Two Siena School of Business leaders have received a significant grant to help develop leadership skills among clergy and lay leaders in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Dean Charles Seifert, Ph.D., and Erik Eddy, Ph.D., professor of management, were recently awarded $499,402 from the New York-based Mother Cabrini Health Foundation (MCHF).
The funds will be used to create a framework of leadership development, particularly for those who address trauma resulting from the opioid epidemic, pandemic PTSD, mental health issues, and sexual abuse.
Their program will center on ongoing formation, providing a combination of focused learning through workshops, sustained coaching, and practical support where participants can bring case studies to share with one another and receive feedback.
Seifert said 15 teams of three people each – a priest and two lay leaders – will participate.
“The program is about developing the skills necessary to interact with parishioners, to be open to conversation in dealing with trauma or important issues in our society such as diversity or serving marginalized people,” said Seifert. “It will be beneficial to the ongoing operations of all parishes in the diocese.”
He and Eddy will conduct a complete needs analysis to enable leaders to support one another as they strive to more effectively serves parishioners in the 13-county diocese.
This program had its genesis in the Diocese’s Sexual Abuse Task Force. The final report released earlier this year indicated a need for communications and leadership development.
The program will also provide opportunities for pastors and lay leaders to come together as a community to learn from teachers, mentors, and facilitators who will provide the time and space to reflect and learn from their experience in ministry.
MCHF is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York state.