The Mission Office in Catholic higher education: Response to identity and mission

Francisco Nicolas Pelito Magnaye, Fordham University


The Mission Office is a new structural administrative center slowly being established by a growing number of American Catholic colleges and universities over the last decade. One of its objectives is to address Catholic Higher Education's identity and mission concerns in the light of declining membership in sponsoring religious congregations. The purpose of this qualitative research is to look at the Mission Office, considered as a direct response to the crisis of vocations, as well as the guiding principles behind its establishment and present the findings. Since the early 1960s, the climate in Catholic Higher Education has dramatically changed. The distinctive gifts of lay leadership together with the continuing evolution of Catholic Higher Education's founding charisms have been the major change agents. This research probes into the guiding principles in the creation of this office. This work revolves around these six major criteria, namely, (a) Rationale; (b) Staff; (c) Programs and Effectiveness; (d) Resources; (e) Challenges in the Office; (f) Future. Furthermore, a comparative analysis and presentation of the views and responses of the president and mission officers from the same institution was made to determine similarities and/or differences, if any. Next to this are the overall significant similar or differing responses of all 9 interviewees. This research attempts to understand who the heads of this office are, why they were the ones chosen for the position, and how the creators of this office visualize its role and impact in the years to come. In addition, it also ventured to crystallize the goals, issues, challenges, opportunities, forecast of the future, and then present the emerging paradigms therein. The researcher is a Filipino Roman Catholic priest belonging to the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul (or the Vincentians). He did this because, going back home to the Philippines after his doctorate, he will be joining forces with all other Catholic administrators and educators who themselves own, administer, and sponsor their colleges and universities. Thus, in the exploration of the Mission Office he hopes to possibly relate it with and apply it in his own Philippine framework and milieu.

Subject Area

Theology|School administration|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Magnaye, Francisco Nicolas Pelito, "The Mission Office in Catholic higher education: Response to identity and mission" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3265577.