Virtuous Leadership in an Ecclesial Context: Grounding the Vocation of Leaders through the Virtues (VLEC)​

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  • Project Duration:

    September 15, 2019 - June 30, 2020

  • Core Funding Area:

    Character Virtue Development

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  • Amount Awarded:


Director: Dr. Max Bonilla

Institution: Fundacion Universidad Francisco de Vitoria

At the dawn of the third millennium, the Catholic Church finds itself at a crossroads. Many of its difficulties arose from a failure of leadership, which has had an immense impact on the Church and its followers around the world. 

To address its current crises, the Catholic Church needs courageous leaders. With that in mind, this project seeks to promote a life of virtuous leadership among bishops, priests, seminarians, and laypeople. The project is a joint venture between the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation and the Expanded Reason Institute (cofounded by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Ratzinger Institute in 2019). Together, they will create a program on Virtuous Leadership (VL) in Rome for bishops, pontifical universities, and international institutions connected to the Holy See.

Directed by Dr. Max Bonilla, this project consists of two phases. Both will promote the practical application and cultivation of virtues in leaders within the Church. This grant includes three major elements:

  1. a Congress for bishops and international institutions;
  2. three full-day seminars for faculty and students of pontifical universities; and 
  3. the preparation for the development of a Virtuous Leadership diploma program.

If successful, this initiative has the potential to reach large populations across the Catholic world.


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