Schmersal named vice president of Mission and Ministry
Cynthia Schmersal has been named vice president of Mission and Ministry at Creighton University, effective Sept. 30. She is currently vice president for Mission and Ministry at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I am excited to welcome Schmersal to the Creighton and wider communities and to my leadership team,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “She is well-versed in Jesuit education and mission. For nearly 25 years, she has been a student, volunteer, employee, parishioner, and retreatant with various Jesuit apostolates.”
Schmersal succeeds Eileen-Burke Sullivan, STD, who, earlier this year, announced she would retire from the position once a successor was named. Burke-Sullivan has served as vice provost and then vice president of Mission and Ministry at Creighton since 2014.
“I am deeply grateful to Dr. Burke-Sullivan for her valuable service and insight during this national search process, and for her years of dedicated leadership in sharing, furthering, and championing Creighton’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and values,” Fr. Hendrickson said.
Schmersal earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in secondary education, from Xavier University in 2002, a master’s degree in ministry from Creighton in 2013, and a master’s degree in management from Rockhurst in 2018. She will receive her Doctor of Education from Rockhurst in August.
She has been at Rockhurst University for the last 15 years, and, prior to that, was an area director and then assistant director for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Midwest in Detroit.
She started at Rockhurst in 2007 as assistant director of Campus Ministry and was named director in 2015. When Rockhurst reconstituted the Office of Mission and Ministry in 2018, Schmersal was appointed as its vice president. Her office oversees Campus Ministry, the Center for Service Learning, Community Relations and Outreach, Mission and Identity, and the Prosperity Center.
In her current position, Schmersal has spearheaded mission awareness and formation for students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni; led hiring for mission efforts; supported diversity, equity, and inclusion, including assisting in the establishment of the DEI office and the hiring of the first chief inclusion officer; served on the university’s strategic plan committee, chairing the section on mission and values; and led Rockhurst’s Mission Priority Examen process, among other responsibilities.
She completed the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Ignatian Colleagues Program in 2021. She serves on the executive committee of the board of trustees for the Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City and on the board of Alpha Sigma Nu, the international Jesuit honor society.
Schmersal is a member of the President’s Cabinet at Rockhurst, serves as the Mission and Ministry Committee cabinet liaison to the board, and is on the steering committee for the University Planning and Budgeting Committee. She also has served on the Student Success Network and the Staff Advisory Council. She received Rockhurst’s Staff Member of the Year award in 2014.