B.A., Yale University (1979)
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law (1982)
M.A., Systematic Theology, Boston College (2003)
Ph.D., Systematic and Comparative Theology, Boston College (2006)
S.T.L., Jesuit School of Theology (2018)
Alison M. Benders joined Santa Clara University in 2014 as Associate Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology. Prior to joining JST, Dr. Benders served as a senior level academic administrator at several Catholic institutions in Ohio, having taught graduate and undergraduate courses for over ten years. Her research interests include race as a social justice issue, moral transformation, and the contributions of Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan. In 2021, she had published America's Original Sin: a pilgrimage of race and grace (Liturgical Press), which is a reflective immersion into our nation's history of racial injustice through personal and theological lenses. She also authored Just Prayer: A Book of Hours for Peacemakers and Justice Seekers (Liturgical Press 2015), which won the Catholic Publishers First Place Book Award for Spirituality in 2016.
In July 2021, Dr. Benders began serving as SCU’s inaugural Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Santa Clara University, charged with forming this division to celebrate and foster the Jesuit Catholic mission of the university. In this role, she also serves as the Executive Director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University.
- Racism, Theology, and Justice
- MTS-3000: Proseminar
Dr. Benders is currently completing a prayer book entitled Just Prayer to be published later this year by Liturgical Press.
- Difficult Disciplinary Decisions: Faculty Dismissals. Behling, Laura, ed., Resource Handbook for Academic Deans. 3rd. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2014. 309-313.
- Effective Hiring and Evaluation of Staff. Behling, Laura, ed., Resource Handbook for Academic Deans. 3rd. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2014. 255-259.
- Review of The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America, by James M. O'Toole. Emmanuel, March/April 2010: 187-188.
- With Sharpnack, P., Quinn-Griffin, M., Fitzpatrick, J. Spiritual practices and alternative healthcare practices of the Amish. Holistic Nursing Practice, 24:2, March-April, 2010.
- Beyond MySpace: Grounding a Post-Modern Identity in Lonergan's Interiority Analysis. Lonergan Workshop 21 (2008): 1-16.
- Renewing the Identity of Catholic Colleges. Wabash Journal for Teaching Theology and Religion 10.4, (2007): 215-222.