The Theology Department hosts many events each academic year. The New Frontiers series of lectures showcases current scholarship by members of the department. During departmental colloquia, we invite guests to review works recently published by members of the Theology department. Our "Theology Night Live" topics draw hundreds of students and members from the community together for pizza and conversation about a variety of theological topics. We have also hosted conferences on Vatican II that have drawn audiences from all over this country and internationally. Visit also our events archive.

Upcoming Department Events

Mar 08 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Glenda Wildschut, one of the commissioners who served with Desmond Tutu on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will speak on the role of the arts in the work of reconciliation. Read More

Apr 08 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016, 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM

Dr. Nicholas Cafardi (Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Duquesne University), Dr. Kristin Heyer (Boston College), Bishop Robert McElroy (Bishop of San Diego) Read More

May 04 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

"The Church of Pope Francis and the Environment as a Theological Issue" Read More

New Frontiers Lecture Series

The Theology Department has hosted a lecture series, New Frontiers in Theological Research, twice a year since 2012. The aim of the series is to present the scholarly research of the faculty of the UST Theology Department in a publicly accessible form. The series contributes to the University’s emphasis on the integration of theology with other fields of study.

In the fall semester (2015), the department will showcase Dr. Philip Rolnick, who will speak on the topic: "Naturalism and Transcendence: A Debate about Science." The lecture is based on Phil Rolnick's book, Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos (Baylor University Press, forthcoming fall 2015). The lecture will take place on Thursday, November 12, 2015, in the OEC Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.‌

Other lectures in the series:

Dr Massimo Faggioli, ‘Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning’, April 19, 2012. See a similar lecture at St. Jerome's University.

Dr Anne King, ‘Christianity and the New Atheism’, November 15, 2012.

Dr Michael Hollerich, ‘Eusebius and the Making of a Christian Culture’, March 14, 2013.

Dr John Martens, ‘“Let the Little Children Come to Me”: How Christianity Changed the Lives of Children’, October 22, 2013.

Dr. Terence Nichols, ‘Muslim-Christian Dialogue’, March 4, 2014.

Dr Amy Levad, ‘Redeeming a Prison Society: A Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration’, October 21, 2014.

Dr David Penchansky, ‘The Bible and the Quran’, February 24, 2015.

Interdisciplinary Colloquia

The Theology Department has hosted a series of colloquia, typically twice a semester, since 2014. Guests review works recently published by members of the Theology Department. The aim of the colloquia is to highlight the scholarly research of the faculty of the UST Theology Department and to engage in conversation about their work in a hospitable atmosphere.

In the fall of 2015, the Department will host two colloquia:

On Monday, September 21, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the Library Leather Room, Dr. Douglas Lewis, professor of philosophy in the department of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, will respond to a book jointly written by Dr. Thomas Sullivan (Aquinas Chair Emeritus, UST department of philosophy) and Dr. Russell Pannier (professor of law Emeritus, William Mitchel College of Law), Modern Challenges to Past Philosophy: Arguments and Responses (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014).



On Monday, October 5, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the Library Leather Room, Dr. Cyril O’Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will respond to Dr. Mark McInroy’s new book, Balthasar on the Spiritual Senses: Perceiving Splendour (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). The book is a winner of the 2015 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.




Previous Colloquia:

Corrine Carvalho, "The God that Gog Creates," with Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell (art history) responding (March 23, 2015).

Massimo Faggioli, Sorting Out Catholicism, with Meg Wilkes-Karraker (sociology) responding (February 16, 2015).

Paul Gavrilyuk, Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance, with Marcus Plested (Theology Department, Marquette University) responding (September 29, 2014).

David Penchansky, Understanding Wisdom Literature: Conflict and Dissonance in the Hebrew Text, with Terence Fretheim (Luther Seminary) responding (March 14, 2014).

Amy Levad, Redeeming a Prison Society: a Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013) with Peter Parilla (sociology) responding (February 19, 2014).

