An Essential Model of Pastoral Leadership Critical for Engaging the New Evangelization

Helmut A Wittreich, Fordham University


Ministry in today’s U.S. Catholic parishes requires a continual process of introspection and a keen awareness of the dynamic community within which it is immersed. It is a challenge to listen to the heartbeat of the people. Church leaders, especially pastors, through the advent of the new evangelization, are being summoned to engage society in a way that hearkens back to the beginning of Christianity itself. As the Church looks to the past for clues to engage with the future, it becomes exceedingly clear that change and adaptation to it must be foremost in the Church’s mind if it is to weather the storms that will continually present themselves during the long journey homeward. I propose that the possession of five essential core competencies will lead to fruitful pastoral leadership in the new evangelization. They correspond to five basic contours of human nature that I have branded as the C5 Leadership Model. They are the creative, the collaborative, the communicative, the contemplative, and the charismatic. I suggest that, individually, each contributes a piece to the overall makeup of the effective pastoral minister equipped with the tools to meaningfully engage contemporary society. My work involved an ethnographic study of the Church of the Nativity, a Roman Catholic parish located in Timonium, Maryland, focusing on parish leadership, its inherent movement, and effectiveness. Practical field work is essential for the task of leadership modeling. The approach calls for the evaluation of the C5 model with functioning leaders within the parish’s overall structure. This ethnographic study was accomplished through the qualitative evaluation of observations, surveys, and individual interview results of leaders within the parish. A quantitative methodology using the lexical hypothesis of linguistic counting was employed to support the qualitative findings.

Subject Area

Religion|Religious history|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Wittreich, Helmut A, "An Essential Model of Pastoral Leadership Critical for Engaging the New Evangelization" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10842704.