Book Announcement: Collaborative Parish Leadership
Collaborative Parish Leadership: Contexts, Models, Theology is a recently released book of essays exploring team-based parish leadership across a variety of cultures. This book of essays is a culmination of learning and experiences drawn from the long-term pastoral and academic partnerships through “Project INSPIRE”, sponsored by the Lily Endowment, Loyola University Chicago and the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the academic exchange partnership entitled “Crossing Over”, a collaborative exchange program between Ruhr Universität in Bochum, Germany along with Catholic dioceses in Northwest Germany and The Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Collaborative Parish Leadership is a comprehensive discussion exploring pastoral and theological implications of parish growth and change in the modern church. The essays offer practical and reflective ways to engage in the emerging life of the global church. Dean of the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Dr. Brian Schmisek, offers a foreword for the essays, and adjunct professor, Dr. Mary Froehle coauthors an essay entitled “Build Collaboration, Build Church?”. The book also contains contributions by former IPS faculty members Dr. William Clark, SJ, founding director of the INSPIRE Project, Daniel Gast, and professor emeritus Dr. Peter Gilmour.
“How can a Catholic parish flourish? How can parishes withstand the prevailing forces of secularization and apathy? How can Catholics best respond to parish closings, clusterings and reconfigurations? What parish model works best to build real community among its members? How can a multicultural parish effectively incorporate all its members? How can pastors and pastoral associates successfully lead the contemporary parish? All of these critical questions are thoughtfully considered and carefully answered in this deeply researched book based on grassroots experience and the most up-to-date scholarship. Collaborative Parish Leadership is an invaluable tool for understanding, supporting, and leading the place that most Catholics think about when they think about church.”
“In the spirit of practical theology, this collection of essays blends excellent social research on parish life with theological reflections that include the perspectives of parishioners themselves. Based on explorations of parish life from the INSPIRE project in Chicago and CrossingOver in Germany, this work exemplifies true collaboration and yields rich harvests of insights that emerge from dialogue that moves across national, diocesan, and university boundaries.”