The Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership exists to empower Catholic dioceses and organizations to optimize the quality and delivery of their pastoral and spiritual services, and to strengthen morale and team behaviors within the organization.
We do this through a unique blend education rooted in the Four Levels of Happiness and built upon classical philosophical and Catholic theological insight. We measure, guide change, and marry culture development and strategic planning all for the purpose of reaching the minds and hearts of stakeholders to achieve consensus.
If you have been with us for a while, you will notice that we have changed our name. At our inception, we started as the “Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership.” Ethics, morals, and trust, and our teaching of it, is an absolute necessity and will forever be our bedrock, but with our new name, we make it abundantly clear that we are here to help others lead from the front with New Evangelization, as well. As you can see with the launch of this website, our organization’s name is now Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership. We are very excited. We hope you will join us.
It all begins with happiness and its Four Levels™ and beautifully builds from there.
The first seed of what would become the Spitzer Center was sown during an exploratory meeting between Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., and Jim Berlucchi in Chicago in the summer of 2003. Fr. Spitzer was the President of Gonzaga University and also served as the international chaplain for Legatus, an organization of Catholic CEOs where Mr. Berlucchi had served as the Executive Director for ten years. At that meeting, the idea was proposed. Why not convert Fr. Spitzer’s writings and audiotapes into a dynamic video curriculum that could reach many thousands all around the world?
And so it began… With Fr. Spitzer’s guidance, Mr. Berlucchi embarked upon the task of developing extensive collateral materials. In 2004 the first curriculum was piloted with St. Vincent Health Care System in Indianapolis. Further successes that year led to the establishment of a non-profit educational institute in February 2005 — “The Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership.” A board of directors was formed under the leadership of Henry Frigon, the mission was established, and the Center was headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
To date, the Spitzer Center programs have been enthusiastically received by thousands of individuals in scores of both faith-based and business organizations. The Center’s faith-based mission is to help church organizations optimize their culture, confidence, spirituality and faith for the new evangelization.
This is the Spitzer Center and what it brings to everyone:
The Spitzer Center curriculum is built on the solid rock of classical philosophical and Catholic theological traditions. Borrowing extensively from the insights of Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, it provides a readily accessible introduction to notions of happiness and the virtues. Handouts include scores of references from Scripture, the Saints and Doctors of the Church, the Universal Catechism, and Church Documents. Flavor of the month, this is not.
The findings from the emerging field called “Positive Psychology” complement the Church’s expertise on the human person. Appropriately, our approach emphasizes human flourishing, the cultivation of the Cardinal virtues, and the development of human potential. We teach principles and practical techniques for building good habits and increasing trust, creativity and achievement.
The Journey to Excellence is not a quick fix, superficial approach. Rather it is a deliberate progression, over a defined period, toward a clear vision of a dynamic and faith-filled culture. The phases embody an integrated combination of education, diagnostics, and customized consultation and coaching.
Our teachings are a synthesis of wisdom borrowed from 150 prominent sources over more than two millennia. It represents Fr. Robert Spitzer’s research and insights from the fields of psychology, philosophy, theology, and management science.
The professionally facilitated series integrates video instruction featuring Fr. Robert Spitzer, poignant and entertaining movie clips, power points, music samples, and online resources – crafted for adult learning styles. Our method is highly interactive. Participants engage in exercises, discussion at table, and personal reflection.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., is the founder and president of the Spitzer Center. A scholar, teacher, author, and seasoned leader, Fr. Spitzer is a pre-eminently a theologian and philosopher. His other fields of expertise, however, include management science, finance, ethics, and physics. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1952, Fr. Spitzer entered the Society of Jesus in 1974, was ordained a priest on June 11, 1983, and took final vows April 4, 1992.
Through the Spitzer Center, he hopes to bring knowledge and decades of experience to bear on the needs of the Church, with the goal of helping Catholic organizations to grow in wisdom, faith, effectiveness, and zeal for God’s work.
Fr. Spitzer has been instrumental in shaping the vision and curricula of the Center. His live speaking engagements are reserved for diocesan clergy retreats and convocations, major diocesan events, and associations of Catholic educators and physicians.
Formerly the president of Gonzaga University for 11 years, Fr. Spitzer significantly increased the programs and curricula in faith, ethics, service, and leadership. He led the efforts to build 20 new facilities, increased the student population by 75%, and raised more than $200 million for scholarships and capital projects.
He has written five books on such diverse topics as: practical spirituality, faith and physics, philosophy, pro-life apologetics, and leadership and organizational development. His scholarly articles have appeared in various business, philosophy and scientific journals. He has produced seven television series for EWTN: Healing the Culture, The Spirit of Catholic Leadership, Suffering and the Love of God, Finding God through Faith and Reason, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life, Jesus-Emmanuel, and The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God.
A much sought-after speaker, Fr. Spitzer has personally conducted retreats and convocations for priests, deacons and educators in many dioceses across the United States. He has also addressed corporate, academic, scientific, and governmental audiences, including senior leaders at the Pentagon, Tony Blair’s Cabinet in London, and leaders of both sides of the Northern Ireland conflict. His many media appearances include: Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking and prominent colleagues on God and modern physics), the Today Show (debating on the topic of active euthanasia), The History Channel in “God and The Universe,” and a multiple part PBS series “Closer to the Truth.”
Click here to learn more
- The Magis Center of Reason and Faith in Irvine, CA (www.magisreasonfaith.org)
- Ethics and Performance Institute in Coeur d’Alene, ID (www.learnepi.com)
- Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (www.cjbe.org)
- Healing the Culture in Seattle, WA (www.healingtheculture.com)
- University Faculty for Life at Georgetown University (www.uffl.org)
- Philosophical Foundations of Physics at Georgetown University
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