Theology Club

The UST Theology Club meets weekly to discuss theological topics ranging from the compatibility of Christianity and capitalism to the aesthetics of the cross. Membership is open to students of all faiths; the only requirement is a willingness to discuss topics politely and rationally with people whose beliefs differ from your own. For most meetings, the Club invites an expert from the Theology Department to introduce and guide discussion. Free food and drinks are provided.

For more information, please take a look at our club website: If you have additional questions or would like to receive weekly updates about the Theology Club, please email club secretary Tasha Johnson:

2015 Gaudium et Spes Conference

The Church in the Modern World:
Teaching and Understanding Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years
March 12-14, 2015
The University of St. Thomas

The conference included presenters from Benedictine College, University of Utah, Boston College, University of St. Catherine, University of Dayton, Marquette University, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, St. John’s University NY, Seton Hall University, Minnesota Catholic Conference, Prairie College, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart-Milan, Italy, Walsh University, University of South Carolina Aiken, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Loyola Marymount University, St. Mary’s College of California, The University of Oklahoma, Cabrini College and the University of St. Thomas. 

The topics of the sessions included Theology and Art, Questions of Authority, Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue, Women and Gaudium et Spes, Karl Rahner and Gaudium et Spes, Morality and Rights, Evaluating Progress, Social Catholicism in the Public Sphere, Technology, The Impact on Business Life, Teaching Gaudium et Spes, The Impact of Gaudium et Spes, Some Contemporary Concerns, Applying the Tradition in Education, Rights and Freedoms, Catholicism’s Contribution to Human Flourishing, Creation and Education and Peace and Harmony in Catholic Thought.

Recordings of keynote addresses can be viewed by clicking on the links, below:

Massimo Faggioli
Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years: Its Meaning for Learning Church

Cathleen Kaveny
Joy and Hope?: Catholic Social Teaching After the Second Vatican Council

Leslie Tentler
Hope and Anguish: A Grass-roots Look at the Catholic 1960s

William Cavanaugh
Return of the Golden Calf: Economy, Idolatry, and Secularization Since Gaudium et Spes

The schedule of the conference was published in the department's newsletter, theology matters, and can be viewed here.

2012 The Council After 50 Years Conference

Vatican II: Teaching and Understanding the Council after 50 Years

September 20-22, 2012
Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Theology Department
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

Topics of sessions in the academic conference included: Ecumenism, Dei verbum, Nostra aetate, Evangelization, Lumen gentium, Moral Theology, Ecclesiology, Vocation, Issues in Contemporary Culture, and The Laity.

“Vatican II: Its Aims and Trajectories”
—Rev. John O’Malley, S.J., Ph.D

University Professor, Georgetown University, is the author of several books on modern Catholicism, including What Happened at Vatican II.  Fr. O’Malley lectures widely to professional and general audiences throughout North America and Europe. He is a renowned historian of the religious culture of early modern Europe and has received a number of accolades for his work, including best-book prizes, fellowships, and honorary degrees.

“Sacrosanctum Concilium and its Reception: A Key to the Interpretation of the Second Vatican Council”
—Rev. Jan Michael Joncas, S.L.D., S.L.L.

Associate Professor of Catholic Studies and Theology, University of St. Thomas, has written and lectured extensively on the history and theology of worship, liturgical music and theological aesthetics.  He is the author of The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Worship and Liturgyand From Sacred Song to Ritual Music: Twentieth-Century Understandings of Roman Catholic Worship Music.


“Memory and Reform: Vatican II Today - Fifty Years Later”
—Sr. Maureen Sullivan, O.P., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology, St. Anselm College, is a scholar and expert on the Second Vatican Council. She is the author of these significant contributions to the scholarship of Vatican II: 101 Questions and Answers on Vatican II and The Road to Vatican II:  Key Changes in Theology.


“Teaching Vatican II in Theological Schools: Implications for Pastoral Ministry”
—Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., Ph.D.

Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, University of St. Thomas, is an expert in areas related to Catholic theological education, seminary formation, and the relationship between the Church and American culture.  She is the author of many publications including Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes.


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