Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department

Regular Faculty

 
James B. Bennett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Bennett joined the Religious Studies Department faculty in 2002. Following an M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, Professor Bennett earned a Ph.D. in American Religious History from Yale University in 1999. Read the full profile »
Socorro Castañeda-Liles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Professor Socorro Castañeda-Liles was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 1998 with a B.S. in Sociology and a double minor in Ethnic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Read the full profile »
Michael Castori, S.J.
Assistant Professor
Fr. Castori is a graduate of Harvard with an A.B. in Classics. Following Harvard, Fr. Castori earned an M.A. in Philosophical Resources from Fordham prior to an M.Div. from JSTB and a joint Ph.D. from the Univ. of California, Berkeley and the GTU. Read the full profile »
Paul G. Crowley S.J.
Jesuits Community Professor
Fr. Crowley earned a B.A. in Political and Legal Philosophy from Stanford prior to completing an M.A. in the Philosophy of Religion from Columbia and Union Theological Seminary. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from the GTU. Read the full profile »
David Gray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dr. Gray a B.A. in Religious Studies from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in the History of Religion from Columbia University. Read the full profile »
Kristin E. Heyer, Ph.D.
Bernard J. Hanley Professor
Kristin Heyer received her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College in 2003. Read the full profile »
Teresia Mbari Hinga, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dr. Hinga received a B.Ed. in English Literature and Religious Studies from Kenyatta University and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Nairobi University prior to a Ph.D. in Religious Studies/African Christianity from the University of Lancaster. Read the full profile »
Akiba J. Lerner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Akiba Lerner is a Jewish Studies scholar who earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007. Prior to his Ph.D., Akiba earned a B.A. in History from the University of California, Berkeley before an M.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford. Read the full profile »
Gary Macy, Ph.D.
John Nobili, S.J. Professor, Department Chair, Director, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
Dr. Macy earned undergraduate and a master's degrees from Marquette University before earning a doctoral degree in historical theology from Cambridge University. Read the full profile »
Michael C. McCarthy, S.J.
Associate Professor
Fr. McCarthy is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Classical Languages. He then earned a B.A./M.A. from Oxford prior to an M.Div. from JSTB and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Read the full profile »
Margaret R. McLean, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer
Dr. McLean earned a B.S. in Biology from USF prior to an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Pathology, awarded by the Medical College of Wisconsin. She then earned an M.Div. degree from Luther Theological Seminary then another Ph.D., this time in Ethics, from the GTU. Read the full profile »
Catherine M. Murphy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dr. Murphy earned a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Catechetics from Santa Clara University. After Santa Clara, she went to the University of Notre Dame for an M.A. and a Ph.D. Read the full profile »
Frederick J. Parrella, Ph.D.
Professor
Dr. Parrella chose Classical Languages as his undergraduate major at Fordham College prior to studying theology for an M.A. and Ph.D. at Fordham University. Read the full profile »
David Pinault, Ph.D.
Professor
David Pinault teaches courses on Islam and world religions. He is the author of various books on Arabic literature and Islam. Read the full profile »
Ana María Pineda, R.S.M.
Associate Professor
Sr. Pineda studied theology at the Jesuit School of Theology before earning an M.A. in theology from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She then completed an S.T.D. in Pastoral Theology from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, Spain. Read the full profile »
J. David Pleins, Ph.D.
Professor
Dr. Pleins earned all of his degrees from the University of Michigan, with a B.A. in Philosophy (1980), an M.A. in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies in 1987. Read the full profile »
James Reites, S.J.
Associate Professor
Fr. Reites joined the Santa Clara University faculty in 1975 and teaches undergraduate courses as well as a graduate courses in the Graduate Program of Pastoral Ministries. Read the full profile »
Philip Boo Riley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dr. Riley earned a B.A. from Regis College in Denver, CO before attending McMaster University for an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. Read the full profile »
Francis R. Smith, S.J.
Associate Professor
Fr. Smith earned a B.A. from Santa Clara followed with an M.A. in Philosophy from Gonzaga. Smith next went to JSTB, where he was awarded the S.T.M., and from there to Rome, where he received an S.T.D. from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Read the full profile »
Salvatore Anthony Tassone, S.J.
Senior Lecturer
Salvatore Tassone received his B.A. from Gonzaga University, S.T.L. from Alma College, S.T.M. from Santa Clara University, S.T.D. from The Gregorian University. His doctoral dissertation is Vincent Taylor?s Understanding of the Ministry of Jesus as the Son of Man and the Servant. The dissertation focused on an evaluation of Taylor?s views about Jesus? self-knowledge and the development in his knowledge of his mission. His main academic interest is the issue study of Jesus and the development of New Testament Christology. Read the full profile »
 

Emeritus Faculty

 
Michael J. Buckley, S.J.
Prof. Emeritus
Father Buckley received his B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga University, his STM from Santa Clara University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (analysis of ideas). He has received two doctorate honoris causa. Read the full profile »
Denise Lardner Carmody, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Denise Carmody holds the Jesuit Community Chair of Religious Studies. She is the author of more than sixty books covering topics in Catholicism, feminism, and world religions. Read the full profile »
 

