Leaders for the Future
Interest Free Loan Program
The Leaders for the Future Program supports college – level study in order to develop future parish ministry and and Catholic school leaders in the Diocese of Joliet.
The programs are designed to recognize the importance of supporting future lay leaders engaged in graduate study for ministry in the Diocese. The objective is to promote professional development of parish and school leaders.
The Catholic Education Foundation offers either interest-free loans which lay ministers pay back through service in the Diocese OR full reimbursement for online certificates granted by the Institute for Pastoral Initatives.
Leaders for the Future Program Options:
Interest Free Loan Program for Graduate Studies
Three year graduate programs have the following loan amounts:
First year applicant: $1500
Second year: $2,000
Third year: $2,500
The corresponding loan amount will be reduced for each year of service in the Diocese of Joliet after the program is completed. A lay minister who borrows for three years, completes a degree and serves for three years in the Diocese of Joliet would be free of any obligation.
Applicants must have completed at least one full year of employment with the diocese, a parish or a Catholic elementary or secondary school in a professional position. Volunteers with at least three years of demonstrated leadership abilities within the parish setting and a specialization in catechetical ministry may also be considered. Preference will be given to full-time employees. Part-time employess and volunteers will be considered if funding is available. Those meeting this criteria are encouraged to apply.
Applicant funding priorities are as follows. Please note that funding will not be granted to those pursuing a Doctorate Degree.
- First priority will be given to parish catechetical leaders (principals/assistant principals and directors/coordinators of religious education, youth ministry and adult faith formation) pursuing a Master's Degree in divinity, pastoral studies, religious education, theology, etc. Teachers pursuing a "Type 75" Principal Certificate will also receive primary consideration.
- Second priority will be to those parish catechetical leaders and qualified volunteer catechetical leaders seeking a Bachelor's Degree after a minimum of 60 credit hours have been completed. (Volunteers, note above criteria.) Applicants seeking a Bachelor's Degree will require the prior approval of the diocesan Director of Religious Education.
- Third priority will be given to teachers pursuing a ministerial degree, such as one of those listed above, or administrative certificates, such as curriculum coordinators, with preference in the subjects of science, math and bilingual education as well as special education, music and liturgy. Funding will not be available for teachers who do not meet the stated criteria.
Statements of Support
Applications must include two statements of support from the employee's supervisor and the applicant's home parish pastor, with an explanation of the leadership benefits that the diocese will receive from the employee when the degree program is completed.
- There are two different applications. New candidates should complete the Application for 1st Year Applicants and returning candidates should complete the Application for 2nd and 3rd Year Applicants.
- The Loan Agreement Form needs to be completed by all candidates.
- Completed applications are due on June 1; The application process is now closed. No exceptions will be made.
- Applications should be submitted to Jane Lagger at email@example.com or mailed to:
Catholic Education Foundation
Attn: Jane Lagger
Blanchette Catholic Center
16555 Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403
- Loan funding may be offered but is not guaranteed. Please note that application and granting does not extend beyond the stated one-year period. Applications are required and reviewed on an annual basis by the Awards Committee of the Catholic Education Foundation. Funding is limited and all applicants may not be accepted.
The Catholic Education Foundation in partnership the with The University of Dayton will provide FULL reimbursement for catechetical leaders seeking to complete on line certificates. Dayton University offers online certificate that would be beneficial to parish lay ministers in "Foundations of Leadership Ministry" , "Adult Formation Leadership", and "Catecheis Program" .
Applications must have completed at least one full year of employment with a parish. Volunteers with at least three yeasr of demonstrated leadership abilities within the parish setting and a specialization in a catechetical ministry may also be considered. Preference will be given to full-time employees. part time employees and volunteers will be considered if funding is available.