Stephen Lenahan, a 2009 theology and catechetics graduate, says that since graduation his career has been unexpected and exciting. “Just because you receive your degree doesn’t mean your education stops,” says Stephen. “You’re always finding new ways to be involved in your community and learning from it. my education prepared me for working for the Church and living in the world,” he adds. “It gave me practical tools, and more than anything, it gave me a sense of confidence going into the working world.”
Highlights from his time at Franciscan included his youth ministry concentration classes with Dr. Bob Rice and Scripture classes with Dr. John Bergsma, which have kept him grounded.
Stephen’s education led him to work as the director of Youth Ministry at Atlanta’s Cathedral of Christ the King. That experience introduced him to many professional mentors who led Stephen to enroll in an MBA Program at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
“Working for a nonprofit and going to school with those in the for-profit world, I was able to bring a level of ethics and morality into the classroom,” says Stephen. “That’s a testament to my strong undergraduate education at FUS.”
After the Cathedral, he served as director of Events for Life Teen International before moving into a customer success role with a “Silicon Valley-esque” marketing firm in Atlanta called Insightpool. There, Stephen enjoyed bringing the joy of the Gospel to his coworkers and his clients.
“I’ll never forget on a work trip in Portland, Oregon, praying before making a pitch to one of my clients—the global marketing team for Adidas—I gripped my rosary in my pocket and asked the Lord to radiate through my presentation. My presentation went great, and I can only credit God’s grace for it.”
After a few years working in the corporate world, Stephen returned to serving the Church as director of Development and Communications at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands, Texas. He loves being able to apply the leadership skills he learned in corporate America to a large parish setting.
“The Church is in desperate need of lay leadership—the kind of leadership that is creative, life giving, and faithful to the Gospel but is also not afraid to think outside the box! Franciscan is a great place to start building this creative foundation that will shape our world in the near future.”