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Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Job Details


The College of the Holy Cross, the nation's only Jesuit liberal arts college with an exclusive commitment to the education of undergraduate students seeks an experienced and committed leader to serve as the Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry (AVP). This position at Holy Cross supports the college's strategic aim of centering a transformative educational experience rooted in Jesuit, Catholic formation. This includes ensuring that faculty and staff at Holy Cross have ample opportunities to effectively engage the College’s mission in ways that are broad and deep.

Michele C. Murray, the Senior Vice President for Student Development and Mission (SVP) assumed an expanded role leading two separate yet closely aligned divisions in July 2022. The AVP will recognize the opportunities for partnership with colleagues in Student Development and other College divisions to build on the work of its talented staff. This is an unique opportunity for a creative individual to lead the Division of Mission and Ministry into its next chapter.

Role Description

The AVP reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Student Development and Mission (SVP), and has regular communication with the President of the College. The AVP supports the SVP as the leading voice for the College’s mission, serving as a thought partner and strategist on messaging, positioning, strategy, and partnerships. The AVP serves as a key liaison from the Division of Mission and Ministry with campus leadership, including in the areas of Academic Affairs, Student Development, College Marketing and Communications, Administration and Finance, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The AVP works closely with the SVP, the Board of Trustees, and other members of the College’s senior leadership to sustain and promote the distinctive mission of the College as a Catholic, Jesuit undergraduate liberal arts institution. The AVP shares the responsibilities of the chief mission officer with the SVP, and serves jointly with the SVP as the staff liaison to the Board of Trustees' Committee on Mission and Identity. In all of these roles, the AVP provides leadership and day-to-day management for the College's mission as a Catholic, Jesuit and liberal arts institution by overseeing and/or serving as a resource for the development and administration of mission-related programs, activities, and policies of the College. The AVP also has budget oversight for the Division of Mission and Ministry, and supports mission-related programs sponsored by the Office of Mission.

The AVP directly supervises three individuals and indirectly those who report to them in the two departments that comprise the College's Mission and Ministry Division. These include the Director of the Office of College Chaplains (who oversees a staff comprised of eight additional full-time chaplains, several part-time and adjunct chaplains, and their administrative supportive staff), the Director of Mission Initiatives, and an adjunct staff member who coordinates “Return to Me,” the College’s Lenten reflection series. Administrative support for the AVP is shared with the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. Additionally, the AVP oversees the programmatic needs and the on-going care of the College's Thomas P. Joyce '59 Contemplative Center (2016), St. Joseph’s Memorial Chapel (1924), and Campion House (c. 1900).

The Associate Vice President’s work is guided by the document Characteristics of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (2021), developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), and by a Statement of Shared Purpose signed by the College President and the Chair of its Board of Trustees, the Provincial of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus and the Superior of the Holy Cross Jesuit Community. Reflecting the spirit of these documents, the on-going work of the AVP will also be structured by the College's engagement with the AJCU Mission Priority Examen (MPE) process for certifying the Jesuit and Catholic character of Holy Cross.

The Associate Vice President attends, presents at, or presides over a variety of alumni, orientation, liturgical and honorific events. The AVP also coordinates the annual “Return To Me” series, supports the periodic offering of retreats for faculty and staff, co-facilitates the annual Ignatian Pilgrimage, engages participants in programs like AJCU Ignatian Colleagues Program, offers mission-related orientation programming for Trustees. The AVP supports the President and SVP in serving as a regular point of contact with the USA East Province Society of Jesus (especially the Provincial and his Assistants), and with the Diocese of Worcester. The AVP also serves on a range of College committees, including those that deal with financial planning, marketing and communications, honorary degree recipients, and ongoing campus issues.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Build upon and enhance the college's notable strengths in sharing Ignatian spirituality with students, faculty, staff, and trustees, even as our constituencies become more diverse religiously and otherwise. This is crucial for Holy Cross to grow in the ways outlined by Aspire, our strategic vision for the next 5-10 years.

Serve as a crucial partner with the SVP and the co-chairs of the Trustee Committee on Mission and Identity in implementing a new, multi-pronged approach to formation of trustees of the College.

Provide strategic oversight for the Office of Mission Initiatives as they develop and implement compelling and comprehensive mission formation programs for faculty and staff.

Provide strategic oversight for the Office of the College Chaplains as they develop and implement compelling and comprehensive faith and mission formation and liturgical programs to serve the College’s increasingly diverse student population.

Help articulate a shared vision for Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts education that is compelling to the many public audiences that Holy Cross engages; that communicates our mission in an open, inviting fashion, identifying the gifts of the Jesuit and broader Catholic tradition while clearly working to welcome persons of all faiths as full members of the campus community.

