Fr. Massa, SJ, Named Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry
ByBoston College has announced the appointment of Mark S. Massa, S.J., the Karl Rahner Professor of Theology and the director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University, as dean of the School of Theology & Ministry (STM). He succeeds founding Dean Richard Clifford, S.J., who will step down at the conclusion of the Summer Institute at the end of July.
Fr. Massa is a respected theologian and scholar whose research has focused on the Catholic experience in the United States since World War II. He is also the author of six books, including the award-winning Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day and the Notre Dame Football Team, and Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?
In announcing the appointment, University President William P. Leahy, S.J., praised Fr. Massa as a dedicated Jesuit priest and accomplished teacher and scholar who is well suited to advance the School of Theology & Ministry. “Fr. Massa brings wisdom and great experience as a theologian to this position,” said Fr. Leahy. “The School of Theology and Ministry will be in good hands with him as dean.”
Fr. Massa said that he welcomes the challenge of leading STM, which was founded in 2008 when the Weston Jesuit School of Theology re-affiliated with Boston College and joined the Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and C21 Online to form the new school.
“The School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College is the most exciting development in American ministerial education to take place in a generation: one of the most respected faculties of ministerial theology in the United States has joined forces with Boston College’s Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry to establish a new school at a world-class university,” said Fr. Massa. “I'm excited and honored to be selected as the next dean of such an important venture.”
A graduate of the University of Detroit with a bachelor’s degree in history and theology, Fr. Massa holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, a M.Div. from the Weston School of Theology, and a Th.D. in Church history from Harvard University.
During his professional career he received the inaugural award for “Best Teacher in the Humanities” from Fordham College in 1994, and has served on numerous boards including Loyola University’s Board of Trustees from 2008-2010, and the editorial board for the Journal of Catholic Social Thought at Villanova University. He is also a member of the American Society of Church History, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the American Studies Association.
He will begin his new role as dean during the summer.