Spiritual Formation for Catholic Educators: Understanding the Need

  • Earl P
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This article discusses the need for thoughtful programs of spiritual formation for lay educators who staff Catholic schools. The importance of teacher formation in spiritual growth and in knowledge of the Catholic faith and daily living of the Gospel is highlighted. Relevant theory related to the real-world problems of maintaining and developing the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and the growing interest in character education focused on educational leadership, literacy, and teacher formation. These theories serve to establish a foundation to show the need for spiritual formation in teacher preparation. A review of some basic elements of educational leadership establishes the existence of spiritual leadership as a basic component of the role of the Catholic school principal. Recognizing this role of the Catholic school principal as the spiritual leader, who must nurture the spiritual formation of both faculty and students, helps to establish the importance of assisting principals to nurture the spirituality of the teachers within the Catholic school. A review of some major theories of literacy establishes some basic principles of literacy and learning that could serve as a model of how learning takes place. These principles of learning help to establish how spiritual formation and character development can be developed. A review of some issues related to teacher formation considers how literacy and staff development may be intertwined. Finally, reviewing relevant Church documents supports the theory that a teacher's own personal development is an important part of teacher preparation. Thus, theory related to educational leadership, literacy, teacher formation, and Church documents serves as a foundation to establish the need for spiritual development for all adult leaders in school ministry.




Earl, P. H. (2005). Spiritual Formation for Catholic Educators: Understanding the Need. Journal of Catholic Education, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.0804072013

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