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Our Learning Communities

A Learning Community is a group of ten to twelve pastors and their leadership teams. This group comes together four times over 18 months to learn, collaborate and strategically plan the future of their parishes. A Learning Community is not a program or a one-time conference, rather it is a unique process that promotes innovation and invites teams to grow with one another in making disciples.

4 Meetings

Comprised of ten pastors, each bringing two to four key leaders, a Learning Community meets four times over 18 months. Every meeting  focuses on a specific topic necessary for transforming a parish into a dynamic disciple making community. Areas covered include accompaniment, volunteer development, change management, reaching the next generation and evangelization.

3 Days

Each gathering runs from 1pm on a Monday through noon on Wednesday. Over the three days teams are guided through a process of evaluating current outcomes, exploring new ideas and creating a plan for the future. A unique aspect of our process is the community experience. Parish teams build supportive relationships, learn, collaborate and grow stronger as they work together.

18 Months

Lasting change requires time, commitment and consistency. Over the 18 month journey, leaders are able to identify the areas of greatest need, try new ideas and adjust their plans in order to find the right fit for their parish. Our research shows that leaders who stay committed to this process see significant breakthroughs in making dynamic disciples. 

A New Catholic Approach

Our learning communities connect vibrant pastoral teams in a unique process that accelerates parish vitality and growth. Watch the video to the left to learn more.

Do you know a pastor who has a vision for
parish renewal? We want to meet him!


What is a Learning Community?

A Learning Community is a group of ten to twelve pastors and their pastoral teams. This group comes together to share with one another and to learn from one another. A Learning Community is not a program or a one-time conference, rather it is a unique process that invites teams to grow with one another.

How does a pastor get chosen by Parish Catalyst to be a part of a Learning Community?

Parishes are nominated to be a part of a Learning Community. After a nomination is received, a member of the Parish Catalyst team interviews that pastor to determine if he would be an appropriate fit for our process.

Can a pastor nominate himself?

Absolutely. In fact, we encourage a pastor to nominate himself. See our nomination page for more details.

Where do you meet?

All meetings are hosted at a central location in the city that they take place.

How many times do you meet?

Each Learning Community will meet four times over the course of 18 months.

What is a parish team committing to by agreeing to be part of a Learning Community?

By agreeing to be a part of a Learning Community, a parish is committing to four three-day sessions over the course of 18 months, regular follow-ups and check-ins by the Parish Catalyst staff, and an open mind and heart ready to learn and grow their parish.

Who makes up a parish team?

The initial fee covers the cost of the pastor and two team members. However, a pastor may bring additional team members. A pastor should bring team members who are innovative thinkers and who are able to be honest about their parish life.

What happens at a Parish Catalyst Learning Community gathering?

Over the course of three days, participants will hear from thought provoking speakers and leaders, discuss these ideas in an innovative environment, have the opportunity to collaborate with other parish teams, and work to develop strategic plans to strengthen the life of their parish.

What results can I expect?

Parish Catalyst is grounded in extensive research and has proven to accelerate original thinking in parish ministry. Parishes that have completed their time with a Parish Catalyst Learning Community have shown measurable growth and positive change in small groups, volunteer development, engagement of young adults, evangelization and all areas relating to discipleship. Please click HERE to see our research.

Does it cost to join a Learning Community?

Yes. The cost per parish team is $5,000, which includes meetings, resources and meals for a pastor and up to three staff.  If you would like to break this into two payments, the cost is $6,000. Scholarships are available for under resources parishes.

Do you have more questions? Contact us at or give us a call at 908.769.5400.