Ministry Leadership Program moves to ACU

ACU is pleased to announce the transition of the Ministry Leadership Program (MLP) from Catholic Health Australia to ACU.

The former Director of MLP at Catholic Health Australia, Susan Sullivan, has also transitioned to ACU and will continue to oversee the program as Manager.

ACU Director, Strategic Partnerships and Executive Education, Tom Ristoski said, “We’re delighted to have the Ministry Leadership Program and Susan Sullivan on board, and to strengthen our relationships with our health, aged care and social services partners.”

Catholic Health Australia Chief Executive, Pat Garcia, said it was the next exciting chapter in the highly successful formation program which began life under Catholic Health Australia in 2017.

“As part of our wider Catholic family, ACU is uniquely placed to continue the MLP’s tradition of enabling our leaders to better understand, integrate and live out the distinctive mission, identity and ethos of Catholic health, aged care and social services.

“I am delighted that Susan Sullivan, who launched the program in Australia for Catholic Health Australia, will continue to oversee the program. I am confident that under her steady hand and with the resources and academic excellence of the ACU behind her the MLP will continue to thrive and grow.”

The MLP is a unique formation program designed for Australian Catholic health, aged care and social services leaders to ensure the healing ministry of the Church is faithful to the spirit of the Gospel. This spirit strives for a very special and distinctive approach to the care and compassion provided within all Catholic ministries.

The MLP gives ministry leaders the knowledge, skills and resources to better understand, integrate and live out the distinctive mission, identity and charism of Catholic health, aged care and social services. The program is designed for the most senior leaders of an organisation, to enable those with decision-making responsibility to drive to cultivate a mission-driven culture.

Executive Dean for the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at ACU, Professor Dermot Nestor, said, “The transition of the MLP program to ACU signals a specific and unique addition to the range of formation opportunities readily available to our partners in Catholic health, and other ministries of the church. It complements the innovation agenda that already animates so much of our work and which gives clear expression to the pivotal and unambiguous importance of Mission.”

MLP is a highly practical program where in-session learnings are immediately applied on return to the workplace. This practical integration is central to ongoing leader formation and development, while simultaneously contributing to the mission. Learning also continues between sessions through access to the interactive MLP online platform. Each session offers insight into a particular set of values and concerns of the Catholic tradition and invites participants to make connections to their leadership knowledge and experience, and the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges they face.

While MLP complements other system/formation offerings, the mutual understanding and trust developed through the diverse cross-sector engagement at MLP sessions builds a sector-wide community of leaders better able to collaborate and support the mission.

The next cohort of MLP participants will commence in early 2021. For more information, visit ACU Executive Education.


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