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The Church in the 21st Century Center


the church in the 21st century center

Picture of Tom Groome

Thomas H. Groome


Dr. Thomas H. Groome has been a faculty member at Boston College since 1976. He completed seminary education at St. Patrick’s College in Carlow, Ireland, and earned a master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University and a doctorate in theology and education from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University Teachers College. 

Professor Groome has been honored for his work with the Emmaus Award from the National Association of Parish Religious Educators, Christian Culture Gold Medal Award from Assumption University (Canada) and by the Catholic Press Association.

His knowledge and expertise in religious education, theology and ministry make him a sought-after speaker in religious education circles and beyond. During the past 35 years, Dr. Groome has made more than 700 presentations to religious educators throughout North America, and served as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Emory, Chicago, Notre Dame and Georgetown, among others. He has lectured outside the US in Ireland, England, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Jamaica, Lithuania, Sweden, Peru, Ecuador, Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Professor Groome is author of many scholarly and popular books, his most recent being, Catholic Spiritual Practices (Paraclete 2013),  Will There Be Faith (HarperCollins, 2011), and What Makes us Catholic (HarperCollins 2002).  He is also primary author of the Credo high school theology curriculum from Veritas, created with his doctoral students here at Boston College.

Picture of Karen Kiefer

Karen Kelly Kiefer

Associate Director

Karen Kelly Kiefer joins the Church in the 21st Century Center as its Associate Director. A Boston College alumna, Karen later returned to the university to work in the Office of University Advancement for close to a decade under the leadership of J. Donald Monan, S.J., and served as an adjunct faculty member in the Communication Department. Her marketing communications background and deep commitment to faith and philanthropy inspired her to create the nonprofit organization, Spread the Bread. Karen credits Boston College Jesuits for their profound influence towards the formation of this lay bread vocation. Active in the Church and its future, Karen and her husband Sam are raising four young daughters.

Picture of Ellie Zapata

Elizandra Zapata

Administrative & Operations Specialist

Elizandra Zapata joined the Church in the 21st Century Center in 2011. Elizandra has a background in corporate marketing and public relations and has a keen interest in technology. Formerly a programming assistant at Leadership for Change at the Carroll School of Management, Elizandra has also worked in Student Affairs and Capital Projects Management at Boston College. She has served on the, C21 Center Hispanic Committee, the Employee Development Task Team and on the Operational Efficiency Initiative in support of the University’s  Strategic Plan. Elizandra is actively involved in the Women’s Collaborative Group, Benjamin E. Mays Mentoring Program at Boston College and in community work in her hometown.

Picture of Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth Campbell

C21 Fellow