Sr. Mary Patricia Earl, IHM, PhD

Sr. Mary Patricia Earl, IHM, PhD (no photo)

Director of the Catholic School Leadership Program

School of Education

Academic Credentials

PhD, Educational Leadership, George Mason University; MA, English, Villanova University; BA, English, Dunbarton College of Holy Cross


Sr. Patricia is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), Malvern, PA. Prior to receiving her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and coming to Marymount, Sister Patricia Earl taught in Catholic schools on the elementary and secondary level, served as an elementary principal, and was Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Arlington for 13 years. Sr. Patricia has published several papers and given numerous presentations both nationally and internationally on the subject of faith formation, Catholic education, Catholic Identity, and related topics. She is also the author of two books: Building the Builders: Faith Formation in Virtue (in its second edition) and Faith Formation of the Laity in Catholic Schools: The Influence of Virtues and Spirituality Seminars. She also contributed a chapter, “Challenges to faith formation in contemporary Catholic schooling in the USA; Problem and Response” in the International Handbook of Catholic Education: Challenges for School Systems in the 21st century. In 2016, Sr. Patricia received the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Award from the Arlington Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry. She recently completed a certificate in Spiritual Direction through Franciscan University and enjoys working with people in the various dimensions of her life. Her most recent book, Building the Builders: Faith Formation in Prayer – A Journey with Jesus through Mary, was published in 2020 by the National Catholic Educational Association. In 2003, Sr. Patricia became the Director of the Catholic School Leadership Program. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, playing the piano, reading, and taking walks especially with the convent’s senior rescue Shih Tzu dog, Shadow!

Teaching Areas

Administration of Catholic Schools, Issues in Catholic Education

Research Interests

Faith Formation of the laity in Catholic schools, Character Education and Developing Virtue Programs in the schools, Catholic school leadership topics, teacher spirituality



Earl, P.H. (2021). Building Catholic Identity Starts with the Hiring Process. Presentation given at the National Catholic Education Association Earl, P.H. (2021). Catholic Identity and the Spiritual Role of the Catholic School Principal. Presentation to the Arlington Diocesan Leadership Academy.


Phone: 703-284-1517