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

Sedes Sapientiae, ora pro nobis!

Thank you for visiting Ave Maria University website in order to learn more about our B.A. in theology. AMU is committed to the renewal and deepening of genuinely Catholic spiritual, intellectual, and cultural life. To choose a Theology Major is to embark on an exacting and exciting venture to deepen both one’s contemplative union with the Triune God and one’s understanding of the great truths of the Catholic faith.

To study theology challenges us to open our minds and hearts to Jesus Christ, the one Teacher who illumines everything by his very being as the Word of the Father in the Holy Spirit. To study Catholic theology is to realize that the Word Incarnate and the Holy Spirit inspired Sacred Scripture and continue to guide the Magisterium of the Church, whose Tradition directs us as we reach up to the great minds and hearts of the many saints and scholars who over the millennia have contributed to the quest for genuine holiness, wisdom, science, scholarship, and art.

If you decide to become a Theology Major at AMU, it is their lives and writings that you will study. Fidelity to Catholic truth demands more—not less—commitment to deepening and broadening one’s intelligence to appreciate the unity of theological and philosophical wisdom, too often forgotten in the many specializations and fragmentations of contemporary academic culture. Our program emphasizes a contemplative pattern of study that initiates students into the great tradition of speculative wisdom, with its unifying theoretical vision of the whole of God’s creative and redemptive presence.

Dr. Dauphinais

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

Kevin Clarke, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Professor of Theology

Education: P.h.D. Candidate, Biblical Theology, Ave Maria University; M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry, Franciscan University of Steubenville; B.A., Psychology, Roanoke College;
Research Interests: Biblical Theology Christology
Patrology (study of the Church Fathers) The Senses of Scripture
Maximus the Confessor the Cappadocians
monasticism and asceticism the Apostolic Fathers
Thomas Aquinas Mariology (study of Mary, the Virgin Mother)
Classes taught:
Theo105: Sacred Scripture
Theo205: Sacred Doctrine
Theo502: New Testament
One focal point of my research has been the Biblical hermeneutics in early Christianity (New Testament authors and Church Fathers), especially their spiritual exegesis of Scripture and readings that harmonize both Old and New. My primary focus is Maximus the Confessor and Maximus’s interpretation of Scripture and the Fathers in the monothelite heresy. In my dissertation, I have been exploring more thoroughly Maximus’s philosophy of nature and its place in his thought, whether Trinitarian, Christological, or soteriological. I have published or forthcoming several articles, and I have an edited book in production with CUA Press on the Fathers of the Church and the capital vices (forthcoming, spring 2018). I am also co-editing a book on patristic spirituality, a collection of essays on the ascent to God.”
Kevin Clarke
Curriculum Vitae:  Download

Michael Dauphinais, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology & Department Chair
Education: B.S.E., Duke University; M.T.S. Duke Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame.
Office: Henkels 3005
Phone: (239) 280-2538
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download
Courses taught:
370 C. S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics
405/523 Triune God
522 Theology of Revelation
651 Theological Ethics
691/692 Colloquium on Ancients and Moderns

Travis Dziad, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Instructor of Theology
Education:  Ph.D. (candidate), Theology, Ave Maria University; S.T.M., Theology, International Theological Institute; B.A., Liberal Arts, Wyoming Catholic College

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

Daniel Lendman, Ph.D. (candidate)

Adjunct Instructor of Theology
Education: Ph.D. (candidate), Systematic Theology, Ave Maria University; S.T.L., Systematic Theology, International Theological Institute; S.T.M., Theology, International Theological Institute; M.A., Philosophy, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology; B.A., Liberal Arts, Thomas Aquinas College

Kara Logan, Ph.D. (candidate)

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

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

Fr. Guy Mansini, S.T.D.

Adjunct Instructor of Theology
Education: S.T.D., Pontifical Gregorian University; M.A., Philosophy, Marquette University; M.A., Religious Studies, Indiana University; M. Div., Theology, Saint Meinrad School of Theology; B.A., Philosophy, Saint Meinrad College
Office: Academic Building, 3009
Phone: (239) 280-2594

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
Thomas Scheck has translated a number of biblical commentaries and sets of homilies by the Church Fathers, Origen, St. Jerome and St. Chromatius of Aquileia. He has published two books: Origen and the History of Justification, and Erasmus’s Life of Origen.

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
Research Interests: Scripture, Patristics (Church Fathers); Origen, Jerome, Erasmus, Reformation
Classes taught: 
GERM 101/102  Elementary/Intermediate German
THEO 105/H Sacred Scripture Honors
THEO 205 Sacred Doctrine
THEO 250 Foundations of Catechesis
THEO 411 Advanced Scripture
THEO 415/595/630 Patristic Exegesis of St. Paul
THEO 490 Senior Seminar
THEO 501 Old Testament
THEO 595 Themes in Old Testament Theology
Office: Henkels 3027
Phone: (239) 280-1640
Curriculum Vitae: Download

T. Adam Van Wart, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology

With a research agenda concentrated primarily in the fields of systematic and philosophical theology, Dr. Van Wart’s current academic research queries the relationship between first and second order intentionality with respect to the Church’s speech and knowledge of God. Nonetheless, Dr. Van Wart enjoys teaching across the broad spectrum of theological fields, helping to habituate students into a deeper appreciation and understanding of the grammar of Catholic faith in all its holistic beauty.

Prior to joining the faculty at AMU, Dr. Van Wart earned a PhD in Religious Studies with a concentration in systematic theology from Southern Methodist University; a Master of Theological Studies degree from Duke University Divinity School; both a (4-year) Master of Theology degree and a Master of Arts in counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary; and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Texas Christian University. He is married to Megan, his bride of 17 years, with whom he has the great pleasure of raising three delightful children, aged 12, 8, and 4.

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 

Courses taught: 
THEO 105 Sacred Scripture
THEO 309 Christ and His Church
THEO 390 Catholic Bioethics
THEO 400 Living in Christ: Moral Theology
THEO 409 Senior Seminar
THEO 553 Systematic Theology & Eschatology
Research interests:
  • Systematic Theology
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Grammar of Doctrine
  • Modern Catholic and Protestant Theology
  • Theology and Language


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

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