We were founded by Catholic teachers who wanted something different — engaging professional development and more effective materials that require less prep time.
Professional Development Programs
Teachers routinely tell us that our day-long programs are the best they've ever attended.
There's a reason our programs are so popular:
First, we try to keep it small, personal, and interactive — approximately 50 teachers attend each of our programs.
Second, we host it at a hotel or retreat center and cater lunch and breakfast, treating you with the respect you deserve.
Third, you'll explore the Catholic Faith with an engaging catechetical scholar, and our master teachers will offer strategies for applying this new knowledge in the classroom.
And fourth, we'll help you deepen your understanding of your vocation as a teacher and the unique role you play as a witness to Christ in the classroom.
Plus . . .
We offer every attending teacher a complimentary copy of one of our classroom-ready teacher's guides, and . . .
You'll receive a certificate of completion that can be used to fulfill your continuing education requirements.
If you are an administrator and would like to bring our program to your diocese, please email us here.
Supplemental Teachers' Guides
Our teacher's guides are unlike any other you'll see.
From homework the night before to enrichment options once you're done — and all the student activities and handouts in between — you're given everything you need to teach the topic at hand with minimal prep and planning!
You'll find that our guides are not only the most substantive, they're the most user-friendly and beautifully designed.
They've been written by teachers who share your joys and frustrations, classroom-tested by veteran teachers, and reviewed by some of the most brilliant and engaging Catholic scholars.
Each of our teacher's guides feature ready-to-use lessons for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more effective tool for explaining difficult-to-understand theological concepts to your students. Sophia SketchPad is an innovative, engaging, and accessible way to help young people better understand and live the Catholic Faith.
We have released videos on the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Marriage, Confirmation, and Reconciliation.
We have also produced a viewing guide and accompanying classroom-ready lesson plans to help you use this free tool in passing on the Faith to your students.
We've collected countless Catholic lesson plans in every subject and at every grade level — and we are giving them all to you free of charge!
Teachers across the country are uploading their lesson plans to our Curriculum Exchange. Now you can download them and use them in your classroom at no cost!
Teachers are sharing teaching tips on each lesson and writing reviews of what worked and didn't work. With hundreds of free lesson plans at your fingertips, there's no reason you shouldn't start exploring our Catholic Curriculum Exchange today!
Please share your own lessons! Dust off those lessons, create a Sophia Institute account here, and begin uploading. Each lesson must fulfill our submission guidelines found here. We will approve your lesson within two weeks.
Sophia On-Demand offers online courses and webinars designed by and for K-12 Catholic educators. Each course combines university-level learning with practical classroom applications for only $49.99.
For only $9.99 we offer short, topic-specific webinars that are packed with practical lesson ideas, guidance from Master teachers, and classroom materials that can be used right away.
A Family of Faith: Catechesis for the Whole Family
The Family of Faith Program enables Catholic parents to assume their primary role as educator and catechist of their children.
We take the hassle and frustration out of family catechesis, helping parents to deepen their own understanding of the Faith, and providing them with the tools and resources they need to instill in their children a love for Christ and His Church.
Most importantly, we provide parents with a detailed picture of what an authentic and vibrant Catholic family life looks like, as well as the tools to implement this life into their home.
Charlie McKinney, President, Sophia Institute
As President, Charlie defines, communicates, and implements the vision of Sophia Institute for Teachers.
Veronica Cruz Burchard, Vice President for Education Programs
Veronica leads the Education Programs team’s efforts to carry out its mission through the development of print and digital classroom materials and professional development programs.
Jose Gonzalez, Senior Director of Professional Development
Jose develops and leads our day-long and multi-day professional development programs for Catholic educators across the U.S.
Mike Gutzwiller, Director of Curriculum Development
Mike leads teams of teacher authors, spiritual advisors, and scholars to envision, write, edit, and produce our printed teacher's guides.
Suzanne Walsh, Director of Parish Programs
Suzanne serves the parishes implenting Sophia Institute programs by sharing best practices and fostering collaborations.
Shannon McClure, Education Programs Coordinator
Shannon coordinates the planning and delivery of day-long and multi-day professional development programs for Catholic educators across the U.S.
Chris Beggs, Education Programs Associate
Chris coordinates the planning and delivery of day-long and multi-day professional development programs for Catholic educators across the U.S.
Academic Advisory Council
Our Academic Advisors contribute to teaching and program materials, co-present at programs, advise on future projects, and review content before publication.
Dr. Michael Barber
John Paul the Great Catholic University
San Diego, CA
Douglas Bushman, S.T.L.
Monsignor John R. Cihak, S.T.D.
Pontifical Gregorian University
Dr. Richard Dougherty
University of Dallas
Dr. Anne Hendershott
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Dr. Jason King
St. Vincent College
Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J.
Dr. Stuart Leibiger
Dr. David Marion
Dr. Jem Sullivan
Blessed Pope John Paul II Shrine
Michel Therrien, S.T.L, S.T.D
Augustine Institute &
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Dr. Ryan Topping
Thomas More College
Prof. Todd Zywicki
George Mason University School of Law
Teacher Advisory Council
Our teacher advisors write original lesson plans as well as pilot-test draft resources before publication.
Sr. Amelia, O.P.
Mount de Sales Academy
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Mount Royal Academy
St. Andrew School
Los Angeles California
St. Joseph’s School
Headmaster, St. Gregory the Great Academy
St. Patrick’s School
St. Benedict’s Academy
Cindy McDonald Kelly
Bishop Guertin High School
Colorado Springs, CO
Austin Preparatory School
Deacon Chris Paul
Bishop Brady High School
Bishop Guertin High School
St. Ambrose School
Servite High School
Holy Spirit Prep
Holy Spirit Prep
Mount Royal Academy
St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School
St. George Academy
Blessed Pope John Paul II High School
Program Advisory Council
Our Program Advisors offer input that helps us develop materials and programs that meet the needs of Catholic educators across the country.
Fr. John Belmonte, S.J. Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Joliet
The Most Reverend Bishop Frank J. Caggiano
Diocese of Bridgeport, CT
Deputy Secretary, Office for Catechetical Formation
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Monsignor Sabato “Sal” Pilato
Superintendent of High Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Ken Willers
School of the Madeleine