We are Innovators

The Saint John Leadership Institute is a uniquely challenging place; our participants rise to the challenge and are equipped with a unique formation that combines intense spirituality, the soft-skills necessary for leadership and the hard skills necessary for professional success. What is more, our perspective is shaped by the call of the popes for a new evangelization, and for the men and women willing to bring the Gospel into the modern metropolis. For all these reasons, we refer to our attendees as “Missionary Innovators." They are called to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness in our world by employing the “new language,” “new methods,” and “new ardor” to effectively bring Christ to a world waiting for Him. This is why they are called Innovators. And, we believe that every Christian has been baptized and sent into the world to claim it for Christ through proclamation and through the service of business and work. This is why they called missionaries -- they have been sent to innovate in our world by Christ through their baptism!

Meet a Participant


The Saint John Leadership Institute was founded in 2015 in order to give the best formation possible to young people seeking to be leaders with Faith in the world of secular business. Riding upon the spirit and experience of the 13-year history of Eagle Eye Ministries, the Saint John Leadership Institute sought to extend the power of the Summer Institutes, Excursions, and Retreats hosted by Eagle Eye Ministries to those desiring a formation capable of equipping them for leadership in a professional world.

In 2016, we opened the doors of our first “campus.” We were generously offered a vacant classroom at All Souls Catholic School in Englewood, Colorado. By the end of our first year, we had already purchased our first campus, the former home of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Colorado, just three blocks away from All Souls Catholic School. By God’s grace, steady improvements were made to our campus: a film studio, a guesthouse and student residence, and a renovated cafeteria.

Today we are revamping our curriculum and in 2021 and have hired a Theologian in Residence, Dr. Donald Wallenfang. Dr. W as we call him, will be teaching both webinars and in-person seminars. Check back soon to learn more about our December program called Rise Above: What's Holding You Back?


In late April, 2017, the Saint John Institute faced its biggest challenge to date. The parish from which we had leased our space for our first year needed to reclaim the space. Our staffing was facing significant changes, and the promised funding for the purchase of our needed campus fell through unexpectedly. Poised for an entire summer on the road, preaching for the young people of Eagle Eye Ministries, and with little money in the bank, we were left with no easy path forward.

Father Nathan, our founder, turned to the Infant of Prague, begging for his miraculous assistance. He had been introduced to devotion to the Infant of Prague while still a student at his parish grade school and through the influence of his uncle. Others along his path had strongly encouraged him to declare the Divine Infant as the King of the Saint John Institute. Praying the novena prayer from a devotional book, Father Nathan promised that if Our Lord would grant us the grace of the ability to purchase our needed national center, we would honor Him by placing a statue of the Infant of Prague in a place of honor in our new center. In July, just three months after this prayer, and with the valiant help of a team of dedicated volunteers and collaborators, the Saint John Institute acquired its home. On the occasion of its blessing, we enshrined the statue of the Infant of Prague next to our front door. We desire to publicly give thanks to the Infant of Prague for His miraculous intercession, and encourage you, dear reader, to trust in His power to grant your needs. Indeed, He holds the whole world in His hand!

Our Partners

Whether you are an academic institution like our founding partner Walsh University, or an advisor, mentor, coach or corporate sponsor, our partners help our Missionary Innovators reach their potential.

Become a Partner



In 2016, The Saint John Institute partnered with Walsh University to offer students a fully-accredited Master's of Business Administration program in entrepreneurial business. Professors at Walsh University offered courses for the Saint John Institute students as a unique class via an online course format. Saint John Institute students completed each course together in a classroom setting on the SJI Denver Campus, with additional, non-accredited Theology and Philosophy classes provided in-person by the Brothers of the Community of St. John.

Thus, students received the benefits of a fully-accredited MBA from a top-quality Catholic university while living in a community of their peers in the rich spiritual milieu of the Community of St. John.


Students at Walsh University enjoy a healthy balance of academic, spiritual, and social activities. It boasts nearly 3000 students from 27 states and 37 countries. On the 136-acre main campus is in North Canton, Ohio, and satellite campuses in Akron, Media, Canfield, and just outside of Rome, Italy, students have found that learning transcends the classroom, caring faculty help students aim higher, and leadership requires more than intellect. As an independent, Catholic university, Walsh encourages individuals to act in accordance with reason guided by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. The aim is to develop students' mind, body and spirit - this is Walsh's distinguished tradition and the heart of its appeal.


