Fostering Community Among Clergymen

Overhauling Digital Infrastructure for The Theological College

Fostering Community Among Clergymen

Overhauling Digital Infrastructure for The Theological College

The Theological College, the official seminary school of The Catholic University, works to help seminary students decide if becoming a priest is right for them and prepares them for a life of service within the church. Academically, seminarians study at The Catholic University of America and live at The Theological College with other seminarians, sharing meals, community and encouraging personal growth.
The college approached Hofbauer Consulting for help updating the web systems used to manage their online presence and a community of enrolled seminarians. With over a century of history, the college sought to modernize its website and student portal to reduce administrative burden and enhance functionality for seminarians, faculty, and staff.

Initial Challenges:

The initial hurdle Hofbauer Consulting helped the college overcome was redesigning an outdated website that had accumulated significant technical debt. The unintuitive interface and limited tools made customizing, organizing and managing content difficult. Adding to the challenge, their internal student portal, hosted on Google Sites, was slated for decommissioning by Google in 2019. The decommissioning of this core platform meant they had to find a new solution to ensure they didn’t lose important data and functionality.

Solution Implementation:

Hofbauer Consulting worked in phases to address the college’s needs. First, the team migrated the website to a modernized WordPress drag-and-drop content management system. This transition allowed for greater control over content layout and design while retaining historical data and link structures. Despite the intricacies involved in directing the migration of a live site with over 150 pages, our thorough planning and impeccable execution facilitated a seamless transition.
Second, we developed a custom database solution to replace the Google Sites-based student portal. Building this solution required the team to map user journeys for students and administrators. It also involved integrating complex functionality and workflows like submitting, approving, and publishing student and faculty announcements. The system also integrated with multiple Google calendars and Workspace accounts to facilitate real-time synchronization.

Key Features and Benefits:

Once implemented, the new student portal revolutionized and automated the publication and dissemination of faculty and student communications. The custom database system also automated recurring tasks associated with updating and synchronizing calendars and managing data – reducing the number of manual tasks and human errors. Finally, The new drag-and-drop content management system empowered staff with limited technical expertise to easily create sophisticated layouts for the college’s new website.

Success and Impact:

The Theological College experienced immediate, tangible improvements in user engagement and operational efficiency following the implementation of their custom data system visual content management system. Students embraced the modernized platform, citing its intuitive interface and improved accessibility. The streamlined administrative processes were a welcome reprieve for administrators and faculty, who could now focus on higher-priority tasks.

The successful modernization of the college’s digital infrastructure exemplifies Hofbour Consulting’s commitment to understanding client needs deeply and the capacity to deliver tailored solutions to complex problems. Through close collaboration and a commitment to excellence, we transformed outdated digital infrastructure into a modern, efficient platform that enhances collaboration and communication among seminary students, faculty and administrators.