Emmaus Leadership Academies

The Emmaus Story in Luke’s Gospel serves as a guiding narrative for the Emmaus Leadership Academies. We believe that experiences of encounter, accompaniment, conversation, reflection, and blessing, form the foundation of strong Catholic school leadership.


Program Goals

The 10-month academies focus on leadership development in four critical domains as defined by the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools:

  • Catholic & Mission Identity
  • Governance & Leadership
  • Academic Excellence
  • Operational Vitality

Emmaus leaders select a domain-specific academy, during which they learn from national experts and executive coaches on the given topic. In addition to content conversations, the experience involves two in-person retreats and executive coaching with a professional learning community. These focused conversations strengthen leaders' capacity to lead their Catholic school in the chosen domain and provide them with practical training to become better stewards of their calling.

Each 10-month Emmaus Leadership Academy consists of the following components:

Summer: The beginning three-day, two-night retreat and workshop are held at this time. 

Fall: Professional education and content are delivered virtually to participants, who connect monthly in small groups with national experts in Catholic education. Coaches support participants as they implement learned strategies in their school communities.

Winter: The second in-person three-day, two-night experience that includes professional education, personal faith formation, and continued community development is held at this time. This winter experience is held at the Connors Center, in Dover, Mass.

Spring: Continued professional education is delivered virtually, and monthly conversations and coaching sessions continue with a national expert.

Emmaus 3

Mission & Catholic Identity: Transforming School Culture

Vibrant school cultures with a laser-like focus on mission and vision have the power to transform the trajectories of children, families, and communities, but they must be envisioned, designed with intentionality, and cultivated. Learning experiences in this academy center on identifying and assessing school culture, determining leverage points to shift culture in service of the school's mission and vision, managing resistance, building coherence, and fostering relationships in the midst of change. (NSBECS 5.2, 5.6, 6.2, 6.7)

Emmaus 2

Operational Vitality: Enrollment Management and School Finance 

This academy supports leaders in understanding the art and science of enrollment management efforts, while also deepening their understanding of school finance. Learning experiences center on strengthening your brand, clarifying marketing pillars, enhancing recruitment strategies, improving financial literacy, and how to leverage capacity of team and board members for financial viability. (NSBECS 10.1, - 10.8, 13.1-13.3)

Emmaus 3

Governance & Leadership Academy: Board Management & Strategic Planning

Leveraging the talents of your board members and understanding how to manage this critical group of stakeholders, while also having an eye for the mission and vision of your Catholic school, are essential skills a school leader must embrace. This academy provides leaders with the essentials of effective board management, and coaches leaders how to execute the strategic planning process. (NSBECS 10.1–10.8, 13.1–13.3)

Emmaus 4

Academic Excellence Academy: Coaching Teachers

Effective coaching of teachers keeps student learning at the heart of the work in our Catholic schools. In this academy, principals hone their skills in the following areas:

  •      observing teachers and providing feedback that will
  •      advance student learning outcomes;
  •      examining coaching cycles;
  •      making data-informed decisions; and
  •      examining student work for performance.

(NSBECS 7.1–7.10, 8.3, 8.4)


The cost to participate in the selected Emmaus Leadership Academy is $1,000 per person. Leaders are encouraged to utilize Title II funding to support enrollment in Emmaus. Scholarships are available for interested leaders unable to access Title funds for this opportunity.

Participation in each academy is limited to 30 individuals. Schools may register up to three team members per school, one of which must be the school leader. Registration will be open until April 30 of each year, or until all spaces are filled. Notifications will be sent on a rolling basis, and any registrations beyond capacity will be placed on a waitlist.

The Emmaus Series has been among the highlights of my tenure as principal. Whether it’s the opportunity to learn from fellow Catholic administrators, or the wide range of remarkably relevant and useful sessions, or their strong focus on the National Standards and Benchmarks, the program offers 'the whole package.' I cannot urge you enough to take advantage of this outstanding group of mentors, professors and, yes, friends.
Kevin Collins, Principal, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Dover, NH

Since 2012, the Emmaus Leadership Series continues to connect:


Teachers and Staff


School Leaders