Programs in Catholic Educational Leadership

The courses offered by the Catholic Educational Leadership (CEL) Program, in collaboration with the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership (ICEL), seek to meet the specific needs of students who are preparing to serve the Catholic educational community, K-graduate school, as teachers, administrators, or auxiliary personnel. Course content includes the dimension of "call, covenant, and mission."
For more information about the Catholic Educational Leadership program, please visit: http://www.usfca.edu/soe/ctrs_institutes/icel/

Master's Programs for Teachers

The program leading to the Master of Arts in Catholic School Teaching requires the successful completion of 30 credits of coursework, including eight core courses (24 credits):

  • TEC 610 Learning and Teaching 
  • CEL 640 History and Principles of Catholic Education
  • CEL 642 Moral Development 
  • CEL 644 Curriculum and Instruction Leadership in Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 646 Methods and Materials in Teaching Religion in Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 648 Spirituality of the Educator 
  • CEL 690 M.A. Culminating Project 

and one of the following Teacher Education courses:

  • TEC 612 Multiple Subject Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Language Arts in the Intermediate Grades 
  • TEC 613 Multiple Subject Curriculum and Instruction: Math & Science 
  • TEC 614 Single Subject Curriculum and Instruction: English & Social Studies 
  • TEC 615 Single Subject Curriculum and Instruction: Math & Science 

The candidate and the faculty advisor on the basis of the student’s academic and professional background and career interests plan each student’s schedule of coursework jointly. To enhance their programs, students may select 6 units of electives from courses offered within other programs in the School of Education. A culminating project, required of all master's students, is designed to stimulate students to synthesize knowledge and skills gained from the program's core areas, as well as from the elective program.

Master's and Credential Programs for Administrators 

The program leading to the Master of Arts in Catholic Educational Leadership requires the completion of 30 credits of course work, including eight core courses (24 credits):

  • CEL 640 History and Principles of Catholic Education
  • CEL 641 Private School Law
  • CEL 642 Moral Development 
  • CEL 644 Curriculum and Instruction Leadership in Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 650 Catholic Leadership and Educational Administration 
  • CEL 651 Business and Finance for Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 653 Personnel Leadership in Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 690 M.A. Culminating Project 

The remaining 6 credits are earned in elective courses selected from among those in Catholic Educational Leadership or those offered by other master's degree programs in the School of Education. The program is offered three semesters during the academic year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. The SummerWest program includes a wide variety of course offerings; the summer faculty are from many parts of the country and bring expertise in theory and practice in elementary and secondary Catholic schools. Some of the core courses in this program fulfill requirements for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential in California.

Doctoral Program

The program leading to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Catholic Educational Leadership prepares its students for effective leadership in Catholic education. The curriculum is designed to allow students the opportunity to explore additional areas of interest, such as Learning and Instruction, International and Multicultural Education, Organization and Leadership, and Technology.

The doctoral program consists of 60 credits beyond the master’s degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students will complete 60 credits of doctoral coursework that satisfy the following requirements: General Education core (12 credits), Major Specialization in Catholic Educational Leadership core (24 credits), Elective courses (12 credits), and Dissertation core (12 credits).

The 12 credits of General Education core are:

  • GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics
  • GEDU 708 Research Methods in Education
  • One Foundation course selected in consultation with the student’s advisor
  • One Advanced Research course selected in consultation with the student’s advisor


The 24 credits of major specialization in Catholic Educational Leadership include the following core courses:

  • CEL 740 History and Principles of Catholic Education
  • CEL 741 Private School Law
  • CEL 742 Moral Development 
  • CEL 744 Curriculum and Instructional Leadership in Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 750 Catholic Leadership and Educational Administration 
  • CEL 751 Business and Finance for Catholic Schools 
  • CEL 753 Personnel Leadership in Schools 

The 12 credits of the elective courses may be drawn from other CEL courses not listed above and any other graduate program in the School of Education with the approval of the student’s doctoral advisor. Students who have completed the Master of Arts degree through the Catholic Educational Leadership Program may pursue a 12-credit block minor in another program within the School of Education. Students should consult their advisor concerning the minor requirements.

The dissertation, which is undertaken after the completion of coursework, is a demonstration of the candidate's ability to bring theoretical and practical knowledge to the solution of a significant educational problem, which will contribute to Catholic education. The 12 credits associated with the development, research, and writing of a doctoral dissertation are:

  • CEL 700 Introduction to Doctoral Research: Catholic School Education 
  • CEL 709 Dissertation Proposal Seminar 
  • CEL 790 Dissertation Proposal Development 
  • CEL 791 Dissertation Research and Writing 

Students complete the program by successfully defending their dissertation research in Dissertation Research and Writing (CEL 791).

Supplementary Admission Requirements for Catholic Educational Leadership Students

In addition to the admission prerequisites to the School of Education, CEL applicants (M.A. or Ed.D.) are required to submit the following:

  • Evidence of three years minimum Catholic school teaching experience at the elementary, secondary, or collegiate level.
  • In addition to the two School of Education form letters of recommendation, two letters testifying to commitment to ministry in Catholic education

Certificate of Advanced Study: Catholic Educational Leadership

The Certificate of Advanced Study in Catholic Educational Leadership is a 12-unit program specifically designed for Catholic school leaders who already have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Those whose degree is in educational administration from a secular university would gain a distinctly Catholic perspective. Those whose master’s degree is in a subject area other than educational administration would receive preparation in essential areas of educational administration within a Catholic school context. Required courses include:

  • CEL 640 History and Principles of Catholic Education
  • CEL 641 Private School Law
  • CEL 650 Catholic Leadership and Educational Administration 
  • CEL 651 Business and Finance for Catholic Schools