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The Catalyst Program

Teachers and principals: Pair up and join the online Catalyst program, which is designed to grow the Catholic school leadership skills of aspiring leaders. Teachers, in partnership with their mentoring principal and as members of an online cohort, will take on day-to-day school leadership tasks, explore seminal writings on Catholic education and develop a school improvement project that responds to the needs of the school community.

This comprehensive, national leadership development program is intended to identify aspiring Catholic school leaders in K–12 Catholic schools and provide opportunities, through mentoring and immersion, for Catholic school leadership development. All coursework will be completed online. Participants will not need to attend the Creighton campus.

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Course Details

Audience: Aspiring Catholic school leaders
Method: Online learning
Duration: 4 months
Cost: $150 for protégé (no cost for mentor)
Graduate application: Not required
Credits: See note below

This Course is Offered on the Following Dates

Details will be posted soon. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Limited to 15 mentor/protégé pairs. Mentors are not required to participate in the online learning portion of this program, but they do need to register. After a protégé registers, a signup form will automatically be sent to their indicated mentor.


Protégé teachers will work to:

  • Strengthen their abilities in the domains outlined in Creighton University’s Catholic School Leadership Framework, including faith leadership, strategic leadership and more
  • Explore seminal Church documents on Catholic education as well as existing Catholic educational research
  • Learn from national leaders in Catholic Education
  • Deepen their understanding of their schools’ challenges and explore potential solutions


Participants and their mentors will explore:

  • Mission and faith leadership
  • Organizational leadership
  • Educational leadership
  • Community and political leadership
  • Strategic leadership

Near the end of the program, participants will also present their school improvement projects.

A Note on Course Credit and Professional Development Hours

Mentors are not required to participate in the online learning portion of this program. Principals and teachers who do successfully complete the coursework will earn a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional development, and if they apply and are admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership program at Creighton University or our Educational Leadership master’s program, they may also be eligible for up to three hours of awarded credit in one of these programs.  

The Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership Development is an online, 12-credit program that uses hands-on learning experiences to help participants learn to lead and manage a school. Our Master of Science in Educational Leadership is also an online program. Designed for those looking to move into administrative roles, the 36-hour program goes beyond the administrative aspects of leadership. Students will explore relationship-building, compassion and more essential elements of successful leadership.

The online Catalyst Program will be led by assistant professor and director of Catholic school leadership Ronald Fussell, EdD. A native of New Hampshire, Dr. Fussell has enjoyed a successful career as an educator and leader in both public and Catholic schools. Prior to joining Creighton, Dr. Fussell was the Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Manchester (NH), where he led efforts to improve diocesan curricula, leadership development, teacher and principal evaluation, and Catholic school identity in service to 26 schools and nearly 6,000 Catholic school students in New Hampshire. A passionate advocate for Catholic education, Dr. Fussell is honored to have a national voice regarding important topics such as lay Catholic educator faith formation, Catholic school identity and Catholic school leadership development. Dr. Fussell is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences for Catholic education.

This program is open to teachers and principals currently working in K–12 Catholic schools. The program is ideal for those with strong faith and morals, a commitment to ministry, an entrepreneurial spirit, a commitment to social justice, patience and flexibility, and relational skills.

Continuing education and professional development courses may be cancelled by the attendee in writing up to 7 days before the course begins for a full refund, less a $25 processing fee. No refund will be given 7 days prior to the course. Some courses are not eligible for a refund; these exceptions are noted in specific course descriptions. In the event of a weather related closure, the course will be rescheduled.

Student interactions and viewpoints are a vital part of our rich learning environment. For this reason, Creighton reserves the right to cancel courses in the case of low registration numbers. In this case, registrants will receive a full refund. If a course is cancelled by the University for other non-weather related issues, the student will be notified and a full refund will be processed.


If you have questions please fill out our Contact Us form or call 402.280.4076. We can also provide assistance with group registration or work with you to develop a customized course for a team.