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School of Theology and Ministry

Theresa A. O'Keefe

associate professor of the practice of youth and young adult faith

Theresa A. O'Keefe

Contact Information | (617) 552-0932
Simboli Hall 322


B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. (Boston College)

Areas of Interest

Youth and young adult faith, developmental theory, feminist theology, ministerial and educational formation, Catholic Jewish dialogue.


Dr. O’Keefe has been teaching in the area of youth and young adult faith, assisting ministerial and educational leaders in that field to read the context of contemporary culture and analyze its impact on their constituencies. Drawing from multiple disciplines her intent is unpack the complexity of the ministerial setting so that educational and ministerial efforts may be more effectively constructed to enrich the lives of youth and young adults.

Dr. O’Keefe also leads the Contextual Education program, in which students use field opportunities to develop their praxis. Her aim is to assist students to develop reflective practices that help them better understand themselves as ministerial leaders.

Both of these areas of study and teaching are informed by her years of service in Catholic schools, parishes, and dioceses across the northeast United States. Her aim is to think critically and intelligently about ministry and leadership so as to assist people to work more effectively in their local settings.

Dr. O'Keefe is currently working on a book on ministry with adolescents and young adults.


Fall 2017
Contextual Education (TMPS 8007)
The Practice of Ministry with Youth and Young Adults (TMPS 7041)

Spring 2018
Contextual Education (TMPS 8007)
Educating for Justice and Peace (TMRE7083)

Other Courses
Identity: From Discovery to Integration
Mission, Curriculum and Pedagogy: Teaching High School Religion

Recent Publications

"Growing Up Alone: The new normal of isolation in adolscence," Journal of Youth Ministry, Vol 13, no. 1 (Fall 2014), 63-84.

"Companioning Adolescence into Adulthood: Schools as communities of care and growth," in At the Heart of Education: Chaplaincy, Guidance and Pastoral Care (Dublin:  Vertias Publications, 2014).

"Book Review: When God Shows Up: a history of Protestant youth ministry, by Mark Senter," Religious Education, Vol. 107, No. 2, April 2012.

"Relationships across the Divide: An instigator of transformation," Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2010.  Read Online

Learning to Talk: Conversation across Religious Difference," Religious Education Journal, Vol 104, No 2 (2009).

"The Same but Different: the culture in which our adolescents live," Journal of Youth and Theology, Vol. 7, no. 2 (November 2008), 41-59.

Coming to Know the Other ­ Coming to Know Oneself: A study of Jewish-Catholic dialogue at the congregational level - APRRE/REA (2004)
The report of a qualitative research study on an experience of Jewish-Catholic interreligious learning on the congregation level, focusing on the workings of conversation in that setting - how it worked and what it accomplished.

Concerns About Covenant: A critique of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's Many Religions ­ One Covenant - BC Website (2002)
A review and an analysis of Cardinal Ratzinger's theology of covenant and its implications for relations with non-Christian religions, particularly Judaism.  Read Online