Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley
Gina Hens-Piazza, Ph.D.

Gina Hens-Piazza, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Old Testament Studies


B.A., Canisius College;
M.A., Vanderbilt University;
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary

Phone: (510) 549-5048
Office Hours: By appointment


About the Professor

"Culturally contextualized ministry and theology... that's what we do here. It means we study and practice theology from the ground up... with attention to its local, particular and diverse manifestations. At the Jesuit School, we teach and learn not just from the classroom but from the community and with a kind of rigor that puts theory to real-life tests."
Professor Gina Hens-Piazza is Professor of Biblical Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.  She received her MA in Biblical Studies from Vanderbilt University and subsequently taught at the University of Portland from 1979-1988.  In 1992, she received her PhD from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. 

The Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets has been a particular focus of her teaching and writing.  She is the author of four books and numerous articles that address topics of biblical justice, specifically in regards to women.  She has lectured nationally and internationally and in 2002 was the recipient of the Catholic Press Association Award for her work on violence against women in Joshua and Judges.  One of her most recent books Nameless, Blameless, and Without Shame (Liturgical Press), also addresses the matter of violence amongst the least of the women characters in the biblical world in conjunction with it duplication in our own time.  In addition, her Commentary on the Books of Kings published in 2008 by Abingdon Press focuses upon the plight of secondary characters and the issues of injustice surrounding their roles. Her forthcoming manuscript, Supporting Cast vs. Supporting Caste – How We Read the Bible Matters illuminates the major importance of minor characters in the Bible and their counterparts in our own world.

In recognition of her teaching and publication record, Dr. Hens-Piazza was honored in 2006 as the Graduate Theological Union Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and in June 2008 she became the fourth recipient of the National Sarlo Foundation Award for excellence in teaching.  

Recently, Dr. Hens-Piazza became a graduate of the University of California Medical School where she earned a degree as a Physician Assistant in a program specifically established to train medical providers for Primary Care in underserved communities.  In addition to her teaching and writing, she now serves as a PA part time each week at La Clinica in Vallejo, CA.


Courses Offered