Portrait by Ellen Marello
Catholic Theological Union (CTU) opened in 1968 as a bold initiative of three Catholic religious communities to create a new model for seminary education based on inclusivity at all levels. It now comprises 23 religious orders, attracting students from Catholic and other Abrahamic traditions from around the world: men in formation for priesthood, religious and lay women and men, collaborating and studying together.
I am enormously proud of our board. We have evolved from passively receiving reports into a group that takes as a primary responsibility its duty to question rigorously those in leadership positions with a view to informing and formulating strategic decisions.
The precipitating factor was the recognition that CTU’s finances had not been made as clear to the board as would ideally have been the case. The board took prompt action to replace leadership and to improve our financial condition, selling underutilized real estate and retiring outstanding loans. It is now routine to evaluate where we are as a school and board and to envision where we need to change.
The most important thing for a trustee is not to be shy about asking questions. It is our duty. If anything does not appear to be what it should be or could be, or if anything does not seem to make sense, we must pursue it.