ESTEEM opens with a one day retreat. Sessions are then held on Mondays from 6-8 pm at Newman House

September 19 -  Retreat Day

September 28, 2015
October 5, 2015
October 19, 2015
November 2, 2015
November 23, 2015
December 7, 2015
February 29, 2016
March 7, 2016
April 11, 2016
April 25, 2016

Capstone Event Date: April 8-10, 2016 in Chicago

UMass Dartmouth 2017 Graduates!

So you’re a student. And you want to develop your leadership skills and live out your faith. You’ve come to the right place. 

  • It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for the next phase of your life.
  • It’s about lively weekly gatherings with your Catholic peers.
  • It’s about retreats and self-reflection, and a powerful mentor relationship.
  • It’s all designed to help you understand more about yourself and your Church. So if you’re ready to explore your faith and your leadership abilities, get ESTEEM. And shape the Church’s future. Now.

Esteem (Engaging Students To Enliven the Ecclesial Mission) is a program for Seniors. UMass Dartmouth is one of only 9 sites nationwide to offer this exciting new program. More information will be available soon. ESTEEM will kick-off at UMD for Seniors in the Fall of 2015.

ESTEEM: Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission

Want to sit in the back row of your new parish? Want to become a lapsed Catholic because your new parish doesn’t nourish you spiritually? If yes, then stop reading – ESTEEM is NOT for you!

If you want to help develop and participate in a dynamic and spiritually nourishing parish, ESTEEM is the next step for you.

ESTEEM is a collaborative effort between the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, the St. Thomas More Catholic Center & Chapel at Yale University and other universities across the United States to prepare graduating students for a vibrant life in the Catholic Church following graduation. UMass Dartmouth is only one of 9 universities in the United States piloting the ESTEEM program.


ESTEEM provides you with skills and background to help you participate actively in parish life and leadership, without having to wait until you are too old to represent the young adult perspective.  This is not intended to be simply a faith-sharing group, although that is an important part of meaningful participation, but to provide a forum to address topics that often don’t get discussed in typical religious education and formation programs. In addition, we will identify a mentor for you who can serve as a sounding board and guide during the course of the year.

Participating students end the year feeling inspired and excited about becoming involved in the church, ready to bring a dose of youthful energy and passion to the parish life. Feedback from student participants has been overwhelmingly positive.


Who is Esteem for?
ESTEEM is looking for 2016 graduating seniors or graduate students close to completing their degrees because they are ones stepping beyond the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. We are especially interested in involving those who have a love of Jesus and the Catholic Church but may have not yet been actively involved at UMass Dartmouth. In other words, you don’t have to be a church-nerd to participate.



Each session involves an interactive presentation on topics such as: 

    Leadership – What kind of leadership styles are there and what leadership skills do you possess?

    Catholic Social Doctrine – why isn’t “charity” enough?  Why is social justice so important to the mission of the Church?

    Faith in action – How do we walk the walk when we put into practice the Gospel message about loving our neighbors?

    Ecclesiology (structure of the church and church governance) – How is the Catholic Church organized and what rights and responsibilities do we have as Catholics? How is your local parish organized?

    Christian spirituality – What does it means to be “spiritual”? What are the different types of spirituality and which ones might be most effective for you to improve your relationship with God?

    Liturgy – Is mass the only way to worship God? (Obviously, not.) What types of liturgies are there and which can be led by the laity?

    Catholic leaders in society (panel of outside speakers) – How do people in the “real world” practice their faith while enhancing their careers and personal lives?

    Connecting to the local church – How can you participate in your parish? What opportunities are available to young adults?



What kind of commitment are we talking about? 

  • Retreat – We have a one-day Saturday retreat at the beginning of Fall Quarter where we review the ESTEEM program, get a running start on the year, meet the mentors and enjoy good food and fellowship.  
  • Meetings – During the Academic Year, we meet on Sunday afternoons (more or less) for 90 minutes prior to the 7:00 PM mass about four times per quarter, finishing by the end of eighth week before things get too hectic. 
  • Capstone Conference – The weekend after Easter (usually), active participants travel to a site to meet with participating universities, listen to inspiring speakers and exchange ideas from the young adult perspective. The Capstone Conference is a great opportunity to network with similarly-minded Catholic students. 


Currently, there is no financial commitment to participate in the ESTEEM program.

Email Dcn. Frank at

Visit the ESTEEM site for more details.

Learn more about ESTEEM


Fill out my online form.



© Diocese of Fall River UMass Dartmouth Catholic Campus Ministry -  2017