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Institute for Catholic Education

Saint Louis University has been serving Catholic education through research and training programs since 1818. Countless religious orders have sent their educators here to sharpen their pedagogical skills, earn advanced degrees and add to their knowledge base.

Created in 2014, SLU’s Institute for Catholic Education has its roots in a 1982 agreement between the University and the Archdiocese of St. Louis to provide a specialized master's degree program for lay Catholic school administrators and lay religious educators. In 2010, a doctoral cohort in Catholic leadership was added. Specialized master's and doctoral degree programs offered to students in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas followed in 2015.

These programs were created so that you may be knowledgeable in matters of faith, professionally prepared and committed to the Church. It is our hope that graduates are capable of carrying out their functions as Catholic educators conscientiously, zealously and diligently. The programs meet the rigorous Missouri state requirements as well as the catechetical requirements for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and the standards from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Catholic Programs in Educational Leadership

  • Master’s in Educational Leadership: This program prepares you to become a Catholic school principal. The program requires 33 to 36 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree and completion of a comprehensive written exam and oral examination. SLU’s M.A. in educational leadership can be tailored to meet initial principal certification for the State of Missouri.
  • Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership: SLU’s specialist degree in educational leadership allows students who hold a master's degree to complete a Catholic educational degree program. It requires 60 credit hours beyond the master's degree, 30 of which must be completed at SLU and can be tailored to meet advanced certification requirements.
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership: This program can prepare you to become an executive level Catholic educational leader. A master's or specialist degree in educational leadership or a related field is required. You will complete 38 credit hours of coursework if you have a master's degree or 28 credit hours if you have a specialist degree. You will also complete a doctoral project, a comprehensive examination and an oral examination in order to graduate. The program can be tailored to meet superintendent certification for the State of Missouri.

The Mission of the Institute for Catholic Education

The Institute for Catholic Education builds upon the Catholic, Jesuit identity of Saint Louis University and promotes the academic and professional development of Catholic school educators and leaders, advances the research and dissemination of knowledge related to the critical issues facing Catholic education, and serves the larger educational needs of the Catholic Church.

The Commitments of the Institute for Catholic Education

  • Provide a focus for research and analysis of central issues affecting Catholic education.
  • Serve as a national clearinghouse for research and practical applications of this research for use by Catholic education practitioners.
  • Expand and strengthen specialized degree programs related directly to Catholic education.
  • Develop effective processes, structures and leadership training for strategic planning, financial management, enrollment management, governance and leadership of Catholic educational systems.
  • Develop new models for effective practices in catechesis, curriculum and instruction, and student and family support processes in Catholic education.
  • Provide professional development in the key areas of catechesis, curriculum and instruction, student and family support processes, and leadership for staff and leaders of Catholic educational systems. Create and sustain effective collaborative partnerships in educational initiatives with archdioceses, dioceses, provinces and Catholic educational leaders.