Diocese rolls out new faith-based professional development program

Tepeyac Leadership Initiative


A five-month leadership program, beginning in February 2018, for the development of Catholic professionals to advance the mission of the Church and serve the common good in secular society.

Cost: $600

Applications due Nov. 30.
Info: emejia@dphx.org or
(602) 354-2142

Catholic professionals are invited to apply for enrollment in a grassroots program designed to form faithful leaders who influence a culture for Christ in a secular world.

The Tepeyac Leadership Initiative, a program of the Diocese of Phoenix, is the first of its kind to combine professional development with spiritual growth to advance the mission of the Catholic Church.

“Whoever makes it into the program will be the first cohort and plant seeds of a solid network of Catholic professionals that will be there to support the Church, and mostly project their Catholic values through their careers and professional lives,” said Cristofer Pereyra, coordinator of the initiative.

Pereyra said the five-month initiative is a stand-alone program that compliments the work of the Kino Catechetical Institute, and designed using the “best of” methods from other Valley leadership programs.

Several professional networks were studied in an effort to write a “Catholic-content program” covering areas like education, business, philanthropy, health and immigration.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said leadership in America is often associated with professionals engaged in business, economics and politics with “little to no reference to personal conscience and convictions of the soul.”

The bishop said while well-trained professionals are needed in these fields, “what makes leaders capable of building a culture where people can flourish and the common good be advanced is an appreciation of goodness, truth and beauty built on strong faith in God.”

He added the initiative aims to provide a “creative and fresh understanding of the core teachings of the Church” to help leaders forge faith-filled lives.

“What was missing in other leadership programs was the moral and ethical component,” Pereyra said. “They are not faith-based. TLI is different; it’s trying to create Catholic leaders who go out into the secular world.”

By drawing on the expertise of respected and influential Catholic leaders in Arizona, participants are exposed to pressing issues shaping the diocese and the Church.

Some of the local and national professionals include Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery; Dcn. Billy Chavira, M.D.; Alan Sears, president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom and Monica Villalobos, vice president of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“We have put together our dream team through these 20 sessions. It’s a very solid group of people that are behind this,” Pereyra said. “They are what we want to make more of. These are today’s Catholic leaders and we want to inspire participants of the program to take on that type of leadership.”

The 30-40 participants will study, reflect and dialogue how to integrate the truths and values of their faith into all aspects of their lives. The program also allows for participants to receive three credits toward an MBA from the University of Mary.

Ideal candidates are in the early-to-mid stages of their professional careers, faithful to the practices of the Catholic Church and committed to serving for the good of others.

Deadline to apply is Nov. 30. Interested candidates can pick up an application at the Diocesan Pastoral Center or request an application at: emejia@dphx.org or call (602) 354-2142.

Interviews will be Jan. 8-17, with the first cohort beginning Feb. 6 and running every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. Program tuition fee is $600 per participant.