Alumni Serve as Adjunct Faculty in University Theology Department

September 18, 2015
Bugliosi talking with students during a recent class

When we last encountered Gina Bugliosi she was in her third semester of coursework in the Master of Arts in theology degree program. She was featured in the lay student news section of the Oracle. As a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, she applied for and was awarded the John Ireland Scholarship, and began her coursework in spring 2013. Prior to beginning her coursework, she worked as an intern at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations. She had set the goal of completing her degree in two-and-a-half years, and “Upon completion, she hopes to teach and perhaps pursue doctoral studies.”

Mission accomplished.

Bugliosi received her diploma in May, and is now an adjunct faculty member teaching three classes of THEO 101, Christian Theological Tradition at the University of St. Thomas. What makes this most notable is that only 6 years ago, she herself was a student in the same class she is now teaching. Initially a Business major, it was her own positive experience in that course that compelled her to become a theology major and eventually decide to pursue graduate studies.

Her own instructor at the time, was a graduate of the School of Divinity, as are three of her colleagues. Dr. Mary Margaret Hoden, Ry Siggelkow, and Laura Stierman have also completed their Master of Arts in theology at the School of Divinity. Together, School of Divinity Alumni are currently teaching 10 sections of Theology courses at the University of St. Thomas.

For a large part of her undergraduate career, and throughout her graduate studies, Bugliosi was a tutor for the Theology department. It was this experience, together with her graduate coursework that prepared her to hit the ground running with THEO 101. Part of her approach in teaching is to encourage her students to develop the approach of a biblical scholar. She is helping them do this by pairing her lectures with small group work done by students during class.

Her own education and formation in theology have taught her that the process of studying theology asks the student to continually challenge their personal views. If it is not approached with care, the cost can be high. She understands that she will be making a case for the importance of theology as part of the core curriculum for the young students she is in charge of.  Through the study of theology, she wants her students to change the way they encounter reality.  

While plans for doctoral studies remain a possible next step for Bugliosi, she has found that in teaching theology she can impact young minds and their understanding of faith and intellect.  Her own story is evidence of what positive teaching can do to shape a student’s future.