Catholic Generation X school leaders: Their impact on the Catholic identity of the Catholic school

Noelle Beale, Fordham University


This qualitative study examined the religious background and spiritual formation of current Catholic Generation X Catholic school leaders to determine if they were adequately prepared to be competent in leading the Catholic school and what are their understandings of the principal's role in the development and sustainment of the Catholic identity of the school. The study was conducted in two of the dioceses that encompass and surround the New York metropolitan area. The researcher gathered data from 33 participants in an on-line survey and then used purposeful sampling to select interview participants. Pastors and a board member were also interviewed. The data included information gathered from an analysis of documents, websites, and building artifacts viewed during an extensive tour of each school. The data revealed several findings. The study participants each defined Catholic identity as a means of living through words and actions and that it is a visible aspect of the school. Each leader spoke of Catholic identity as something that is innately within them and within their leadership. These leaders did not have formal religious formation beyond Catholic elementary and secondary schooling, yet each believes that their role as the spiritual leader of the school is paramount to the success of the school. They spoke about Catholic identity as a non-negotiable way of life through which they see their role. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher offers recommendations to enhance educational practice for the future to better serve the needs of these school leaders.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Beale, Noelle, "Catholic Generation X school leaders: Their impact on the Catholic identity of the Catholic school" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3552554.