We are excited to organize the Harvard Vatican Leadership Summit 2018 and thank you for your interest in this initiative! It is the second time we are bringing a diverse group of students from Harvard University to the Vatican, where we will immerse ourselves in the discussion on today’s important issues with the Senior Officials of the Catholic Church through roundtable discussions, information sessions, and an engagement – we hope – with Pope Francis himself. We will also tour historical sights, including such spectacular monuments as St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, and observe religion and daily life in the Eternal City.  

Harvard Vatican Leadership Summit 2018 Info Session: Come, learn more about the Summit, hear from the Summit's alumni who participated in the program last year and get all your questions answered!

*The program is open to Harvard students of all faiths, beliefs, and religions, and we encourage diversity in the group. Applications are due by midnight on Friday, October 20.

Our Mission

Our hope is to enlighten and better prepare ourselves to act as Global Leaders and grow in service to others. In a world faced with poverty, disease, and conflict, the Catholic Church seeks to fulfill its mission of humanity and actively engages in humanitarian issues around the world such as Climate Change, International Conflicts, Refugee Crises, Human Trafficking, Healthcare. The Holy See is uniquely positioned in the world, as both a state actor and a faith organization that transcends national boundaries, to address these issues. It has served as a source of inspiration and leadership to many people across geography and time. We believe we could learn from the Church’s work and would like to better understand the challenges it has encountered in these endeavors.

Vatican pic take 2.jpg

Summary of the Harvard Vatican Leadership Summit 2017

Members of the Summit met and discussed the most pressing current issues with the Senior Officials of the Catholic Church, including:

  • Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, Member of the Council of Cardinals
  • Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  • Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  • Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See's Secretariat of State

Topics discussed during the Summit:

  • Climate Change as Moral Issue
  • Holy See as Mediator & Proponent of Peace in International Disputes
  • Church’s Commitment to Refugees and the Displaced
  • Church’s Involvement in Ending Human Trafficking
  • Compassionate and Wide-Reaching Healthcare
  • Pope Francis’ Leadership and “Businessification” of the Church
  • Church’s Financial and Business Organization
  • Catholic School System
  • God´s Gift of Family
  • Digitization and Future of the Church

“Having the opportunity to meet with leaders in the Catholic Church with the Harvard Vatican Leadership Summit allowed me to see what servant leadership looks like in action.”

— MarY Broker, harvard Class of 2020

"In a world plagued by a vacuum of moral leadership, it was incredibly refreshing and inspiring to meet with leaders of the Catholic Church who embody what it means to be a servant leader. As someone dedicated to pursuing a public service career in diplomacy, I was fascinated to hear how the Vatican applies its 2,000 year-old history to its statecraft, and how it remains a mediator of seemingly intractable global conflicts. Thanks to the Harvard Vatican Leadership Summit, I not only developed my leadership abilities and diplomatic acumen, but also significantly grew in my faith."

- Arjun Kapur, Harvard University Alumnus

Vatican Pic.jpg