MY SAUA-Z IndexImage: Calendar

Master of Organizational Leadership

DanĀ Ebener

MOL Co-Director


Main Campus
Ambrose Hall, AH404
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803


In a world desperate for new leaders and fresh models of leadership, Ebener says now is a good time to examine the myths and paradoxes of what Christians mean by "servant leadership."


Summary of Qualifications

Demonstrated ability to teach organizational leadership; to lead teams and organizations; to teach in community, classroom or church settings; to conduct strategic planning; to train for community organizing; to do public speaking; to write for publication; to deliver training seminars on leadership and team-building; to recruit, motivate and train volunteers; to direct social programs; to facilitate public meetings; to supervise staff, manage budgets and raise funds; to conduct leadership training in international settings; and to lead and serve on community boards and church commissions.

Education and Training

DBA, MSW, MBA, St. Ambrose University

MEd., St. Mary's College, Winona, Minn.

BA, Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.
Social Work

St. Ambrose College


Teaching Experience

Tenured Assistant Professor in College of Business for Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) at St. Ambrose University, including courses in strategic planning, leadership theory, assessing leadership skills, conflict resolution, not-for-profit management, servant leadership, Leadership Through People Skills, international leadership (in various countries) and team-building, full time August 2006 to the present.

Adjunct Professor for international courses in Leadership through Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM), Croatia, May 2009 to the present. Taught four, week-long courses and six, 8-hour leadership seminars for ZSEM, in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, May 2009-10. Brought 10 SAU students with me for a class in May 2010..

Adjunct professor for MOL and MBA at St. Ambrose University (Part-time): Taught MBA courses in not-for-profit management, business ethics and human resources management (1995 to 2006); MOL courses in strategic planning (2000 - 06), servant leadership (2005 - 06), conflict resolution (2002 - 06), diversity (2003) and leadership theory (2003 - 06).

Adjunct professor for the former College of Professional Studies at St. Ambrose University: Part-time from 1995 to 2006. Taught Philosophy of Peace and Justice course 13 times.

Other Teaching:

Initiated and teaching servant leadership through a Servant Leadership Institute, 2010-11.

Teach a series of 4-hour leadership seminars for a group of 12 ordained priests in the Diocese of Davenport, 2008 to the present.

Teach leadership for the diocesan diaconate training program, 2008 to the present.

Teach a team-building course for Palmer College of Chiropractic, 2007 to the present.

Co-teach a course on strategic planning for KJWW Engineering Consultants in Rock Island, IL, 2008 and 2011.

Created, coordinate and teach the St. Ambrose Stewardship Institute using on-line resources, Black Board, one-on-one coaching and face-to-face methods, 2005 - present.

Taught undergraduate courses in human resources management (2001), conflict resolution (2004), business ethics (2004), social change (2005), and leadership (2006).

Taught Masters in Social Work (MSW) course in social policy (2001).

Led several training seminars at the SAU Professional Development Center on leadership, team-building and strategic planning, including Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce strategy presentation (2005 and 2006).

Organize, lead and make regular presentations about stewardship, planning, church teaching and leadership topics for parishes and other church groups, 1986 - present.

Organize and lead training seminars and parish retreats on parish planning and church leadership for parish councils, finance councils and boards of education, 1988 - present.

Community workshop presenter, campus presenter, speaker in statewide training seminars (including extensive use of ICN telecommunications network), many topics including nonprofit boards, servant leadership, team-building, etc., 1986 - present.

Taught and trained thousands of local leaders in social action, community organizing, social justice and / or peacemaking, 1979 to the present.


Boards, Councils and Community Leadership

Thomas Merton House (Café at Vine), Vice Chair of Board, 2001 to the present. 

Bridges of Faith, interfaith dialogue group member, 2001 to the present.

United Way of the Quad Cities, Board Member, 2000 - 2006.

Quad Cities Contributors' Council, Member, 1993 - 2006.

St. Ambrose MSW Program, Advisory Board Member, 1997 - 2006.

Camp Shalom, Board President, 1999 - 01; Board Member, 1996 - 2005.

Scott County Department of Human Services, Planning Committee member, 1998 - 2004.

Family Resources, Board Member, 1987 - 2002.

World SHARE, National Board Member, 1992 - 2002.

Roundtable (Social Action Directors), National Board Member, 1998 - 2000.

Scott County Welfare Reform Coalition, Coordinator, 1996 - 2000.

Quad City Advocates for the Homeless, Founder/ Coordinator, 1988 - 94.

Quad Cities Interfaith, Founding Board Member, 1986 - 90.

Witness for Peace (National), Founding Member, 1983 - 89.

John Lewis Coffee Shop, Founding Board Member and Chair, 1988 - 89.

National Council, Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA), 1984 - 88.

Nuclear Freeze Campaign, Founding Board Member of National Campaign, 1981 - 82


Leadership Activities

Diocesan director, Stewardship and Planning, training parish leaders for stewardship and assisting parishes and the Diocese in planning activities, 2004 - present.

Led visioning process with Bishop Martin Amos for the Diocesan Pastoral Council, 2007,  and staffing the diocesan planning process for the Diocese of Davenport, 2007 to the present.

