Board of Directors

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An Opportunity To Lead

In Word and Witness is a dynamic membership community and needs the support and input of people with your experience and insight. We want to transform the world by reflecting Christ. Our work is guided by eight core values which are foundational to our projects. Find more information about the organization, its roots, and its Spirit-filled future here.

In this inaugural year of restructure, we have the unique opportunity to establish a brand-new board for In Word and Witness. We want to contribute to the success of ministry in our faith communities and make a positive impact on the ministers that are responding to the vocation of evangelization and catechesis.


The Board of Directors will provide a unique opportunity to:

Innovate, create, and lead in the field of Catholic evangelization and catechesis;

Shape the new vision of In Word and Witness through authentic dialogue;

Engage with and animate the community of ministers in the field.

A Message From The Board

“The Meitler process helped us recognize the unfair distribution of member input and encouraged us to shift our structural model. Thus, with our new bylaws, we have been able to transition this process to include discernment by the entire membership community. This open format allows for the inclusive and wide-reaching representation of all members. Any member of the In Word and Witness community may apply, or encourage others, to be part of the Board of Directors.

We ask you to join us in prayer over the next few months as we actively discern our Board leadership representation from the whole of the membership.”


Discernment Application Timeline

Interested in becoming part of the Board of Directors? Discernment Applications are due to the Nominating Committee no later than May 15th, 2021. Encourage others in your circle of influence to discern this unique opportunity. The Nominating Committee will review applications and invite applicants for discernment interviews between May 15th and June 15th. Decisions will be made and candidates will be notified no later than June 30th. New members to the In Word and Witness Board of Directors will begin their role July 2021!

Learn More

Applying to the Board of Directors is a big decision that requires commitment. Learn more about this opportunity by watching this video from our current Board Members. This video features Denise Utter, Jackie Hopper, John Gaffney, and Lori Dalhoff. The conversation is moderated by dr. timone davis. 


Fill out the form and connect with a member of the Board of Directors.

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About the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is a governance body acting in a governing and supervision capacity to our Executive Director, while contributing to the shaping and guiding of the mission of our community. Board meetings are held quarterly, with additional meetings scheduled as necessary.

Prospective directors are members of In Word and Witness, fully-initiated and faithfully-practicing Roman Catholics.

Serving on the Board of Directors is a special ministry to our community requiring an understanding of and commitment to the Church in accordance with and in full support of the Second Vatican Council.

Membership on the Board of Directors consists of a three-year term, with the possibility of renewal for one additional three-year term.

According to the Bylaws

The Board of Directors shall:

  • Serve as trustees of the Organization and constitute its chief governing body;
  • Set and monitor the mission and strategic direction of the Organization;
  • Approve the annual budget and secure the financial well-being of the Organization;
  • Articulate and approve all official public position statements on behalf of the Organization;
  • Assess board effectiveness and adjust at-large board member roles to achieve mission;
  • Develop, approve, and apply all organization policies; and
  • Employ and evaluate the Executive Director.

Extracted from the In Word and Witness Bylaws


A Governing Board

The Board, as an informed agent of the ownership, ensures appropriate organizational performance. Accordingly, the Board will:

Provide authoritative linkage between the ownership and the operational organization.

Provide written governing policies that realistically address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations.

Ends:  Organizational impacts, benefits, outcomes, recipients, beneficiaries, impacted groups; and their relative worth in cost or priority.

Executive Limitations: Constraints on executive authority that establish the prudence and ethics boundaries within which all executive activity and decisions must take place.

Governance Process: Specification of how the Board conceives, carries out, and monitors its own task.

Provide assurance of successful organizational performance on Ends and Executive Limitations.

The Board of Directors shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Chair-Elect, Executive Director, Spiritual Advisor, United States Conference of  Catholic Bishops (USCCB) liaison(s), and a minimum of three at-large board members such as Parliamentarian, Policy Monitor, Core Value Assessor, Philanthropic Animator, Federation Liaison(s), Leadership Development Mentor, and multiple Innovators in Evangelization and Catechesis.

