St. Bonaventure University

The Padua Program

The Franciscan Institute's training program in Franciscan mission-based leadership.

The Padua Program at St. Bonaventure University helps Franciscan institutions and ministries transmit the values of Saints Francis and Clare to new generations of leaders.

Infusing this mission into the daily operations of Franciscan schools, hospitals, retreat centers, and social service programs requires competent leaders. Individuals completing the Padua Program will increase expertise in preservation and promotion of the Franciscan legacy. 

The Padua Program was designed and directed three years ago by Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., former president of St. Bonaventure University; Fr. David B. Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., executive director of the Franciscan Institute; and Dr. Pauline Albert, a writer, researcher, teacher, and organizational specialist. It has educated two cohorts of participants from the fields of education, health care, social services and retreats.

Padua is a program of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure. The institute engages in three principal areas of scholarly concern: research, publication and workshops, seminars and academic conferences on the Franciscan intellectual tradition.

The Padua Program hosts events in the University Conference Center in Doyle Hall on the SBU campus.

Cohort V to begin in fall of 2023

The  Padua Program 2023-2024: An Overview
The Padua Program is an educational program in Franciscan mission-based leadership for directors, managers and leaders of Franciscan institutions. It includes access to eight monthly virtual sessions (Part One) as well as all accommodations during the three-day on-campus program (Part Two).

    This is an eighth-month introduction to the Franciscan movement, its meaning and values (November 2023 through June 2024). These monthly virtual sessions, with appropriate readings, will guide participants through an understanding of the meaning of the Franciscan tradition, as proposed in the life stories of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

    Directed by some of the country’s best scholars in Franciscan studies, participants will study the unique features of Franciscan leadership as proposed by these two founders of the Franciscan movement. We will explore what it means to have a Franciscan mission and a Franciscan institutional vocation in the 21st century.

    Dates for these eight monthly virtual sessions will be announced. Please return to this site for updates often.

    This concluding portion of the program will be held on the campus of St. Bonaventure University over three days in July. Dates will be announced. All accommodations (an air-conditioned townhouse apartment and all meals) are included in the registration fee.

    Participants will have an opportunity to meet one another in person and apply their learning of the Franciscan study to the latest research on leadership in both profit and not-for-profit enterprises.

    Participants will also investigate special topics such as:
    • Mission and Ethics
    • Mission and Market
    • Emotional Intelligence and Franciscan Leadership
    • The Role of a Franciscan Mission Officer
    • Strategic Planning for the Mission Officer
    • Tools for Franciscan Mission-Based Leadership.

Our scenic campus welcomes diversity and scholarship

Nestled in the valley of Western New York’s Enchanted Mountains, the campus of St. Bonaventure University provides a relaxing venue for community building and interactive learning about Franciscanism and leadership.

Participants come from various fields of education, hospital and nursing care, social work, parish and retreat ministries, among others. This diversity provides a rich reservoir of experiences to be mined for new insights and mission-based opportunities.

Our Padua Team will bring to the table years of scholarship and practical experiences in mission development and integration, organizational and leadership studies, ethics, and business consulting. This interdisciplinary approach will enhance personal skills and institutional integrity.  
For information on scheduling an event, contact Fr. David Couturier, executive director of the Franciscan Institute, at (716) 375-2160 or send him an email.

The Padua Team

We have assembled a great team of specialists in Franciscan life and spirituality, leadership and management across the various ministries and institutions that Franciscans run and sponsor today.