Walsh University is an independent, coeducational Catholic, liberal arts and sciences institution. Founded by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Walsh University is dedicated to educating its students to become leaders in service to others through a values-based education with an international perspective in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Walsh University believes in the desirability of a small university that promotes academic excellence, a diverse community and close student-teacher interactions. The University provides its students a higher education that fosters critical thinking, effective communication, spiritual growth, and personal, professional and cultural development. Walsh University encourages individuals to act in accordance with reason guided by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.   FIND OUT MORE AT WALSH.EDU

Bruns Construction Enterprises

Bruns Construction Enterprises, founded in 1951 by Robert Bruns, is now a third generation associate owned enterprise and a shared vision between seven brothers and one sister, along with many of their children. Starting out as a residential company digging basements, the Bruns Family of businesses has grown and adapted through the years into the world-class organization that it is today. The Bruns family was instrumental in converting the Fatima House into a residence for the Missionary Innovators of the Saint John Leadership Institute.

Human Formation Coalition

The Human Formation Coalition™ empowers faith leaders to understand and answer their Ephesians 2:10 call through coaching and the Appreciative Inquiry Method. Mission: to activate a robust understanding of the integration of all four dimensions/pillars of faith formation (Human, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral-Apostolic) within leadership development contexts. Equip existing disciple makers as Human Formation Coaches™ using Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Methodology. Provide Human Formation Coaching™ scholarships to ordained clergy.

Larry Hudson

Hudson High Tech Systems, Inc. HHTS is a provider of the design, installation and services of Fire alarm, Access control, Home Automation, and Video surveillance systems. We are located in Littleton, Colorado and serve the entire Colorado region. HHT provides the automation services for the Fatima House and SJI's Denver headquarters building.

The Elenez Family

The Elenez family has supported the Saint John Institute from the very beginning. Kim Elenez serves as a member of our Board of Directors.

Meet our missionary innovators

Why are the students at the Saint John Leadership Institute are known as Missionary Innovators? Because not only do our students come to SJLI to innovate in the Church or in the business world, they also come with missionary hearts yearning to spread the Gospel to those they encounter. SJLI is the place where faith and professional visions meet.

Paco Patag

Paco is an engineer and a poet; a lover of the outdoors and an avid reader; thrives in the world of ideas and hopes and potentials, yet is truly at his happiest seeing the people around him come fully alive in all of who they are. He is proud to count Cincinnati as his home, and is eager to direct the fruits of his growth at the Saint John Leadership Institute (SJLI) to loving and serving the persons in his community ever more profoundly.

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Alumni of The Saint John Leadership Institute

  • Catherine Wurts

Class of 2018

“After many years in full-time ministry, the Saint John Leadership Institute provided me with the opportunity I was seeking for deeper formation and discernment of God's Call. The Brothers of Saint John gave me an invaluable formation in prayer, philosophy, and theology while I worked on my MA degree, and they also connected me with a wonderful mentor. It was through my mentor that God opened the door to my current work with JPII Outdoor Lab and the Altum Institute at Annunciation Heights Catholic Youth and Family Camp, roles in which I regularly draw on all that I learned while at SJLI.”

  • Jeff Yanuck

Class of 2020

“SJLI has given me the opportunity to step back from my career, comfort zone, and the familiar to grow in self knowledge through prayer, coaching, and reflection.  Through SJLI, I was also able to connect with apostolates, and explore the opportunities available for how to redeploy my professional skills and God-given talents to assist in the process of revitalizing parishes.  Ultimately, this networking prepared the way for my dream job to accomplish exactly what I aspired to do years before attending SJLI.”

  • Paul Spankie

Class of 2020

“The opportunities that I have had at the Saint John Leadership Institute helped me to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. SJLI has helped me to center my life on Christ and develop a unique perspective and skillset that integrates faith and business.”

  • Regina Ramsey

Class of 2018

  • Brianne Schulze

Class of 2018


Board of Advisors

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Fr. Nathan Cromly


Father Nathan is the Founder and President of the Saint John Institute



With over 400 brothers in over 40 priories, the Brothers of Saint John desire to be the apostle John in the Church. By placing the spirit of the Beloved Disciple in the context of the New Evangelization, the Congregation of St. John reaches out to young people by providing the milieu for their authentic personal growth and formation in our Catholic Faith.

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