Dr. Robert G. Kennedy portrait

Dr. Robert G. Kennedy

Professor and Chair, Department of Catholic Studies
201 Sitzmann Hall
(651) 962-5140

Academic History

B.A., Philosophy, College of St. Thomas, 1972
M.A., Theology - New Testament, St. Paul Seminary, 1980
M.M.S., Master of Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame, 1982
Ph.D., Medieval Studies - Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 1985
M.B.A., Management, College of St. Thomas, 1990


Medieval Philosophy and Theology
Thomas Aquinas
Catholic Social Thought
Professional Ethics

Selected Publications

“Dürfen Soldaten vorsätzlich toten? Eine theologische Untersuchung,” [“May Soldiers Intend to Kill? A Theological Inquiry”] in Bernhard Koch, ed., Den Gegner schützen? (Berlin: Nomos, 2014) pp 241-263.

“Thomas Aquinas’s Model of God,” in Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher, eds., (Dordrecht: Spring SBM, 2013) pp 157-164.

The Good that Business Does. Grand Rapids, MI: Acton Institute, 2006. 

Development of Doctrine in Moral Theology: Can What Was Once Wrong Now Be Right?” in University of St Thomas Law Journal, 1 (2003) 253-273.  

The Professionalization of Work,” in Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Work as Key to the Social Question (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002) pp 99-110.

Will We Ever Have Enough Priests?America 13 September 1997, pp 18-22.

Selected Presentations

“Subsidiarity and the Management of Associations,” invited presentation at the 13th German-American Colloquium (Wildbath Kreuth, Germany) 22 July 2014.

“Can Harsh Interrogation Be Morally Legitimate?” invited panel presentation, Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, 14th Annual Fall Conference, 8 November 2013.

“A Catholic Analysis of Modern Problems for the Just War Tradition,” invited presentation at the Sixth Galilee Colloquium on Social, Moral and Legal Philosophy, Kfar Blum, Israel, 23 June 2011.

“Business and Human Development: The Proposal of the Encyclical Caritas in veritate,” 16th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain, 13 May 2010.

 “On Being Truly Practical: Why Virtue Matters in Business,” conference on The Business of Practical Wisdom. Catholic University, Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany, 25 Sep 2009.

 “St Thomas Aquinas on bellum iustum,” conference on The Hermeneutics of the Just War Tradition, Institut für Theologie und Frieden, Hamburg, Germany, 4-6 January 2009.

“Is the Just War Theory Obsolete?” International Society for Military Ethics, San Diego, CA, 25 January 2008.

“Is the Doctrine of Preemption a Legitimate Element of the Just War Tradition?” Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics, Washington, DC, 27 January 2005.

Professional Memberships

American Catholic Philosophical Association

-  Executive Council, 1994-96

-  Chair, Committee on the Future of the ACPA (1995-96)

-  Chair, ACPA Working Group on Business Ethics, 1991-

-  Member, Organizing Committee, 1999 Annual Conference

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

International Society for Military Ethics (ISME)

Fall 2015 Courses

Fall 2015 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CSMA 593 - 01 Dawson - T - - - - - 1800 - 2100 55S 207
CRN: 41032 3 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy Topics courses examine in detail a small, focused set of questions arising from one or more of the disciplines within the graduate Catholic Studies program. Topics and instructors will vary.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 599 - 02 Master's Essay - - - R - - - 0600 - 0700
CRN: 41407 3 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CSMA 599 - 11 Spiritual Gothic Architecture - - - - - - - 0600 - 0700
CRN: 43570 3 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
DVMT 725 - 01 Catholic Social Teaching M - - - - - - 0830 - 1030 BEC 101
CRN: 40456 Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy Provides an overview of the Church's social teaching as reflected in Sacred Scripture, papal encyclicals and other documents, while applying Catholic social teaching to an illustrative selection of contemporary issues. Issues include poverty, immigration, business ethics, racism, the environment, globalization, rural economies, war and peace, terrorism, economic justice, and human rights. Prerequisite: (for M.A.T. students): DVMT 601 or permission by instructor.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2016 Courses

J-Term 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2016 Courses

Spring 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
CATH 397 - 01 Dawson: The Church in History - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 55S B10
CRN: 22497 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy This course will examine in detail a small focused set of questions arising from one or more areas of the interdisciplinary program in Catholic Studies. Topics will vary from year to year but will not duplicate existing courses. The selection in any given semester will depend upon the interest of the students and instructors and on the availability of community resources (for example, guest lecturers). Some examples of subject matter include: Is Christian tragedy possible? Does Catholic belief conflict with the findings of modern science? What is the relationship of Catholicism to various economic systems? The odd number is used if the course fulfills a core curriculum requirement. Please see here for the searchable class schedule on Murphy Online View Searchable Class Schedule

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CATH 398 - 01 Management in the Church M - W - F - - 1455 - 1600 55S 207
CRN: 22855 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy Peter Drucker, one of the foremost management writers of the twentieth century, defined management as “responsibility for contribution.” On this view, anyone who accepts (or takes) responsibility for making a specific contribution to the success of an organization’s activities is acting in a managerial capacity. In this course we will try to identify some of the essential principles of management and consider how they might be applied in the context of the Church. To do this, we will three broad topic areas that converge to illuminate what it would mean to lead and manage well in organizations associated with the Church. First is a theology of the Church, which will entail elements of ecclesiology, pastoral theology and canon law. Second, relevant themes from the social doctrine of the Church, including ideas about the common good, work, subsidiarity and stewardship. Finally, we will review some key ideas in practical management and begin to develop some skills in this area. We may also give some attention to the future of the pastoral structures and activities of the Church to the extent that we can recognize some trends and anticipate some demands.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
CATH 401 - 01 Church&Culture:Soc Dim of Cath - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 55S B10
CRN: 21784 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Robert G. Kennedy This course provides an investigation into the ways in which Catholicism is inherently social and ecclesial. Its specific focus is on the Christian engagement with the world. The course's framework will be taken from the analysis of society into three spheres of action (culture, politics, and economics) as described in Centesimus annus. We will examine the ways that Revelation, the sacramental life, and the teachings of the Church call Catholics to seek holiness and to witness to their faith in the world. Specific topics may include social and economic justice, politics and public policy, lay and religious apostolates, education, and marriage and family. Course materials may include resources from philosophy, theology, history, economics, and political science. Prerequisite: CATH 101 and Junior standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Undergraduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions

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