Welcome to the academic homepage of
Associate Professor of Theological Ethics
Department of Theological Studies
Hubert Maeder Endowed Chair
Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics
Saint Louis University
I grew up in rural northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana, and on the west coast of Florida. I moved to Saint Louis University in 2005, following several years of teaching religious ethics at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa (1998-2003) and moral theology at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio (2003-2005). My wife, Elizabeth, daughters Clare Niamh and Lydia Maeve, and I enjoy living in the vibrant city of St. Louis.
As a theological ethicist possessing previous professional experience in law enforcement (initially corrections and then policing), campus and youth ministry, I seek to equip students to think theologically, to inform their consciences about significant questions and issues of the day, and to be--in the Jesuit spirit--men and women for others. While I teach and write in the area of fundamental moral theology, most of my courses and publications theologically address social questions such as war and peace, environmental ethics, and issues in criminal justice. I am also exploring issues in bioethics, and I continue to be interested in the work of professors with whom I was fortunate to study at the University of Notre Dame (Ph.D.) and Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.), including John Howard Yoder (I was his next-to-last graduate assistant for two years), Richard McCormick SJ, Jean Porter, Maura Ryan, Todd Whitmore, Harmon Smith, and Stanley Hauerwas.
An active member of several professional and learned societies (Society of Christian Ethics, College Theology Society, Catholic Theological Society of America, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, American Academy of Religion, and Society for the Study of Christian Ethics), I am co-editor of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and also the book reviews editor for the international journal, Political Theology. In addition, I am a Contributing Writer for Sojourners magazine.
My doctoral dissertation at the University of Notre Dame, directed by Todd David Whitmore, was "The Challenge of Policing: An Analysis in Christian Social Ethics."
In 2010 my book (coauthored with Mark J. Allman), After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice, Orbis Books.
In 2011a volume, Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment, which I edited and to which I contributed, was published
by Anselm Academic.
In 2012 a volume (coedited with Margaret Pfeil), Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred: "They Shall Be Called Children of God," College Theology Society Annual Volume 57, was published by Orbis Books.
In 2013 a volume (coedited with Jame Schaefer), Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Assessing Pope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States, was published by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield.