In order to transmit a legacy, one needs to hand it over personally, to touch the one to whom one wants to give, to relay, this inheritance.
— Pope Francis

What is Formation?

Formation is a process that invites leaders in Catholic ministries to articulate and integrate the spiritual insights and practical concerns of the Catholic Tradition into the organizational fabric of their organizations. Formation nurtures a community of leaders that genuinely identifies with the Tradition’s core values, appreciates the distinctive richness of the ministries, and advances an organizational culture that reflects the Tradition’s deepest aspirations for human flourishing.

Organizational Background

In 2005, the Ministry Leadership Center (MLC) was launched in response to significant shifts in the organizational life of Catholic health care. As the presence of religious women, the traditional culture-bearers of the ministry decreased, MLC was charged with implementing a ministry leadership formation program that could ensure the emergence of a new, confident cadre of leaders. This diverse group of  leaders would be the culture-bearers of Catholic ministries into the future.  After over a decade forming leaders, the Center was poised to explore the broader implications of our work.  Through the generous support of the Hilton Foundation, MLC hosted a series of dialogues exploring the realities that are shaping the ministries of health care, education, social services, and international relief and a forward-looking approach to ministry leadership formation. 

Through comprehensive analysis of the dialogues, the Center discovered several key themes that would strengthen and advance leadership formation and mission effectiveness in the ministries.  Those themes have shaped our current offerings.  Through our core staff and a large network of seasoned collaborators across ministry sectors with whom we partner, we work to advance leadership formation and mission effectiveness in four areas:

  • evaluation and measurement
  • strategic planning
  • formation resources and materials
  • consultation on specific topics