About - CEDE Program for High Schools

The world needs a revolution in

Catholic Entrepreneurship

The term “entrepreneur” seems to have too narrow a definition these days. It calls to mind a Silicon Valley startup owner looking for venture capital for the next gaming app. In the broadest sense, though, a true entrepreneur is someone who creates real human value in the world. A student, a nurse, a mom, and a truck driver can all be entrepreneurs: they can all find ways to develop the world around them, serve the needs of others, and live a fulfilling life.

This course aims to teach students entrepreneurial thought and skills in light of Catholic theology — to create a new generation of Catholics who are inspired by God to make a meaningful impact in the workplace and beyond.


Foundational Principles

This generation is under attack from all fronts. In a world heavily influenced by the media and motivated by materialism, where the culture erodes families and faith communities alike, students need more than information; they need hearts and minds that are capable of navigating to their “true north,” the fulfillment of their personal vocation.

To form this next generation of Catholic leaders, our course is built around five foundational principles we hope to instill in our students.

Personal Encounter

CEDE includes an onboarding program for teachers and ongoing support through a growing community of educators and business leaders.


Breaking free from the limitations of consumption and conformity.


Strive for modes of communication that are direct, loving, and true.


Moving from ideas to reality is the expression of eternity, divinity.


The antidote to a culture of calculation.

Created by

Leading Catholic Entrepreneurs

Seeing a desperate need for renewal in the world of Catholic entrepreneurship, these organizations joined together to create a program that changes hearts and minds and develops the next generation of youth into faithful entrepreneurs.

The result is CEDE: an accessible, interactive course for high school students, supported by the resources and expertise of leading organizations in Catholic education.

Meet our team

Luke Burgis

Creator & Advisory Board chair

Luke Burgis has founded and led four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology. He’s currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Director of Programs at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship where he also teaches business at The Catholic University of America. Luke has started and serves on the board of several new K-12 education initiatives. He studied business at NYU’s Stern School of Business and philosophy and theology at a pontifical university in Rome. He’s Managing Partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator he founded to build, train, and invest in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology. 

Jon Bachura

Global Director

Jon is a strategist, writer, philosopher, facilitator, instruction and pedagogy designer, and amateur comic. He is an epiphany junkie, awesomeness evangelist, and a fan of the Oxford Comma. A graduate of Emporia State University, Jon has worked for small businesses and entrepreneurs since he was 10 years old. In 2009, Jon graduated from the Koch Associate
Program, one of the educational programs operated by the…

Willam Cueto

Founding Partner & Advisor

William is a graduate of Marymount University where he earned a degree in business administration and of St. Thomas University where he earned his law degree. William’s 20 plus year career consists of working for a Fortune 200 company in the business services industry as a corporate executive, leading global compliance requirements.

Part of his role involved leading the government relations function and serving as the company’s Washington health care reform representative to the leading policy and advocacy arm of Fortune 500 companies, working with corporate and government officials through stages of health care reform.

In support of Church ministry, William led the establishment of an international young men’s Catholic student residence in Miami, created and hosted a EWTN cable series, Builders of Hope, and became admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of a plaintiff group that attempted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Andreas Widmer

director of the ciocca center

Andreas E. Widmer is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Art & Carlyse Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business & Economics. Previously he co-founded The SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization promoting enterprise solutions to poverty. Widmer is a seasoned business executive with experience in high-tech, international business strategy, consulting and economic development. He served as CEO of the business strategy firm OTF Group (formerly part of the Monitor Group) and helped lead web content management pioneer Eprise Corporation, speech recognition pioneer Dragon Systems, and internet pioneer FTP Software.

He has worked extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, has brought more than 100 leading-edge technology products to market, and was an executive in residence at Highland Capital Partners. Andreas is the author of The Pope & The CEO: Pope Saint John Paul II’s Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard, a book exploring leadership lessons that Widmer learned serving as a Swiss Guard protecting Pope John Paul II and refined during his career as a successful business executive.

Rebecca Teti

Director of Operations

Rebecca Ryskind Teti comes to the Ciocca Center after a career in the non-profit world, and as a popular columnist and speaker on practical applications of Catholic spirituality and Catholic Social Thought, and the role of women in the Church. 

Candace Mottice

Director of Partnerships

Candace Mottice is Assistant Director of the Röpke-Wojtyła Fellowship program with Dr. Frederic Sautet, and plans Ciocca Center special events as well. In addition to an MA in Economics, she received bachelors degrees in economics and French from George Mason University, and is an alumna of the Mercatus Center MA Fellowship, also at George Mason University.


Tim Navone

In the Fall of 2020 we will open our Principled Entrepreneurship Institute at Marin Catholic and could not have done it without the CEDE curriculum. This will be the foundation of the course where our students will discern their vocation and purpose in life as entrepreneurs in service of our world.

President of Marin Catholic

Most Reverend John Barres

CEDE is about more than business skills. It helps to form missionary disciples who bring a confident, entrepreneurial spirit to anything they do.

Bishop of Rockville Centre

Andrew Abela

CEDE is a one-of-a-kind program: a dynamic, substantive and flexible high school entrepreneurship curriculum integrating Catholic Social Teaching in a manner that reveals the human person as the proper center of economic life. The program is rich, adaptable, and fun to teach!

Dean of the Busch School of Business

John Garvey

Through CEDE, The Catholic University of America is investing in high school education and the next generation of teachers with a program that is engaging for students and teachers alike. It’s a deeply vocational program, helping students to discover their own gifts and to put them at the service of the common good.

President of the Catholic University of America

Equip the next generation of business leaders

Help students discover God’s purpose for their lives and transform the world.