Cardinal Pell Leadership Program & ACU School Leaders Program

The Cardinal Pell Leadership Program, established in 2018 as the ACU School Leavers Program, is a formation program for Catholic school students who have just completed their HSC exams and have a demonstrated record of leadership and service. It provides an immersion experience in the Catholic tradition and Western civilisation, based in Rome and London.

The ACU School Leaders Program for Year 11 students from Catholic schools runs concurrently with the Cardinal Pell Leadership Program, and includes a series of tutorials to support students in their engagement with the program's themes and readings, as well as regular reflections on what they are learning.

The object of this combined program is to deepen young leaders' understanding of how powerfully Christianity, politics and culture have shaped both the Western world and our own diverse, complex, and secular society of today, as a foundation for their own leadership and service after school or at school and beyond.

The combined program runs for three weeks; two weeks in Rome and one week in London. It comprises a structured series of short readings from key historical texts, lectures and discussions, and guided visits to sites in and around Rome and London that are significant to the story of the Catholic faith and the development of Western culture and society.

It explores themes such as the way Christianity transformed the world of ancient Rome; the role of the monasteries in keeping learning and education alive after the fall of Rome; the impact of Christian ideas and art during the Renaissance; the Reformation and the conflicts over religion which followed from it; the ways in which religion and politics have been entangled in Western history; changing ideas of politics, religion and society coming out of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; the influence of Christianity in shaping Western ideas of law and parliamentary democracy; and Catholic social teaching and the modern papacy up to Pope Francis.

The ACU School Leavers Program has been running annually since 2018 in collaboration with Sydney Catholic Schools, and with Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools since 2022.

Download the 2023 program booklet for the Cardinal Pell Leadership Program (PDF, 2.08MB)

Download the 2023 program booklet for the 2023 ACU School Leaders Program (PDF, 2.30MB)

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