Fr. Felix Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program
Welcome from the Hintemeyer Program Director
Greetings in Christ, and thank you for your interest in the Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program at Belmont Abbey College. The Hintemeyer program is designed to foster the leadership potential of a select group of Catholic men and women. The program requires exemplary character; serious commitment to the truth and life of Catholicism; exceptionally strong self-motivation, initiative, and creativity; academic diligence and accomplishment; and employment of these qualities and abilities in the service of others.
Throughout their four years in the program, Hintemeyer scholars strive to grow together in faith, virtue, and knowledge, and to discern through reflection and practice the nature of authentic Catholic leadership. Central to each participant’s experience will be seminars on a variety of leadership and faith topics, communal prayer and participation in the sacraments, and regular student-generated service and leadership activities on and off campus. Many leadership programs tend to force students into a homogenous box; the Hintemeyer Program, in contrast, is designed to encourage each student to examine closely his or her God-given gifts and inclinations and seek ways to use those creatively to build up the college and surrounding community.
If you believe yourself to be a young man or woman with character, initiative, and energy, I would be happy to consider you for our program. Please feel free to write or call any time with inquiries.
— Mr. Patrick Ford Director, Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program Director of Campus Ministry Belmont Abbey College.
Insights from Hintemeyer students
Joining the Program
Students admitted to the Hintemeyer Program are generally awarded an Hintemeyer Scholarship. Recipients of this prestigious award receive significant financial assistance annually. The Hintemeyer Scholarship is a four-year award. Renewal for each academic year will be contingent upon good academic standing and standards of behavior befitting a Catholic leader, as well as full participation in the Hintemeyer Program and all the obligations included therein. Non-scholarship recipients are able to be involved in the Hintemeyer program, as well. Please contact Patrick Ford at 704-461-6545 for more information.
Image of a Hintemeyer Scholar
Founded in 1998, the Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program is named after Fr. Felix Hintemeyer, O.S.B., prior of Belmont Abbey and vicar-general of the abbatial diocese under Abbot-Bishop Leo Haid, and the man responsible for many of the Abbey’s great achievements in its crucial early years. Fr. Hintemeyer’s achievements and the lasting success of the Abbey and its college are an enduring testimony to the power of leadership built upon faith, character, and nobility of purpose. Belmont Abbey College encourages all its students to strive for “excellence and virtue” in every aspect of their lives. In keeping with that charge, the Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership Program offers eligible students the opportunity to explore in depth the virtues essential to authentic Catholic leadership and to develop the knowledge and skills valuable to leaders.
Leadership Is Primarily About Character
Most leadership programs emphasize the development of skills; some programs also encourage a spirit of service; few programs place primary emphasis on character development. The Hintemeyer program emphasizes all three in the reverse order, believing that leadership is primarily about who a person is, and only secondarily about what a person does or what station he or she might occupy in life. The program is built upon the conviction that authentic leadership is synonymous with the life of virtue as propounded by the Catholic theological and philosophical tradition. Our shared faith is the foundation for every other aspect of the program, and our motto— ad magna vocati, “called to great things”—refers ultimately and primarily to the life of holiness in union with Jesus Christ. All virtues are interconnected, however, and so likewise does genuine Catholic leadership consist of a life lived in accordance with the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, along with those virtues—faith, hope, and love—that come to us by grace. Special attention is also given to the role of magnanimity (the spirit of striving for great things) and humility (the recognition of one’s place in God’s order) in helping young leaders to discern the core purpose in all that they do, both during and after college. Catholic leadership must also be defined by a spirit of service; all that Hintemeyers do should be shaped by the teaching and decisive example of Jesus Christ, who came not to be served but to serve.
What We Believe
Founded on the Catholic and Benedictine identity of Belmont Abbey College, the mission of the Hintemeyer Program is to cultivate in the rising generation of Catholic leaders the virtues, dispositions, and knowledge that comprise authentic Catholic leadership, to nurture mind and spirit in communal prayer and reflection, and to model for others leadership characterized by Christ-centered service. The program encourages participants to approach each moment of their lives with purpose and vitality and to grow in the knowledge and practice of their faith, and helps them to develop the practical skills and knowledge they will use as the next generation of leaders in the Church and the world.
Activities and Projects
Most of a Hintemeyer’s time outside of study and prayer will be spent in pursuit of the projects, events, or roles that he or she has decided to undertake in fulfillment of his or her calling as a campus and community leader. Each student’s “leadership profile” will differ from others, and should be crafted with the individual’s passions and gifts foremost in mind; one of the primary purposes of the program is to help a student discover these interests and talents and the means by which these can be placed in the service of God and the community. In addition to this individualized leadership activity, Hintemeyers will participate in a variety of other activities as a group or individually, such as the following:
- Once-a-week liturgy of the hours with the monks
- Hintemeyer adoration hours (1 per week)
- Occasional day retreats (organized by program director)
- Spiritual direction is strongly encouraged by not required
- Full-group meetings on a variety of topics, including church teaching, challenges to Catholic faith, the daily practice of the faith, great examples of leadership, current events, Hintemeyer event planning, etc.
- Full-group service activities, organized by program director in coordination with Hintemeyer students
- Group social events
- As campus leaders, Hintemeyers should consider themselves on call to serve at campus events when needed, subject of course to the students’ academic schedules
Many Hintemeyers serve the campus in various demanding leadership capacities such as Resident Assistants, officers in clubs and organizations such as Crusaders for Life, Abbey Ambassadors, and many others. Most Hintemeyers, whether in these formal roles or independently, are encouraged to initiate original programming or maintain ongoing Hintemeyer-initiated programs or projects. Examples of projects or programs begun or led by Hintemeyers:
- Organization and execution of the entire Middle School Track of the Charlotte Diocese’s annual Eucharistic Congress
- United by Praise, a once-per-semester evening of Praise and Worship, Adoration, reflection, and confession
- Abbey Volunteers, the student service club on campus, which organizes many different service events throughout the year with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Open Arms Ministries
- Special Olympics coaching and organization of an annual Special Olympian/Abbey athlete soccer tournament
- Initiation and management of a local chapter of Fidelis, a program run by college-age Catholic women to help middle- and high-school age girls in local parishes to grow in their Catholic faith and become strong community mentors
- Organization and direction of the annual Bishop’s Abbey Youth Pilgrimage, an event bringing approximately 1000 middle- and high-school age students from around the diocese to Belmont Abbey for a day of inspiring talks, great music, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- Initiation of a Campus Ministry Leadership Team bringing together student leaders all ministry-related programs and clubs on campus to share ideas, support, and prayer
- founding of many other clubs and organizations such as Xcel Fitness Club and an Art Club, and organization of many different campus- and community-based service projects
*This scholarship represent the college’s highest awards and cannot be combined with other scholarships to exceed $9,000.