Marian University Ignites Transformation with the Launch of the Franciscan Leadership Institute

by News Release | Mar 04, 2024

Elevating Mission: Marian's Expanded Leadership Team to Foster the Formation of Missionary Disciples 

Marian University is proud to introduce the Franciscan Leadership Institute (FLI). This groundbreaking initiative is poised to emerge as a national leader in promoting renewal in the Catholic Church and society. Communities, schools, and parishes in today's world require missionary disciples who can use research and the wisdom of Christ to tackle the complex issues they face with innovative, faith-filled responses. The Franciscan Leadership Institute will fulfill this need through cutting-edge research, comprehensive formation programs, new academic pathways, and partnerships with organizations across the nation. 

The Franciscan Leadership Institute launches in support of the university’s vision to promote Faith in Action through the Journey to 2030: Always Forward strategic campaign. Building upon the success of existing programs, Marian has already raised $15 million toward a $30 million goal to launch the Franciscan Leadership Institute, endow scholarships, and support programs, which will accelerate its goals to advance the following initial activities: 

  1. Discipleship: Launch the San Damiano Scholars DO Program for students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine seeking to carry on the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.  
  2. Scholarship: Create degrees and certificates, both in-person and online, to empower leaders in Catholic           schools, parishes, healthcare, and other ministries. 
  3. Leadership: Expand the Renovación: The Initiative for Parish Renewal to cultivate leadership teams in Latino serving parishes.
  4. Partnership: Develop a network of communities of practice among 5,000 Catholic leaders throughout the country.

With the Franciscan Leadership Institute set to launch immediately, Marian University proudly announces key leadership appointments to the Institute. Adam P. Setmeyer has been promoted to Marian University Chief Mission Officer and Director of the Franciscan Leadership Institute. JT Noble, Ph.D., will serve as Assistant Director of the Franciscan Leadership Institute in addition to maintaining his role as Chair of the Department of Theology and associate professor. Marian is also thrilled to announce the hiring of Father Rick Martignetti, OFM, who will serve as Vice President of Mission & Ministry and Franciscan Scholar in Residence.  

Father Rick brings a wealth of experience having served as Director of Campus Ministry at Ave Maria University in Florida, Director of the Priestly Discernment Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, and having earned a doctorate in Sacred Theology and Franciscan Spirituality from the Antonianum Pontifical University in Rome. Fr. Rick will join Marian this fall. 

Kenith Britt, Ph.D., chancellor and chief operating officer, shared, “Under the guidance of our dynamic new leadership team, Marian University is poised for an exciting chapter of growth and purpose with the launch of the Franciscan Leadership Institute. This marks a pivotal moment in our commitment to excellence and service in our Catholic, Franciscan tradition. We anticipate the Franciscan Leadership Institute will have a profound impact on Marian University, our Church, and our country through creating transformational leaders in service to the world.”   

Adam P. Setmeyer, chief mission officer and director of the Franciscan Leadership Institute, stated, “Recently, Pope Francis challenged university leaders to, ‘A Catholic university must make choices, choices that reflect the Gospel… for the transformation of the world and in service to the human person.’ The new Franciscan Leadership Institute is a bold choice by Marian University to propel the formation of Catholic leaders, and, like Saint Francis, Marian will be uncompromising in its commitment to the Gospel and quality programs that make a real difference in the life of the Church.” 

Father Rick expressed, "Towards the end of his life, Saint Francis of Assisi challenged his brothers by saying, 'Let us begin again, my brothers, for up to now we have done little to nothing.' It is in that Franciscan spirit of always starting fresh and working more wholeheartedly than ever, that I am overjoyed to be coming to Marian University at such an exciting time in the University’s development. I am eager to meet you all and to share the journey with you, as together we uncover the beautiful plans the Lord has for us all at Marian!" 

News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
Stokley Mansion, Room #1

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