The Hintemeyer Program
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.