Diocesan director, Social Action, Diocese of Davenport, 1986 - 2006.

Diocesan director, Catholic Relief Services, promoting international relief and global solidarity, and issuing local grants to provide assistance to the poor, 1996 - 2006.

Diocesan director, St. Vincent Home Corporation, making charitable grants to programs serving children and families in southeast Iowa, 1986 - 2006.

Executive director and founder, SHARE Iowa, delivering a food package to over 6,000 Iowa and Nebraska families each month, 1992 - 2006.

Grant writer, raising $2.4 million for flood relief, 1993 - 96; raising $11,000 per year from United Way, 2002 - present; raising $15,000 from Migration and Refugee Services; raising many other grants for Immigration Program and other organizations, 1986 - 2006.

Founder and coordinator, Iowa Institute for Social Action, organizing an annual statewide training for hundreds of parish social action leaders each year, 1992 - 2006.

Chair, Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) Social Concerns Committee, including lobbying on behalf of Iowa bishops and presenting to them semi-annually, 1988 - 2006.

Coordinator, Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, which has been presented by the Bishop of Davenport to 36 recipients, including six Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, 1986 - 2006.

Produced video and designed plan for 18 parish workshops on diversity, 2004 - 05.

Co-chair, Camp Shalom capital fund drive, raising $525,000, 2003.

Co-founder and co-leader, Common Ground, including hundreds of hours of dialogue and featured in stories in Wall Street Journal, Harpers and ABC national news, 1995 - 2003.

Co-founder and co-leader, Bridges of Faith interfaith dialogue group, 2001 - present.

Organizer, Interfaith Prayer for Peace and Remembrance vigil in Davenport, with 800 people attending, Sept. 10, 2002.

Chair, United Way Community Assessment Committee, 2001 - 02.

Commencement speaker, St. Bede Academy, Peru, IL, May 2001.

Coach, Dad's Club Soccer and Softball, 1987 - 2000.

M.C., Martin Luther King Celebration, with 1000 people attending, 1992.

Chair, Domestic Violence Shelter Campaign, raising $393,000, 1992.


Leadership Consultation

Operate business called Quad City Leadership Consulting, 2005 to the present.   

Provide consulting, especially for not-for-profit groups, on leadership, strategic planning, team-building, fundraising, community organizing and board development.

Led strategic planning process for many community organizations, including the Alternatives for the Older Adult, Arc of Rock Island, Bethany for Children and Families, Bi-State Literacy Council, Café at Vine, Catholic Charities, Child Abuse Council, Christian Care Center, Churches United, Community Mediation Center, Credit Island Park, Davenport Parks and Recreation Department, Davenport Levee Commission, Ecumenical Housing Development Group, Family Resources Inc., First Presbyterian Church, Friends of Vander Veer Park, Fejervary Park, Garden Growers, Girl Scouts,  Junior Theatre, MEDIC EMS, NAMI Scott County, People United for Neighborhood Churches, Project NOW, Project Renewal, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Quad City Food Hub, Roosevelt Community Center, Scott Community College Foundation, Scott County EMS, Scott County Fire Chiefs, Vera French Community Mental Health Center and many other organizations.

Organized and led process of identifying and stating core values for many organizations, including most of those listed above, plus United Way of the Quad Cities, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and Community Health Care, 2004 to the present.

Present leadership training for many groups, including Genesis Health Systems, Cedar Valley United Way, Family Resources, DOVIA, Project NOW, St. Mary's University of Winona, MN, The Mentor Network, REM Iowa, Indiana INARF, the Diocese of Davenport, Discovery Living, Toastmasters and many others, 2006 to the present

Led focus groups for a variety of organizations, often associated with strategic planning sessions, including MEDIC, Vera French, Arc of Rock Island, Crawford Company and The Planning Center.


Workshops and Community Presentations

Overall:  Presented keynote presentations, workshops and leadership trainings in 34 states and 12 countries over the past thirty-four years on topics as varied as servant leadership, not-for-profit management, stewardship, social justice and peacemaking, for many groups.

Keynote speaker on leadership at Toastmasters conference, Moline, IL, January 2011.

Webinar presenter for 70 participants through Catholic Charities USA, November 2010.

Presented four hours of leadership training for 75 people at statewide conference of Iowa Association of Community Providers, October 2010.

Presented seven hours of leadership training for 85 managers and leaders of REM Iowa at statewide meeting, September 2010.

Keynote Speaker for leadership training in not-for-profit governance for over 100 board members of United Way agencies, Cedar Falls, IA, June 2010.

Keynote speaker on servant leadership for national Conference on Pastoral Planning and Council Development, 65 people, Albany, NY, May 2010.

Workshop presenter for three workshops, including 350 people, on various leadership topics for INARF statewide conference for nonprofits, Indianapolis, IN, March 2010.

Keynote speaker on servant leadership for Institute for Lay Ministry, 125 people, in Winona, MN, January 2009.

Workshop presenter on servant leadership for national conference of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 55 people, Indianapolis, IN, June 2008.

