The Ashley-O'Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership

We promote the transformative potential of the healing ministry of Jesus by offering programs that integrate theological education and spiritual formation for leaders at all levels in Catholic health care.



Among the most urgent issues facing the healing ministry today is the preparation of new and future generations of lay leaders in Catholic health care organizations. To respond to this challenge, Aquinas Institute created the Ashley-O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership. Its singular purpose is to develop and deliver theological and spiritual formation programs, materials, and experiences for leaders who steward the healing ministry of the Church. The Center is named in honor of two prominent Dominicans, Benedict Ashley, O.P. and Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., who have separately and together made significant contributions to Catholic health care.

The Center is a leader in the field of health ministry education and is sought out by health systems nationwide for our expertise in providing a theological foundation for mission leaders at successive stages in their careers.

Upcoming events

Promoting Mission Leadership Webinars:

Designing Formation Experiences, December 9, 2015 (Wednesday, 1-2pm CT)
Learn to design formation experiences which are relevant to leaders in their daily responsibilities.

Catholic Social Teaching in the Trenches, February 11, 2015 (Thursday, 1-2pm CT)
Grapple with some of the ethical issues raised by two case studies on worker participation: Reduction in force (RIF) and outsourcing of “non-core” services, e.g., housekeeping.

Spirituality and the Healing Ministry, April 14, 2016 (Thursday, 1-2pm CT)
Explore the impact that intentional engagement with “the spiritual” might have on one’s sense of mission identity, resilience and purpose.

Our vision is to teach from within our rich Catholic ecumenical tradition; enable the personal transformation of leaders through formational processes that engage the whole person: mind, heart, behaviors and relationships; foster the transformation of Catholic health care through programs and materials that support communities of leaders and institutional ministries; and partner with individual and corporate entities to promote the realization of the baptismal call to ministry leadership.

Our educational programs include the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission (MAHCM), for experienced mission leaders, and a non-credit Certificate in Mission Leadership (CML), for front-line health care employees who are new to mission leadership.

Both programs offer the following advantages:

• Studies with a cohort -- students take each course at the same time with the same participants.
• Students take just one class at a time.
• Online delivery - most coursework takes place online, allowing students to remain employed while completing the program. Students still have the opportunity to build a community with their cohort through in-person activities for each program.
• Focus on the practical - emphasis is placed on real-world applications of what students learn.

Although we often work directly with health systems to identify participants for our masters and certificate programs, we also welcome inquiries from individuals who are interested in taking part in one of these programs. Our faculty members also provide consulting services, day retreats, and workshops for health care systems nationwide.

How can I find more information or register for the Ashley-O'Rourke Center's offerings?
We invite you to consider your participation in the healing ministry of Jesus and welcome your questions and discussion. For more information, contact Colleen Mallon, O.P., Ph.D. by calling (314) 256-8870 or emailing at

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