The major in theology seeks to assist students in their development towards union with God, the Blessed Trinity.  Through natural revelation, God manifests Himself in creation to human reason in its natural operation.  Through supernatural revelation, He manifests Himself in and through this same creation but in such a way as to reveal new, intimate depths of His Being and plan that surpass our natural power of knowing.  This superhuman revelation – received by means of the gift of supernatural faith – is transmitted to us through Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church, and the authentic Magisterium.  Through their courses in theology, (and always in a deeply cooperative symbiosis with the perennial philosophy) the students will carefully investigate God as revealed through faith.

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). These words from the First Letter of John express with remarkable clarity the heart of the Christian faith: the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. In the same verse, Saint John also offers a kind of summary of the Christian life: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”… in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.

Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est

Explore the Theology Program

1.   Undergraduate Theology is one of the most popular majors at Ave Maria.  We have over 60 students in the program.

2.   Because of the importance of Theology, all students, no matter what their major, are required to take three courses in Theology.

3.   Students, both majors and non-majors, frequently commend the theology faculty for the enormous personal benefit that they derive from the theology classes.  They find that the courses deeply assist them in their personal and spiritual development.

4.  Because most of the professors in Theology are also teachers in the Graduate Programs in Theology, as well, the undergraduate students have the benefit of especially well-qualified instructors.

In addition to the core curriculum, theology majors take the following courses

THEO 206 Creation and Grace

THEO 306 Catholic Spirituality -OR- THEO 409 Christian Marriage

THEO 307 Sacraments

THEO 309 Christ and His Church

THEO 405 Triune God

THEO 490 Senior Seminar

Elective Options

THEO 411 Advanced Scripture

THEO 412 Mary, Mother of God

THEO 410 Theology of Pope John Paul II

THEO 415 Special Topics such as C.S. Lewis – Theological Apologetics, Apologetics: See Catholic Response to the Protestant Reformation

See the Academic Catalog for course descriptions

Students who graduate with a major in Theology have a variety of options.  Some go on for further study at the graduate level either in the U.S. or in Europe.  Many go into teaching, working in Catholic high schools, and in parish educational programs.  Some have found work in diocesan offices and others have entered religious life as priests, sisters and brothers.

Center for the Renewal of Catholic Theology

Gerald Boersma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology
Education: Ph.D., Theology and Religion, University of Durham; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University; B.A., Religious Studies, Trinity Western University
Office: Henkels Academic Building 3003
Phone: (239) 304-7910
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Brandon Wanless 

Adjunct Instructor of Theology 
Education: Ph.D. (candidate), Ave Maria University; Systematic Theology. M.A., Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity; Theology. B.A., St. Mary’s University of Minnesota; Philosophy

Michael Dauphinais, Ph.D.

Chair of the Theology Department, Associate Professor of Theology
Education: B.S.E., Duke University; M.T.S., Theology, Duke Divinity School; Ph.D., Philosophical and Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame
Office: Henkels 3005
Phone: (239) 280-2538
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Fr. Robert Garrity

Assistant Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., English Literature, Aurora University; M.A., S.T.L., Theology, Catholic University of America; J.C.L., Canon Law, Catholic University of America; S.T.D., Theology, Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 2068
Phone: (239) 280-2424
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Jeremy Johnston, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Instructor of Theology 
Education: B.A., Theology, Ave Maria University; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University; Ph.D. (candidate), Theology, Ave Maria University

John O’Neill, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Instructor of Theology 
Education: B.A., Philosophy and Theology, Franciscan University; M.A., Theology, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies; S.T.B., Sacred Theology, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies; Ph.D. (candidate), Systematic Theology, Ave Maria University

Kevin Clarke, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Instructor of Theology
Education: B.A., Psychology, Roanoke College; M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry, Franciscan University; Ph.D. (candidate), Biblical Theology, Ave Maria University

Fr. Matthew Lamb

Cardinal Maida Professor of Theology
Education: S.T.L., Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Dr. Theo., Theology, Westfaelishe Wilhelms University, Muenster, Germany; Ph. D., Humanities, Honoris Causa, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Office: Henkels 3008
Phone: (239) 216-1024
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Steven Long, Ph.D.

Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., M.A., Philosophy, University of Toledo; Ph.D., Philosophy, Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 3007
Phone: (239) 280-1664

Roger Nutt, S.T.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Theology
Education: B.E.S., Literature & Philosophy, St. Cloud State University; M.A., Theology & Christian Ministry, Franciscan University of Steubenville; S.T.B., S.T.L., S.T.D., Sacred Theology, The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome
Office: Henkels 3056
Phone: (239) 280-1603
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Thomas Scheck, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., Bible & Theology, Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Bible & Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies: Religion, Classics & Philosophy, University of Iowa
Office: Henkels 3027
Phone: (239) 280-1640
Curriculum Vitae: Download

T. Adam Van Wart, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology
Education: Ph.D., Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University, M.T.S., Theology, Duke University, Th.M., Systematic Theology Dallas Theological Seminary, M.A., Counseling, Dallas Theological Seminary, B.S. Psychology, Texas Christian University
Office: Henkel’s Academic Building 3008
Phone: (239) 304-7825
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Michael Waldstein, Th.D.

Max Seckler Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College; Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Dallas; S.S.L., Sacred Scripture, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; Th.D., New Testament & Christian Origins, Harvard Divinity School
Office: Henkels 3009
Phone: (239) 280-2594
Curriculim Vitae: Download

Susan Waldstein, S.T.D.

Instructor of Theology
Education: B.A., Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College; S.T.M., S.T.L., Sacred Theology, International Theological Institute, Austria; S.T.D., Theology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Office: Henkels 3009
Phone: (230) 280-2594
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Mr. Jeffrey Walkey

Assistant Professor of Theology
Education: Ph.D. (candidate), Religious Studies Marquette University; M.T.S., Theological Studies, Duke Divinity School; B.S., Management, Purdue University
Office: Henkel’s Academic Building 3004
Phone: (239) 304-7363
Curriculum Vitae: Download