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Department ofReligious Studies




Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries Has New Leadership Team

The Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, founded in 1983 as part of the Religious Studies Department, began a fresh chapter this summer with the appointment of new director, Joseph Morris.  Joe has long been a member of our department, teaching a full complement of courses in the areas of scripture, media and religion at both the undergraduate and graduate level since 2004.  He will continue to teach at the graduate level, but now also assumes responsibility for the program, from curriculum, scheduling and hiring to enrollment management, student services/advising, and program marketing and outreach.  Joe received his B.A. from Niagara University in Buffalo, New York, his M.A. in Media Studies from New School University in New York City and his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.  His experience teaching in several graduate and undergraduate schools on the east and west coasts, as well as running a Vincentian retreat and education center, position him well at an important transition in the history of our graduate program, as we expand our on-campus offerings with in-person and online hybrid courses in several other dioceses in California.  

That initiative, undertaken by the previous Director Gary Macy and Associate Director Saralynn Ferrara, has expanded Santa Clara University’s impact on the training of pastoral ministers in the Dioceses of Sacramento, San Jose, Monterey, Fresno, San Bernardino and, as of Winter 2018, Los Angeles.  Unlike the many online degrees offered around the country, the GPPM considers the face-to-face interaction so critical to the formation of the whole person that faculty spend three Saturdays a quarter with their class on site, video-conferencing in the other weeks.  Building community and maintaining a coherent Master’s-level curriculum in this dispersed format is a welcome challenge, and gives the program faculty and staff a better sense of the needs and issues on the ground necessary to keep our curriculum robust and relevant.

Long-time Religious Studies faculty member Prof. Kitty Murphy has been appointed Associate Director of the GPPM to assist Joe with these tasks, effective in January 2018.  Since coming to Santa Clara in 1998, Kitty has taught courses in the area of biblical studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.  Her experience as a graduate of the GPPM (’87, Catechetics) and as a local high school teacher before receiving her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame signal her long-standing concern for the pastoral and educational mission of the Church.  As faculty liaison to the program, she will coordinate the efforts of the GPPM Committee within the department as the department assumes greater oversight over hiring and curricular planning and assessment.  

Providing continuity, institutional memory and a wide array of skills in support of the program is Senior Administrative Assistant Lynne Lukenbill.  Lynne is a graduate of GPPM (2013), with a long history of work in prison ministry and other pastoral activities, as well as in marketing and web design.  Hired in 2013, she has frequently been the face and voice of the program at its office at 890 Benton Street, while also managing the virtual presence of the program online and in marketing materials.

Undergrad Business/Spanish major Camille Hope (2020) is providing additional support in the office.  Camille assists in organizing files, planning our upcoming 35th program anniversary alumni gathering, and contributing to our efforts to enhance the GPPM’s social media presence.

One of the program’s first tasks in the new year will be to hire a new Renewable Term Lecturer in the area of pastoral liturgy and sacramental theology.  This hire, to be completed by the spring, will provide a needed area of expertise for our pastoral curriculum and an additional array of courses for our undergrads.

(Left to right): Kitty Murphy, Camille Hope, Joe Morris and Lynne Luckenbill