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Virtual Learning Communities

Ignite a vision for dynamic discipleship in your parish. Learn and collaborate with other great leaders around the country. Develop a clear strategy and plan for renewal at your parish.

6 Teams gather online 4 times over 18 Months. Through learning, collaboration and strategic planning, parish innovation is ignited and implemented, producing measurable change.

Six Teams

Six Teams

A unique aspect of our process is the cohort experience. Comprised of six parish teams, a Learning Community leverages the power of collaboration. While participants are learning about dynamic discipleship, they are also gleaning from one other. We believe that learning and sharing ideas with other leaders is a key to moving from good to great. Participants build supportive relationships, collaborate and grow stronger as they work together.

Four Sessions

Four Sessions

Each of the 4 meetings focuses on a specific aspect of parish renewal. Topics covered include leadership development, relational discipleship, change management, reaching the next generation and evangelization. Every gathering ends with each team creating a strategic plan for the next six months. When the teams come back together they evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and what changes need to be made.

Parish Renewal

Parish Renewal

We often over estimate what we can do in the short term, while we underestimate what God can do in the long term. Lasting change requires time, commitment and consistency. Over the eighteen month journey, parish leaders are able to identify the areas of greatest need, try new ideas and create a long term strategy for the future. The Learning Community process has consistently helped parishes renew and grow. Join us!

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

Virtual Learning Community FAQs

What is a Virtual Learning Community?

A Virtual Learning Community is a cohort of 6 pastors, each with a team of key staff and laity.  This group meets via Zoom 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.

How do you meet virtually?

All Virtual Learning Community meetings are via Zoom. Through the Zoom “Breakout Rooms” feature, we are able to have large group sessions, but also put leaders into virtual small groups to discuss and collaborate together. Parish leaders will also have the opportunity to be in mixed groups with leaders from the other parishes. This technology has proven to be an excellent fit for our process.

What is a parish committing to by joining a Learning Community?

By joining a Learning Community, a parish is committing to four, two-day sessions over the course of 18 months and a check-in call between sessions. The pastor must participate in every session. We ask participants to come with an open mind and heart, ready to learn, grow and change.

How many times do you meet?

Each Learning Community will meet four times over the course of 18 months, with a check-in call between those meetings.

Who makes up a parish team?

Each team is comprised of a pastor along with team members who help fulfill the mission of the parish. These may be staff or key volunteers. The most important characteristics of participants are: a desire to learn, a willingness to embrace change and a desire to follow through in implementing their plan. A parish may have as many participants as they wish.

What happens in a Virtual Learning Community session?

Over the course of two days, teams will hear from experts, thought leaders and practitioners on various aspects of parish renewal. However, the meetings are not merely informational, they also include times for evaluation, processing ideas and creation of action steps to implement change. At the conclusion of every session, teams leave with a new/revised six month strategic plan for their parish. Click here for an overview of the content of the 4 Sessions.

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

Pastors are either nominated or they apply themselves. After a nomination/application is received, a member of the Parish Catalyst team will interview the pastor to determine if he would be an appropriate fit for our process. The two key traits that we look for in leaders are creativity and courage. Regardless of the size of the parish, if a pastor is willing to think creatively and act courageously, they will excel in a Parish Catalyst Learning Community. Click here to apply.

Can a pastor nominate himself?

Absolutely. In fact, we encourage it!  See our nomination page for more details.

What is the cost of joining a Learning Community?

The cost per parish team is $5,000, which includes unlimited staff participation in 4 meetings, check in calls between the sessions and ongoing access to all resources. If a parish pays the entire fee prior to the learning community, the cost is $4,000.

What results can I expect?

Parish Catalyst is grounded in extensive research and has proven to ignite and accelerate renewal in parishes. Parishes that have completed a Parish Catalyst Learning Community have shown measurable growth and positive change in parishioner engagement, small groups, volunteer development, young adults, evangelization and all areas relating to discipleship. To see the statistics from participating parishes, CLICK HERE for our Impact Report.

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

Father Mallon
Bishop Michael

“These gatherings have been an incredible blessing to our parish.”

Father James Mallon
St. Benedict Parish, Nova Scotia

“Parish Catalyst has allowed us to be truly intentional in our planning, like we never have before.”

Bishop Michael Saporito
Newark, NJ

“The unique process of gathering with clergy and lay leaders from parishes across the country helped us discover new strategies for approaching ministry. The dynamics of collaboration and brainstorming were excellent, and we are applying them within our own parish team and community.”

Father Jack Ledwon
St. Joseph’s University Parish
Buffalo, NY