Associate Professor of Homilitics / Formation Director for MAPS-CGS
• D.Min. in Preaching (Aquinas Institute of Theology, 2003)
• M.Div. (Aquinas Institute of Theology, 1999)
• B.A. (Kalamazoo College, 1991)
I first came to Aquinas Institute in 1994 as a neophyte religion teacher in the Catholic education system in Guam, Micronesia. Twenty years later, I still am learning and growing here!
While completing my doctorate, I joined the regular faculty of the school in 2000 to teach pastoral theology and homiletics. I have also served in a variety of administrative capacities including, at one time or the other, Director of Field Education, Director of the Aquinas Ministry Integration Project, Director of Distance Learning, Director of the Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, Director of MAPS-CGS, and Chair of Curriculum and Program Development. This propensity to end up time and again in administrative roles led me to want to engage others in theological reflection on the spirituality of administration, and eventually to write the book Redeeming Administration (Ave Maria Press, 2013). I have been privileged to work with numerous dioceses, ecumenical groups, and religious congregations around this topic.
Among the various programs at Aquinas within which I’ve been honored to serve, I have a particular ongoing commitment to the MAPS-CGS program, launched in 2005 to provide leadership development for the international Catechesis of the Good Shepherd movement. At this point in time we have had approximately forty catechists graduate from this one-of-a-kind program, and another twelve are currently completing their studies. Our CGS students have come from Canada, Norway, and across the U.S.—everywhere from California to Martha’s Vineyard, Alaska to Alabama. I enjoy coordinating the spiritual formation component of this program and the way that it allows me to continue to pursue research on the theological underpinnings of the CGS movement, especially its co-founder Sofia Cavalletti.
Much of my current energy is devoted to the question of healthy conflict within the Christian communities. I am interested in developing a theology of conversation that is consonant with our theology of communion, and identifying practices of communication that Christians can embed into daily life as part of their baptismal commitment. If all goes well, my newest book, Redeeming Conflict will come out in Fall 2016.
• Consultant, Triad Consulting Group – Cambridge, MA
• Formation Committee, National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
• Preaching to the Choir (New Priory Press, 2014)
• Redeeming Administration (Ave Maria Press, 2013)
• A Concise Guide to Supervising a Ministry Student (Ave Maria Press, 2008)
• Mustard Seed Preaching (LTP, 2005)
• The Theology of Priesthood [co-edited with Fr. Don Goergen] (Liturgical Press, 2000)
• “Children and Eucharist,” Journal of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, 2014 (forthcoming)
• “Preaching and Children,” in We Preach Christ Crucified, edited by Michael Connors, CSC. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014 (pp. 206-214)
• “Generativity,” Human Development, Fall 2013
• “Embracing Discord: Preparing Ministers for Healthy Conflict,” Human Development, Winter 2013
• “On a Dominican Vision of Theological Education,” Seminary Journal, Spring 2012
• Series of 5 scriptural commentaries, Together for Life, fifth edition. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2012
• Series of 20 liturgical commentaries, Together for Life web site, Ave Maria Press, 2012
• “Man and Woman, Together in Ministry,” Human Development. Spring 2011
• “Conversation Peace: Practicing What We Preach in Resolving Conflicts,” (with Sheila Heen) America Magazine, January 4-11, 2010
“Preaching as Difficult Conversation” Keynote Address (with Sheila Heen), Academy of Homiletics, Louisville, Kentucky, December 2013
“Spirituality of Administration” National Catholic Education Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 2014
“The Theology and Practice of Preaching” Diocese of London-Ontario, Canada, 2014
“Spirituality of Administration” International Ursuline Gathering, New Rochelle, New York, 2014
“Embracing Conversion” Keynote Address, National Pastoral Musicians Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2014