The Chair-Elect, Executive Director, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) liaison(s) shall serve as non-voting ex officio members of the Board.

Board Members actions and communications will be reflective of the core values of this organization. All elected members of the Board of Directors shall serve without compensation.

The Chair of the Board of Directors, a specially empowered member of the Board, assures the integrity of the Board’s process and occasionally represents the Board to outside parties.

The assigned result of the Chair’s job is that the Board behaves consistently with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization.

  1. Meeting discussion content will be only those issues which, according to Board policy, clearly belong to the Board to decide or monitor.
  2. Information that is for neither monitoring performance nor Board decisions will be avoided or minimized and always noted as such.
  3. Deliberation will be fair, open, and thorough, but also timely, orderly, and kept to the point.

The authority of the Chair consists in making decisions that fall within topics covered by Board policies on Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation, with the exception of employment or termination of an Executive Director, and where the Board specifically delegates portions of this authority to others.

  1. The Chair of the Board is empowered to chair Board meetings with all the commonly accepted power of that position, such as ruling and recognizing.
  2. The Chair of the Board has no authority to make decisions about policies created by the Board within Ends and Executive Limitations policy areas. Therefore, the Chair of the Board has no authority to supervise or direct the Executive Director.
  3. The Chair of the Board may represent the Board to outside parties in announcing Board-stated positions and in stating Chair of the Board decisions and interpretations within the area delegated to that role.
  4.  The Chair of the Board may delegate this authority but remains accountable for its use.

The Board Secretary is an officer of the Board whose purpose is to ensure the integrity of the Board’s documents and minutes and to assure the outward communication of the board. The assigned result of the Secretary’s job is to see to it that all Board documents and filings are accurate and timely.

  1. Policies will be current in their reflection of Board decisions.  Decisions upon which no subsequent decisions are to be based, such as consent agenda decisions, motions to adjourn, and staff or Board member recognition need not be placed in policy.
  2. By-laws elements necessary for legal compliance and for consistency with the principles of Policy Governance will be known to the Board.
  3. Requirements for format, brevity, and accuracy of Board minutes will be known to the Executive Director.

The authority of the Secretary consists in access to and control over Board documents, and the use of staff time agreed in consultation with the Executive Director.

The Secretary of the Board appointment assures authoring of board communications. Regular and timely communications will be through consent of the Board.

The Vice-Chair is an officer of the organization and member of the Board whose purpose is to assist the Board, and particularly the Office of the Chair, in the preservation of the integrity of the Board’s process.

In the event of the inability of the Chair to serve, it is the responsibility of the Vice-Chair to assume the specially empowered role of the Chair, with all the rights and responsibilities of the office of the Chair.

The authority of the Vice-Chair consists in fulfilling the responsibilities of the office

  1. as articulated in the Bylaws;
  2. as defined by the Chair;
  3. as determined as necessary and designated as such by the Board.

The Vice-Chair will also serve as a liaison to the Nominating Committee providing board perspective to its work. The responsibility of the Vice-Chair in this committee will be to:

  1. Maintain confidentiality of the work of the Board and the work of the committee.
  2. Assure regular attendance and collaboration with the committee chair and ongoing work of the committee.

The Board Treasurer is an officer of the Board whose purpose is to oversee the integrity of the finances of the organization.

As the Chief Financial Officer of the organization, in conjunction with the Executive Director, the assigned result of the Treasurer’s job is to ensure that budget documents are accurate and timely. As articulated in the Bylaws:

  1. The Treasurer will ensure on behalf of the Board an annual financial audit of the organization.
  2. The Treasurer will submit a financial report to the Board of Directors and general membership at least annually.

The Treasurer will serve as Chair of the Finance Committee.

The role of the Treasurer consists in fulfilling the responsibilities of the office

  1. as articulated in the Bylaws;
  2. as determined as necessary and designated as such by the Board.