Adjunct Faculty

 
David DeCosse, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor
David DeCosse received his A.B. from Harvard University, an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, an M.A. in theology from Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College. Read the full profile »
William J. Dohar, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Dr. Dohar came to Santa Clara as a part-time lecturer in 2002, and since 2004, has been lecturing full-time in Religious Studies. He also teaches in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. Read the full profile »
Elizabeth Drescher, Ph.D
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Elizabeth Drescher earned an MA in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University as well as an MFA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh and a masters in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her PhD was earned at the Graduate Theological Union in Christian Spirituality. Read the full profile »
Diana Gibson, M.Div., D.Min.
Lecturer (Academic Year)
Dr. Gibson is Co-Executive Director of the Council of Churches and teaches for the Graduate Program of Pastoral Ministries as well as the Religious Studies Department. Read the full profile »
Janet Giddings
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Professor Giddings has taught at Santa Clara University for several years. Courses she has taught include TESP 4: The Christian Tradition, SCTR 19: Religions of the Book, and TESP 51: Catholic Theology: Spirituality. Read the full profile »
Corinna Guerrero
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Corinna Guerrero graduated cum laude from San José State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Religious Studies. Read the full profile »
Karl Lampley
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Dr. Lampley received his BA cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard University. He earned a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology and a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Read the full profile »
Ricky Manalo, CSP
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Ricky Manalo, CSP, is a Paulist priest who was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. He received his B.M. in music composition from the Manhattan School of Music, his M.A. from the Washington Theological Union, and his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union. Read the full profile »
Jean Molesky-Poz, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Dr. Molesky-Poz was a double major in Theology and Sociology at Cardinal Stritch College prior to earning a M.A. in Educational Psychology from San Jose State and a Ph.D. in the Cultural and Historical Studies of Spirituality from the GTU. Read the full profile »
Joseph A. Morris, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Academic Year)
Dr. Morris a B.A. in Philosophy from  Niagra University prior to an a M.Div. then a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union. He also earned an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University in New York. Read the full profile »
Michelle Mueller
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Michelle Mueller graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Religion and Classical Studies. She knew early on she wanted to pursue a career as a professor and also felt called to religious leadership and interfaith. Read the full profile »
Thao Nguyen, SJ
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Thao Nguyen was born in Vietnam where he did his undergraduate studies in Vietnamese literature before migrating to the US. After he joined the Jesuits in the US in 1998, he went to study philosophy at Saint Louis University. Read the full profile »
Karen Peterson-Iyer, Ph.D
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Dr. Peterson-Iyer earned a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley before earning a Ph.D in Religious Ethics from Yale. Read the full profile »
Oliver Putz, Ph.D.
Lecturer(Academic Quarter)
Oliver Putz received an MA and a PhD in biology from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Currently he is working on his dissertation in theology on the integration of theological anthropology and evolutionary and behavioral biology into a new understanding of the relationship between God and sentient beings, including nonhuman animals. Read the full profile »
Rob Scholla S.J.
Lecturer (Academic Year)
Rob Scholla, S.J. is a native of Los Angeles. Before entering the Society of Jesus, he did undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Southern California and graduate work in Education at the University of California in Berkeley. Read the full profile »
Jason Smick, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Academic Year)
Dr. Smick earned an A.B. in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley prior to an M.A. in Theology at the GTU. In 2007, Jason earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Read the full profile »
Sarita Stella Tamayo-Moraga, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Dr. Tamayo-Moraga earned a B.A. in the Humanities Honors Program at the University of Texas (Austin) prior to earning an M.A. in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago. Read the full profile »
Kern Trembath, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Academic Quarter)
Kern Trembath received his B.A. in political theory from UC Berkeley, three intermediate master's degrees, and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in systematic and philosophical theology. Read the full profile »
Sally Vance-Trembath, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Academic Year)
Sally Vance-Trembath was born and raised in Iowa. She earned her MA and Ph. D. at the University of Notre Dame. She has worked in Catholic education all her professional life and has been particularly interested in the relationships among the Church, the school and the wider society. Read the full profile »
 

Staff

 
Vicky Gonzalez
Vicky Gonzalez is a native of San Francisco and a graduate of the University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Business. She has worked in the Religious Studies Department since 1998. Read the full profile »
Faculty Profile
Jean Molesky-Poz, Ph.D.
Jean Molesky-Poz, Ph.D.

Dr. Molesky-Poz was a double major in Theology and Sociology at Cardinal Stritch College prior to earning a M.A. in Educational Psychology from San Jose State and a Ph.D. in the Cultural and Historical Studies of Spirituality from the GTU.

Read the full profile »

 
 
 
Faculty Highlight: Professor Emeritus Denise Lardner Carmody, Ph.D.

Carmody-140W_2


With a characteristic absence of fanfare, Denise Carmody quietly retired from Santa Clara University August 31, bringing to a close a stellar and varied career that included making history as the University"s first female Religious Studies Department chair and first female provost. For full story, click here.

 

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