I am the Associate Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology, a school committed to the holistic formation of lay and ordained ministers and scholars in the Franciscan tradition. I am also a Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Especially drawn to young adult ministry, I am a member of the Alliance for Campus Ministry, an advisory group to the USCCB’s Secretariat on Catholic Education. My previous appointments include Research Fellow at the Center for Church Management at Villanova University as well as the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame.
With training in both theology and the social sciences, my teaching and research areas include Catholicism, family, young adults, social ethics and religion in American civic life. I am an award-winning author, and my writings on American Catholic life appear in both Catholic and academic publications, including Catholic Activism Today: Individual Transformation and the Struggle for Social Justice (NYU Press 2020) and Young Adult American Catholics: Explaining Vocation in Their Own Words (Paulist Press 2018). Some of my recent projects include a national study of American Catholics, an exploration of Catholic marriage preparation programs, two national studies (survey followed by in-depth interviews) of Catholic campus ministers, a study of Latino Catholic stewardship and a national study of American abortion attitudes.
Driving my teaching and research is a commitment to understanding the connections and relationships between actors, organizations, events and so forth. Although social life is complex, we can always better understand ourselves, others and our world, clarifying issues and offering solutions.
I firmly believe in cross-disciplinary and cross-context collaboration. I work with amazing colleagues at my home institution (whose areas include history, Scripture, philosophy, spirituality and systematics) and with social scientists from across the country (and sometimes beyond).
I have also had the opportunity to work with those who are more strictly academics as well as those in more applied fields. I publish and present for both academic and public audiences; being able to engage a variety of audiences is incredibly fruitful and I find it to be a good practice. To read more about my work or for my contact information, you can view my CV here. I am happy to respond to media or other inquiries by email.
Of course, there’s more “about me” than my work. I enjoy being with friends and family, being outdoors, and sharing a meal, game or good beer. I attend St. Thomas More Church in Oceanside, California with my husband, Joseph, and our children, Veronica and David.