Responsibility, Leadership and Change: The Challenges of an Adult Church

Dr. William Cahoy

We read in the Gospel Jesus’ words that “unless [we] become like children, [we] will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” At the same time Saint Paul writes that “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” We know that Jesus’ comments about becoming like children must be compatible with also becoming an adult in our faith.

As the socio-economic and educational level of Catholics in the West (or North) has risen in the last century, the tensions between living as a child in the church and living like an adult in the church has risen, affecting our expectations of such things as the exercise of authority, the role of the laity, transparency, and accountability. Must we become like children when we enter the church or can we live like an adult? What would that mean? We will use a little history, theology and leadership theory to explore together what it might mean to be a responsible adult member (child) of the Catholic Church.

Dr. William Cahoy



Dr. Cahoy has served as dean of Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary since
1999. He completed his masters and doctoral work at Yale University, and served
as chair of the Department of Theology of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint
John's University before beginning his tenure as dean.


Theology Day is a chance for people in our communities who are seeking a deeper understanding of their faith and its place in their everyday lives to learn from and interact with the theologians of Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary. It offers a chance for these scholars to gain insights and grow in their faith, as well.

There is no fee for Theology Day, but registration is required.  Free-will offerings and gifts to support the mission of the School of Theology·Seminary are gratefully accepted.


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