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to become an ethical leader and changemaker in today’s dynamic world of Catholic education. 

Designed for busy adults, this one-year program is ideal for current and aspiring K-12 teachers, leaders, and school administrators who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field. Throughout your journey in our program, you’ll grow into a leader who will guide students and aid faculty in curriculum design, pedagogy, assessments, and operations while emerging as a faith leader within your community. By blending theory and practice, you’ll acquire the techniques needed to foster and implement positive change. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be empowered to effectively lead and serve your students, families, colleagues, and community.

For over a century, Saint Mary’s has remained dedicated to educating current and aspiring educators, and this program stands as a testament to this commitment. Here, you’ll cultivate the capacity to serve with character and integrity, fostering the growth of your personal, professional, and spiritual journey. As a leader in character and virtue education, Saint Mary’s will empower your flourishing in all aspects of life. In the spirit of St. John Baptist De La Salle, the patron saint of teachers, you will both study and practice the virtues necessary to guide students as they pursue wisdom and salvation. 

Join us as we embark on a journey to make Catholic schools an enriching place for educational and spiritual growth for all.

Read More




per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time





per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time


Program Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in a unique mentorship program that offers personalized guidance to develop, nurture, and support your educational journey and professional goals.
  • Join us for a spiritual retreat at the beginning of the program that gives you an opportunity to engage with faculty and peers, creating a unique experience for personal, professional, and spiritual growth.
  • The graduate certificate in Catholic School Leadership can complement your existing degree or pave the way toward pursuing your master’s degree in education.
  • Financial aid may be available for this program, helping to ease the stress of paying for courses so you can focus on what matters most.
  • Take your career to the next level by applying earned credits from this certificate program to our M.A. in Education program, saving you time and money as you advance your career. In addition, Saint Mary’s is regionally accredited, meaning that most other colleges and universities will accept our credits for transfer.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You'll Learn

  • Articulate a clear identity as a Catholic educator and spiritual leader grounded in Catholic theology and the history of American Catholic education
  • Holistically apply Catholic faith, culture, and life to curriculum, pedagogy, assessments, and operations
  • Critically and creatively 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

Cultivating leadership in faith-based education.

Both in and out of the classroom, Emily Heydon’s certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Saint Mary’s University supports her growth as a faith-based educator. Armed with a deeper understanding of Church history and the behind-the-scenes work of Catholic School administrators, her education will enable her to act as a resource for her colleagues while helping to strengthen the Catholic identity within her school.

Information Session

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program, the application process, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet program staff, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year.
    • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.

  • Students with transcripts from universities located outside of the United States or a waiver country listed here are required to take and pass English Proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    • A completed application form
    • An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. 
    • A personal statement that includes the following:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
      • description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    • Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability.
    • A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Or electronically:

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.

    Phone: (612) 728-5100

    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788


  • Fall 2024: Friday, Aug. 2, 2024

  • Fall 2024: Sept. 2

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as:

  • Catholic School Leadership Today
  • Leading for Operational Vitality
  • Leading Change in Change in Catholic Schools 
  • Becoming Spiritual Leaders in Catholic Schools

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

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 in rural and inner-city schools across the country and in our own communities.

Catholic School Principal/Superintendent

$79,780 per year*

Related Programs

Advance your career with flexible programs designed for busy professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom: 

    Student Central: Your one-stop for student services.

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students. 

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education. 

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

    Learn more here.

News from the School of Education



1Digest of Education Statistics, education, tables, figures, charts, schools, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, outcomes, federal programs at (visited November 22, 2021).
2Best Roman Catholic Private Schools in Minnesota (2021-22) at (visited November 22, 2021).