To Lead Is To Serve


The call to lead is the call to conversion through the exercise of service. Therefore, to each role, there corresponds a plan of formation that guides the leader in a path of personal conversion and capacitation for the service for which they are responsible. Below are the descriptions of the two tiers of Penn Newman Leadership. If you are interested in applying to serve the community through a leadership commitment, please click the link at the bottom of the page.



  1. Read the general leadership descriptions below.

  2. Take a moment to pray. Might God be asking you to serve others through this community?

  3. If you are still unsure, talk with former leaders or staff members about their experience

  4. Fill out an application form HERE.  

Leadership Descriptions




The Executive Board is the highest authority of student leadership. Its members are the students that are most immediately responsible for embodying and incarnating the Newman Center’s Vision and Spirit. They are responsible for the effective planning and execution of activities, events, and programs according to the ideals and goals of the Newman Center. The members of the Executive Board are oriented and directed by the professional staff with regards to the Vision and Spirit, and they find support and guidance for its implementation from the staff. The professional staff finds support in the members of the Executive Board for the organization and execution of the programed events. Staff relies on the Board members as well for their larger potential and call to effectively represent the Catholic and Newman ideals in a more direct way on campus and in student life at the University of Pennsylvania. The Staff also counts primarily on the Board for help in the formation of future leaders, especially through the close collaboration with the members of the Executive Committee given the leaders are a direct bridge to the student community. The Board is responsible for coordinating the Outreach efforts on campus together with members of the Committee that are delegated specific tasks.

Learn to do thy part and leave the rest to Heaven.
— Cardinal John Henry Newman

The Board consists of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The President has a primary role in leadership, but the other members are all called to be co-responsible in working with Staff and the Executive Committee to lead the Newman ministry.





The Executive Committee, whose formation meetings are often led by the Board, works to apply the Newman Center’s vision and incarnate it in each of their specific corresponding realities by proposing, planning, and organizing events. They also support the Board and help to lead the larger Catholic community towards a maturation in the life of faith according to their respective apostolic endeavors, which are primarily through a concentration in Outreach, Social, Small Groups, or other apostolic areas such as retreats, service, special Masses, annual or weekly events, and more.



When you apply to be a leader at Penn Newman, you commit to an intentional year-long cultivation of spiritual, intellectual, communal, and apostolic formation. What does that mean?

Here are our expectations:

  • Spiritual

    • Student leaders will earnestly strive to live a coherent Christian life, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Intellectual

    • Student leaders will commit to an integral formation program that includes weekly meetings, that will be led by the Board members together with the Staff.

      • Board: Will commit to an additional weekly formation meeting, led by Staff for the purpose of forming their peers.

  • Communal

    • Student leaders are expected to participate as active members of the Penn Newman Center at St. Agatha-St. James, both nourishing their own Christian life and the lives of others in an apostolic community open to all.

    • This includes but is not limited to attendance at Newman dinners, Sunday luncheons, supporting student leader’s initiatives and events with your presence, and so on.

  • Apostolic

    • Student leaders are encouraged to get involved in apostolic service where they feel most called. They will be encouraged to meet existing needs, as well as express new initiatives in order to ‘reach the boundaries.’ They will coordinate with Board and Staff to plan, promote, and execute events and programs.

    • Current areas of apostolate include, but are not restricted to:

      • Outreach

      • Social or community building

      • Newman dinners (which includes Newman Nite event planning)

      • Small group leaders

      • Retreats

      • Service (i.e. Christ in the City, blood drives, etc.)

      • Pro-life ministry

      • Spirituality (i.e. special Masses, adoration, daily rosary, etc.)

      • And volunteering in many other annual or weekly events.

    • Board: Will also help guide the vision and hold student leaders accountable for their commitments. Typically, after the weekly formation meeting (1 hr), an additional half-hour is used to discuss event planning and evaluation, encouraging feedback between the Committee and Board.

If you would like a more in-depth explanation and more of a context, read the Student Leadership Constitution HERE.