Institutionalizing Mission Engagement and Leadership Formation at a Dominican University

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Developing mission-centered students, faculty, and staff leaders is a common goal among Catholic higher educational institutions. This article shares how Barry University’s Dominican heritage informs its strategies for leadership development. A review of the last decade at Barry illuminated four essential elements that serve to institutionalize mission engagement: (1) the development of mission-driven leaders, (2) an institutional discernment process, (3) the strategic prioritization of mission education, and (4) the creation of affirming organizational structures. Increased collaboration between campus leaders and the university’s founding congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, helped defi ne the role of mission education as a strategic priority. Today, models for leadership formation, highly informed by a Dominican charism for higher education, manifest in the fabric of institutional structures and campus programming.

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