Workshop presenter for international conference on stewardship, 200 people, Chicago, IL, October 2008;

Workshop presenter for regional conference on stewardship, including two workshops with 180 participants, and one keynote panel presentation, 300 people, Kansas City, MO, April 2007.

Workshop presenter on servant leadership at statewide conference on nonprofit management, 25 participants, Ames, IA, October 2008.

Workshop presenter on strategic planning at national Catholic social action conference, 75 people, Dayton University, OH, July 2006.

Workshop presenter on Catholic social teaching and taxation, National Ecumenical Advocacy Days, 160 people, Washington, DC, March 2005.

Workshop presenter on diocesan social action, national Catholic social action conference, 150 people, Washington, DC, February 2005.

Keynote speaker on servant leadership at three regional church conferences involving over 200 lay ministry graduates in Archdiocese of Dubuque, 2004 - 05.

Keynote speaker at national forum on taxation, 110 people, Georgetown University, October 2004.

Keynote or workshop presenter for many various programs at St. Ambrose University, including MSW social justice conference in May 2004; keynote on not-for-profit management in May 2005; and keynote at campus forum on elections, October 2004, campus forum on war in Afghanistan, April 2010; leadership forum in January 2011.

Campus presentations at Augustana College on a regular basis, including workshop on community dialogue at conference on business ethics in 2005, keynote speaker at full campus gathering in 2001, and campus presenter on lay ministry in 2006.

Parish workshop presenter and church conference speaker about once or twice per week for diocesan social action office, 1986 - 2006.

Keynote speaker at Genesis Leadership Retreats, for about 350 top leaders and managers of Genesis Health Systems, two 4-hour sessions every 3 months, 2006-08.

Workshop presenter, Project NOW Community Action Program, Rock Island, 4-hour session on leadership and team-building, for 20 leaders and managers, July 2007.

Parish workshop presenter and church conference speaker at least once per week for regional peace and justice center, speaking in eight states, 1983 - 86.

Workshop presenter and peace conference speaker at least once per week for international peace organization, speaking in 34 states and 9 countries, and conducting at least 200 media interviews, 1979 - 83.



Servant Leadership Models for Your Parish. Paulist Press, March 2010.

article on servant leadership in Sojourners Magazine, February 2011.

article on stewardship and servant leadership in PRIEST, February 2011.

article on leadership in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Spring 2010.

8 articles on "Parish Life and Servant Leadership" in The Catholic Messenger, Spring 2008.

"Parish Life and Servant Leadership," CHURCH Magazine, September 2008.

Completed doctoral dissertation, "The servant parish: A case study of servant leadership and organizational citizenship behaviors in high-performing Catholic parishes," April 2007.

Staff author, 14 statements of the Iowa bishops, Iowa Catholic Conference, 1990 - 2006.

Author and workshop presenter, paper on organizational values, Midwest Academy of Management, Chicago, IL, March 2005.

Author, national articles on Catholic social teaching and taxation, including Woodstock Theological Institute, Washington, DC, March 2005.

Op-ed articles published in several newspapers, 1980 - 2006.


International Travel / Teaching / Mission Trips / Peace and Justice Delegations

2010   Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Greece and Italy. Teaching and traveling.

2009   Mexico, Honduras, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Austria, Israel and Palestine.

2008   Argentina, Mexico.  Teaching.

2007   Mexico. Teaching

2005   Madagascar. Catholic Relief Services. Mission Group Leader.  

2003   Benin, Africa. Catholic Relief Services.  Mission.

2001   Guatemala. Catholic Relief Services.  Mission Leader.


Work Experience

St. Ambrose University - Full-time Tenured Professor, August 2006 to the present.

Diocese of Davenport - Quarter-time Director of Stewardship and Parish Planning, August 2006 to present.

Diocese of Davenport - Director of Social Action (including Catholic Charities).

Developed leadership in 84 parishes in 22 counties of southeast Iowa; organize social service and social justice ministries; supervised diocesan programs in immigration, inter-cultural ministry, SHARE Iowa, and disaster relief; trained parish council and parish leaders in planning; served on bishop's management team; speaking on a regular basis; supervised several staff, volunteers and interns.  (October 1986 - October 2006).

New Covenant Justice and Peace Center, Omaha, Nebraska - Director.

Led a regional Justice and Peace Center funded by seven Catholic religious communities; supervised nine staff, many volunteers and interns; fundraised $90,000 per year toward operating budget; managed business affairs; continuous public speaking and leadership training; writing for publication on a regular basis.  (August 1983 - October 1986).

Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, New York - Program Director for national office of international religious peace organization.  (October 1979 - October 1983).

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa - Diocesan Parish Social Ministry Coordinator.  (October 1976 - October 1979).

Bethany Home, Moline, IL. - Counselor.   (March 1974 - October 1976).

Arrowhead Ranch, Coal Valley, IL. - Counselor.   (November 1972 - March 1974).



Social Justice Award, St. Ambrose University, 2004.

Spirit of Service Award, United Way, 2002.

Young Religious Leader Award, Jaycees, 1990.

Related Links