Holy Cross College is excited to share that Dr. Dianne Barlas will transition from her role as Associate Professor to the Vice President for Mission and Ministry.
“Approximately 85% of Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. have a similar position. As a Catholic, Holy Cross College, keeping the mission at the center of all we do is of the utmost importance. Under Dr. Barlas’ leadership Holy Cross College will continue to grow in our Catholic identity and commitment to the distinct mission and charism of the Congregation of Holy Cross,” said Dr. Marco Clark, Holy Cross College President. “Dr. Barlas will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team and serve as a thought partner and champion for mission-driven decision-making. She will also be on all hiring committees for new faculty, will lead new initiatives for faculty, staff, and student formation, and will work closely with campus ministry, student life, and academic leadership to ensure that our Holy Cross mission and identity are deeply infused in all that we do. We also expect several new initiatives to emerge which provide and promote a transformational student experience rooted in Holy Cross, Catholic formation, including immersion programs, retreat opportunities, academic symposiums, and community outreach and service.”
Dr. Barlas has been part of the Holy Cross College Theology department for nineteen years, holding positions of Associate Professor, Assistant Director of the Saints and Scholars Summer Institute, Director for the Office of Global Studies, Director of First Year Studies and College Seminar, Division Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Director of Academic Assessment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing/Nurse Practitioner’s Certificate from Purdue University, a Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Practical Theology (Concentration in Spirituality) from the Catholic Theological Union.
“It is an honor to serve the College in this new era of leadership. Intentionally and actively engaging the legacy of the Brothers of Holy Cross will bring an enduring identity to our students, faculty, staff, and all other collaborators. It captures a sense of belonging and a shared desire to live in and through the charisms of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This means recognizing that as collaborators with Brothers of Holy Cross, we are educators in the Catholic faith, dedicated to walking with one another toward wholeness in the image of Christ,” said Barlas. “I had a deep sense of being called by God to a vocation when our family moved to South Bend and attended Christ the King Parish. This call led to academic studies in the Master of Divinity at the University of Notre Dame, followed by nine years, of serving as a Pastoral Associate at Christ the King. Completing my Doctorate in Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago continued to affirm a call to ministry. This appointment is coming full circle back to work in formation by integrating Christ’s mission for the transformation of the world through Catholic Higher Education. Accompanying members of our College community to participate in the College’s mission to form hopeful citizens with the “competence to see and the courage to act” is the work of the Holy Spirit. I am blessed to have been called by that same Spirit.”
In this new role, Dr. Barlas hopes to bring new opportunities to the campus community.
“The primary goal is providing leadership across the College by creating a community of formation involved in the intellectual, social, and spiritual traditions of the Church. Capturing the zeal for the education of our founders on our campus and in our local community is a priority. As President Clark has declared, ‘once a community college, Holy Cross is now a college for this community,’ focuses my work,” noted Barlas. “To that goal, I look forward to bringing a sense of call and vocation to our dedicated community of educators and staff, as well as, our students. This involves an openness to identifying and encouraging leadership in all areas of the College to accomplish the shared work of bringing healing and hope to our community and the world. Introducing the Holy Cross’ principles of Catholic Education where information, formation, and transformation are central to all aspects of the College’s operations.”
“Dr. Barlas is an experienced and respected educator and Theologian who is steeped in the Holy Cross mission and charism,” said Clark. “Over the years she has led numerous initiatives centered on our Holy Cross mission and identity. She has a deep love and passion for this mission and charism, is widely regarded globally by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and has demonstrated her commitment to more deeply infusing our distinct mission and identity in all that we do at the College.”
In serving the Holy Cross College community in this new role, Barlas hopes to bring an enduring sense of belonging and contribute to the mission and legacy of the Brothers of Holy Cross.
“It anchors our College in the Congregation of Holy Cross’s commitment to Catholic Higher Education,” said Barlas. “Preserving the education virtue of educating hearts and minds with an openness to the many facets of the Catholic intellectual, justice, and spiritual tradition within the C.S.C. charism is how we will all embrace the importance of being lay collaborators.”
According to Clark, “I believe that Holy Cross College can emerge as a global exemplar of the evangelizing and incarnational mission upon which Catholic higher education was founded by uniting the Catholic intellectual tradition with the social doctrine of the Church, infused with the distinctive charism of the Congregation of Holy Cross, that touches on all aspects of human flourishing, centered on bringing hope and healing to ourselves and society, and creating a world in which love and justice prevail. I would expect to see new programs emerging in the future that connects the academic, spiritual, and social life of the College with our rich heritage and history and greater intentionality in fulfilling what it means to be a Catholic, Holy Cross educational institution.”