Support the entire Holy Cross community, from trustees to students, as it engages in difficult conversations, by acknowledging points of tension in the Church and society and helping to live productively within them, and by recognizing institutional gaps and shortcomings and helping to work our way beyond them.

Build on a remarkable tradition of educating students for justice in the classroom and through community engagement, helping us to think critically and theologically about that work, and helping us to think about how to continue to share the Catholic intellectual tradition more deeply.

The AVP also carries out other duties as assigned.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

The Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry must possess an in-depth understanding of and personal commitment to the Catholic and Jesuit character of the College of the Holy Cross and Ignatian spirituality.
  • An earned doctoral degree (Ph.D., S.T.D., D.Min, Ed.D. or equivalent) is preferred; a master’s degree is required. Please note that this is not a tenured or tenure-track appointment. In the event that the candidate’s graduate training is not in theology, pastoral ministry, or spirituality, equivalent training or experience in these fields should be demonstrated given the unique educational and pastoral expectations of this position;
  • At least five years of progressive administrative experience and leadership in a Jesuit or Catholic university;
  • Demonstrated ability to sustain and develop the College's Catholic and Jesuit identity with intellectual rigor, pastoral skill, and spiritual depth;
  • A deep commitment to Jesuit education, knowledge of and experience in the Ignatian spiritual tradition (including the Spiritual Exercises), and mature pastoral and theological sensitivities to engage effectively the larger Catholic community and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester;
  • An ability to lead ongoing professional development for the Division of Mission and Ministry to ensure staff are prepared to meet the changing needs of campus constituents, engage with and provide an inclusive environment for a diverse student body, and educate effectively in the Jesuit Catholic, liberal arts context.
  • An effective communicator and public speaker able to communicate the College’s Catholic and Jesuit mission and values to diverse audiences;
  • An ability to work collaboratively in various settings with the Leadership Team, Board of Trustees, Jesuit community, chaplains, faculty, students, staff, alumni and other external audiences
Other Duties and Responsibilities
  • Analyze, review and create plans and/or projects.
  • Represent the division at College events related to orientation, admissions, student programs, alumni and athletic events.
  • Participate or chair committees, task forces and boards as requested by the Senior Vice President.
  • Represent the Senior Vice President in her absence.
  • Supporting the liturgical and sacramental life of the College by regular presiding and preaching; meeting campus need for spiritual direction (if the incumbent is a Jesuit priest).
Personal Qualities
  • History of effective supervision and ethical leadership
  • Demonstrated track record of strategic thinking and problem solving
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment
  • Expertise in higher education best practices
  • Project management
  • Dependability and flexibility
  • Service orientation
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Appreciation for risk management
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Strong teamwork and team facilitation experience
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Additional Information :
This is a full time, exempt level position. The College is committed to providing competitive market pay for its employees. The College also offers a competitive benefits package for full-time staff, including:
  • 10% College contribution to the 403(b) Retirement Plan (1 year wait waiver available)
  • This position may be eligible for a hybrid work arrangement
  • Condensed summer 4-day work week
  • Tuition benefits
  • Wellness programs & ongoing Training and Development opportunities
  • Generous paid time off
  • The College is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and complies with all Federal and Massachusetts laws concerning Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in the workplace.

To review our Employee Benefit Options, please go to:


Please upload a resume (CV) and cover letter.

In your cover letter please address how your work might support the College's mission as a Jesuit, undergraduate liberal arts college (see ) and its core commitment to diversity and inclusion. Please provide examples of any past work that illuminate your commitments in these areas. For more information, please visit .

Review of applications will begin as received and continue until the position has been filled.


College of the Holy Cross

Founded in 1843 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the College of the Holy Cross is among the nation's leading liberal arts institutions. A highly selective, four-year, exclusively undergraduate college of 3,100 students, Holy Cross is renowned for offering a rigorous, personalized education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Holy Cross highly values the unique skills, perspective, talents and passion that each employee contributes to its learning community. To work at The College is to accept an invitation to participate in the growth and development of all campus members, students, faculty and staff. The College's commitment to diversity is an important feature of the Holy Cross education. Informed by the presence of diverse interpretations of the human experience, Holy Cross is building a community marked by freedom, mutual respect, and civility. We seek others who support our values of diversity and inclusiveness. Job candidates of all diverse backgrounds who embrace the open and inclusive culture of Holy Cross are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Our home city of Worcester, Massachusetts offers cultural, professional and recreational opportunities for students of every interest — from the masterworks displayed in the Worcester Art Museum to the one-of-kind restaurants on Shrewsbury Street. And with the ski slopes of Vermont and New Hampshire, the stunning beaches of Rhode Island and Cape Cod, and the cities of Boston and Providence all within striking distance, there’s much to discover throughout this dynamic six-state region.

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