The Board of Directors shall consist of a minimum of three at-large board members such as:

  • Parliamentarian
  • Policy Monitor
  • Core Value Assessor
  • Philanthropic Animator
  • Federation Liaison(s)
  • Leadership Development Mentor
  • Multiple Innovators in Evangelization and Catechesis.

The Board Parliamentarian is an at large member of the Board whose purpose is to assure the Board follows parliamentary procedures.


  1. This member assures training of Board members in parliamentary procedure.
  2. This member ensures the Chair is supported in these procedures and in the movement of motions.
  3. The Chair may utilize the parliamentary skills of this member as needed for Board purposes.

The Policy Monitor is a Board member who assures policy governance is prioritized and adhered to in a manner that demonstrates Board effectiveness.

This person will:

  • attend to competence and training in policy governance;
  • focus on the policies of the organization ensuring best monitoring practices in place;
  • assure accountability to policy monitoring in the board calendar cycle.

The Core Value Assessor is a board member who examines the implementation of the core values in Board work and in the monitoring.

The Philanthropic Animator is a Board member who defines methods to communicate the story of the organization.

Accordingly, this person will

  • Assure a sense of responsibility to stewardship of the organization’s mission;
  • Foster relationships with other Catholic and non-profit entities, aligning our work with other organizations, so as to enhance our story and mission;
  • Work with the Treasurer to provide the narrative of the organization through our stewardship.

The Federation Liasion is a Board member who represents the leadership of the designated Federation. This person will be responsible for quarterly reporting to the Board on behalf of the Federation and for the annual federation status review by the Board of Directors of In Word and Witness.

The Leadership Development Mentor is a Board member who provides Board education on a regular basis. This person, as such, will evaluate group, organizational, and institutional dynamics to provide resources and/or processes impacting Board potential in its governance of the organization.

Multiple Innovators are permitted and encouraged.

The Innovators in Evangelization and Catechesis are Board members who are creative, innovative, and engaged in designing new approaches in ministry. These members are collaborative thought leaders who both inspire and influence the fields of catechesis and evangelization.

A Spiritual Advisor is discerned to the Board to serve in a pastoral role. This person will be a spiritual guide to the Board through theological reflection and discernment, in all areas, grounded in prayer. The Spiritual Advisor will remind the Board to attend to the movement of the Spirit, holding the Board accountable to the organization’s named core value of being Spirit-led. This person may be a lay person, religious, priest, or bishop.

The Ex-Officio Members of the Board of Directors include the Executive Director of the organization, the Chair-Elect (when there is a chair-elect), and the USCCB Committees’ Liaison(s). These members of the Board are not affected by three-year terms.

The Executive Director serves on the Board of Directors as a non-voting member. The ED works with the Chair of the Board to determine the agenda for meetings, to report to the Board about the organization, and to hold the Board accountable to their responsibilities to govern the Board. The scope of the ED is determined by the Ends and the Executive Limitations.

The Chair-Elect is a Board member whose primary role is to prepare to assume the role of Chair, familiarizing themselves with any aspect of the organization that requires board governance. The Chair-Elect participates in Board leadership education, attends all Board meetings and carries out special assignments as requested by the Chair/Board. The Chair-Elect serves on the Board in a non-voting capacity for up to one year, also serving in an ex officio role on the Executive Committee.

The organization works in collaboration with the committees of the USCCB. A representative from the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis is a standing collaborative member of the Board of Directors of In Word and Witness. Other representatives may be invited to participate in Board membership as the need arises according to the focus of the organization’s synods and projects in any year.

These persons are non-voting members of the Board, attend Board meetings, and affirm the core values of the organization. These members work with the Board in its visioning responsibilities for the organization. They support and may also bring forward project-based collaborations.

Ready To Apply?

Express your interest today. Fill out the Board of Directors Discernment Application by clicking the link. Applications are due by May 15th.

Submit Your Application