The Respect Life Apostolate has a number of resources to assist priests, deacons, catechists, teachers, parish coordinators and the lay faithful in promoting a Culture of Life in the roles they serve.  Please see the items below and in the navigation menu to the left for resources to help in your role to share the Gospel with others. 

If you cannot find the information you seek, please contact the RLA at or call 314-792-7555.

Know the Issues

RLA Resource Room and Lending Library

Parish Coordinator Information

Pro-Life Merchandise

Other Pro-Life Resources

Special Needs Programs

More than ever before, Catholic schools are seeking ways to effectively address the learning differences and the myriad special needs of students that affect learning. Some special needs are directly related to learning. Others have a different focus, but nevertheless have a significant impact on learning. Whether a school can address a specific special need depends upon the extent it can make adjustments in the instructional process, the resources it has available, and the obligation to balance the individual and the common good.

The goal of addressing special needs should be to enable students to more successfully learn the regular curriculum of the school in the regular classroom setting. For nearly 15 years, the Catholic Education Center has recommended the learning consultant model as the most effective way to address special needs directly related to the learning process. The learning consultant works primarily with classroom teachers to help them understand the special learning needs of specific students and to help them design or select alternative instructional methods, materials, or activities that hold promise of meeting those needs.

The care team model is recommended by the Catholic Education Center as the most effective way to address those students with special needs which have a primary focus other than learning. A care team consists of teachers, administrators, and other knowledgeable persons that work together to collect and analyze information, identify the nature of the special need, and generate possible solutions to address them. The care team model encourages a united effort to increase academic and behavioral performance through consistent implementation of strategies. It also assists students and families with accessing support services outside the school.

The care team model can be effective in addressing needs related to learning in school circumstances where it is not feasible to establish a learning consultant position. In these situations, the care team also functions as a teacher support team by assisting teachers with the design and implementation of instructional modifications. A comprehensive approach to addressing special needs would include a care team and a learning consultant, with the learning consultant serving as the facilitator or as a member of the care team.

The Catholic Education Center has published a manual that gives guidance to schools seeking to implement a learning consultant model for addressing special learning needs. In addition, schools have been provided with a manual that includes information on the mission of addressing special needs, policies and procedures, educational approaches, and professional and community resources.

For additional information contact:

Dr. Cathy Johns
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Catholic Education Center
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119

Saint Louis University Master's Degree Program in Catholic School Leadership

The Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Saint Louis University offers a master’s degree program designed specifically to meet the needs of current and future Catholic school leaders. Four areas of concentration are offered:

  • Administration
    • For current Catholic school administrators wanting to meet certification or accreditation requirements, and for current Catholic school teachers interested in becoming principals, presidents, or associate principals
  • Teacher Leadership
    • For Catholic school teachers serving as academic deans, lead teachers, and other teacher leadership positions
  • Business Operations
    • For current and aspiring Catholic school business managers
  • Institutional Advancement
    • For current and aspiring Catholic school institutional advancement and development professionals

Course content addresses the uniqueness of Catholic schools as religious and private schools. Courses are taught by Saint Louis University instructors who have experience in Catholic education and adjunct instructors holding earned doctorates who are current Catholic school administrators. Courses are designed to develop administrative skills by using problem based learning experiences derived from the actual responsibilities, tasks, and experiences of Catholic school leaders.

The core curriculum for all four areas of concentration consists of one course in the Theological Foundations of Catholic Education and two courses in Educational Research for Practitioners.

Students in the administration concentration take eight additional required courses in school administration. Students in the teacher leadership, business operations, and institutional advancement concentrations take five additional required courses and three electives.

The current tuition rate is only $285 per credit hour for Catholic school educators enrolled in this program. Saint Louis University discounts the regular graduate school tuition rate by 2/3 as a concrete commitment to Catholic K-12 education. In addition, current teachers and administrators may apply for their professional development reimbursement benefit consisting of 50% of actual out of pocket expenses for tuition, fees, and materials up to a maximum of $1500 per year.

Further information on the Catholic School Leadership Program can be found at:

For more information about this program, contact:

Dr. John James
Saint Louis University

Dr. Karen Tichy
Saint Louis University

Potential Leader Program

Developing future leaders is one of the key issues facing Catholic education today. The Potential Leader program is a four session, year-long process that assists teachers to discern whether they are being called to administrative positions in Catholic elementary or secondary schools of the Archdiocese. The program involves exploration of the roles and characteristics of effective principals, observation of and discussion with current principals, and presentations and discussions about key aspects of the administration of Catholic schools.

For more information, contact:

Mrs. Peggy Visconti
Director of Leadership Development (K-12)
Catholic Education Office
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119


Local Board Training

In recent decades the role of Catholic laity in the governance of Church institutions has become more prominent. Included in this expansion has been the establishment of boards of education.

In its role as a resource to the schools of the Archdiocese, the Catholic Education Office offers programs for those connected with boards of education at both the elementary and secondary level. These sessions are designed to provide the leaders and members of boards with an understanding of their role and responsibilities and to improve the overall effectiveness of the board in the parish and school community.

Topics of these programs include: the purpose and function of the board, differentiating between school board policy and school administration; role relationships between pastor or chief executive officer, principal and other administrators, board president, and board members; responsibilities of board members; and techniques for planning and conducting effective board meetings.

Click to download a copy of the Manual for Parish Boards of Education 236.48 Kb

For additional information contact:

Mrs. Stephanie M. Welling
Catholic Education Office
4445 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis MO 63108

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