Hans Gustafson, a doctoral candidate in religion at the Claremont Graduate University, has been named assistant director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, which is a joint enterprise of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, and St. John’s University, Collegeville.

The announcement was made by John Merkle, the center’s director.

Hans Gustafson

“Hans is especially well-prepared to advance the work of the Jay Phillips Center,” Merkle said.  “He has a superb background in the study of religion, significant interfaith experience and learning, and well-developed administrative talents.”

A native and current resident of Minneapolis, Gustafson has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Boston College and holds two master’s degrees, one in theology from the University of St. Thomas and the other in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University.

Gustafson’s scholarly work reflects a commitment to ecumenical and interreligious learning. He describes himself as “passionate about promoting interfaith collaboration and solidarity among students and others served by the Jay Phillips Center,” and he says he is “looking forward to continuing that great conversation which engages the big questions in life from a diverse range of religious and spiritual perspectives.”

While working on his doctoral dissertation, Gustafson has taught at several colleges and universities, including the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. This semester he is teaching the “Christian Theological Tradition” course at St. Thomas.

The Jay Phillips Center sponsors a host of interfaith activities, including public lectures, artistic performances, retreats for college students, and seminars for clergy. The events are held at the two sponsoring universities as well as at churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.