Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Carol Fowler


Carol Fowler is an experienced leader in parish and diocesan ministry. She has done numerous speaking, consulting and teaching engagements with a focus on leadership development and best practices in Church administration.

Carol was the Director of the Department of Personnel Services for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  She coordinated the work of 14 Archdiocesan agencies, which oversee all of the human resources functions for laity, religious, and clergy of the Archdiocese.  The Archdiocese employs about 15,000 people.  As one of the seven Archdiocesan department directors, she served on Cardinal Bernardin’s Cabinet and Cardinal George’s Administrative Council. She served the Archdiocese in this role from July 1991 until June 30, 2012. Her position included supervision of all human resource functions for laity, clergy and religious, including policy development, recruitment and hiring, performance management, employee relations and benefits management of health, pension and related benefits for parishes and archdiocesan departments.

Formerly, she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  This Archdiocesan agency was responsible for campus ministry at public and non-Catholic colleges and universities in Cook and Lake Counties.  She served nine years as a campus minister and pastoral associate for St. John Student Parish at Michigan State University.  She also worked for an educational publisher, Ginn and Company, served as a Director of Religious Education in a university parish and has ten years of teaching experience at the elementary and secondary levels.

Carol was a member of the Board for the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. She was president of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators and served on that Board for several years. She is past president of the National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry, served on the board of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association and was on the Bishops’ United States Catholic Conference Committee on Education.   She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Church Management at Villanova University, is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and an Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian.  She was a recipient of the Forsythe Award for excellence in university ministry presented by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, the Vision Award from the National Association of Church Personnel Administration and the Sister Ann Joachim Award for leadership and service from Siena Heights University.

She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore.  Her doctoral project was on lay ecclesial ministry.  She has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology and a B.A. in Social Science with a secondary teaching certificate from Michigan State University.  The Human Resources Certification Institute of the Society for Human Resource Management certifies Ms. Fowler as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.  

Ms. Fowler currently teaches, conducts workshops and consults on areas of Church management, best practices in Church human resources, leadership development, new pastor workshops, parish leadership and staff development, and a variety of parish and diocesan issues.