The Mustard Seed Project

The Mustard Seed Project is a conference that explores the important topic of serving students with disabilities within the Catholic school setting.  Drawing on the experience of Catholic school professionals and clinicians, this conference will highlight promising practices and provide practical lessons on inclusive practices in Catholic schools.

SAVE THE DATE - The Mustard Seed Project - Monday, October 9, 2017


Monday, October 10, 2016

The third annual Mustard Seed Project: Inclusive Practices in Catholic Schools just concluded with great success.  What was started as a regional conference, drawing attendance from the Archdiocese of Chicago and surrounding areas, now draws from 13 different states. Participants came from as far as Hawaii to attend this annual event, sponsored by the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education, Aspire, and the Big Shoulders Fund.   The conference featured three different professional development strands and showcased a number of Catholic school based programs.   This year's theme, "Ensuring a Place at the Table", placed a focus on the importance of offering Catholic school options for students with disabilities. A conference highlight was the lunchtime speaker, Bridget Brown and her mother Nancy, who shared their personal story of inclusion.  “An event like this lets Catholic schools know that supporting students with disabilities can be a reality,” stated Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D. Greeley Center director. With over 30 different presentations, participants could choose sessions to meet their individual needs.  As one participant said, “this conference always challenges me to reach higher.”



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  1. Develop an awareness of peer institutions who are engaging in inclusive practices.
  2. Connect with colleagues and parents who are invested in serving students with disabilities in Catholic schools.
  3. Identify next steps for developing a culture of inclusion in your school.
  4. Learn practical strategies to address the needs of students with disabilities in Catholic schools.


Catholic School Principals
Catholic School Teacher-Leaders
Catholic School Parents


Promising Practices:

This strand will feature clinicians and university faculty who will present evidenced based approaches to serving students with disabilities.  These sessions are intended to build the repertoire of skills and strategies to enhance approaches to serving students with disabilities in Catholic schools.  

Practitioner Showcase:

This strand will highlight the efforts of Catholic School practitioners who are serving students with disabilities in their schools.  Sessions will feature real-life examples of inclusive programs and the opportunity to learn from the successes and challenges of other Catholic school leaders in inclusion.

Parent Networking:

This strand will feature practical information for parents who are interested in (or supportive of) inclusive settings within Catholic schools.  Parents will be able to connect with other parents who value Catholic education for their children.