Kurt Nelson, Ph. D, is the new Director of Catholic School Programs for the Klipsch Educators College at Marian University. Nelson will develop, lead and coordinate a comprehensive program for undergraduate and graduate teacher and leadership talent for Catholic schools. He will also be instrumental in the delivery of content and curriculum for the ongoing formation of existing leaders in Catholic schools across the country.
"The future of Catholic schools depends on our ability to develop and nurture school and classroom leaders that are faith-filled, reflective, intentional, and innovative,” Nelson said. “I am tremendously excited to help Marian University become a dynamic partner with Catholic schools in our region and throughout the country."
Nelson comes with an extensive, 20-year background serving the Catholic community as an educator. Most recently, Nelson worked as Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the eighth largest Catholic school system in the nation with 107 Catholic elementary schools and 26 Catholic high schools.
During his tenure, he led efforts to strengthen academic quality, Catholic identity, leadership, governance, and sustainability of Catholic schools. In April 2017, he chaired and hosted the National Catholic Education Association convention, the largest annual gathering of Catholic school educators in the country. Prior to his time in St. Louis, Nelson served as President of Aquinas Catholic Schools, a pre-K-12th grade Catholic school system in La Crosse, Wisconsin. During his eight years at Aquinas, the school system was distinguished with two National Blue Ribbon School Awards, inclusion on the National Catholic High School Honor Roll, increased enrollment, and placed the system in a stronger financial position. Dr. Nelson also served the Diocese of Tulsa as a Catholic school principal for nine years and a Catholic middle school teacher in math, science, and art.
Nelson received a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America in Catholic educational leadership and policy studies. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Dr. Kenith Britt, Senior VP and Dean of the Klipsch Educators College, stated “The Klipsch Educators College is poised for tremendous growth over the next decade, and we must redouble our efforts to support pre-K-12 Catholic schools in this country. Dr. Nelson’s dedication and expertise in Catholic education will enable Klipsch Educators College to be the premier developer and supporter of talent in Catholic schools.”