Dr. M. Shawn Copeland is Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College. She is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), and a former Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium (BCTS), an interdisciplinary learned association of Black Catholic scholars. Professor Copeland is a prolific author, with more than 100 publications to her credit including Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race and Being and The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille. She is the recipient of five honorary degrees as well as the Yves Congar Award for Excellence in Theology from Barry University, Miami, Florida, and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Black Religious Scholars Group of the American Academy of Religion. Her research interests include: 1) shifts in theological understanding of the human person and accords particular attention to body, gender, and race; 2) the African American Catholic experience, and 3) political or praxis based theologies.
Richard Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College where he is currently chair of the theology department. He earned his Ph.D. at Notre Dame and his research interests include: ecclesiology, Vatican II, Authority and Ministry, a theology of marriage. He has published numerous articles and authored or edited thirteen books, including An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2015) and Go Into the Streets: The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis (co-edited with Thomas Rausch, SJ, Paulist Press, 2016).
In 2000 he received the annual Sophia Award from the faculty of the Washington Theological Union in recognition of "theological excellence in service of ministry" and he has received numerous awards from both the Catholic Press Association and the Association of Catholic Publishers for his books and articles. Dr. Gaillardetz was a delegate on the U.S. Catholic-United Methodist Ecumenical Dialogue 2001-05. He is also a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Dr. Thomas H. Groome holds a doctoral degree in religious education from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University.
Groome is Director of STM Online: Crossroads, a program of Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where he is also Professor of Theology and Religious Education.
His knowledge and expertise in religious education, theology and ministry make him a sought-after speaker in religious education circles and beyond. During the past 35 years, Dr. Groome has made more than 700 presentations to religious educators throughout North America, and served as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Emory, Chicago, Notre Dame and Georgetown, among others. He has lectured outside the US in Ireland, England, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Jamaica, Lithuania, Sweden, Peru, Ecuador, Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands.
Professor Groome is author of many scholarly and popular books, his most recent being, Catholic Spiritual Practices (Paraclete 2013), Will There Be Faith (HarperCollins, 2011), and What Makes us Catholic (HarperCollins 2002).
Dr. Nontando Hadebe is a lay woman theologian and senior lecturer at St. Augustine College in South Africa, specializing in African Theology, Pastoral & Contextual Theology, Feminist & Womanist Theology, Liberation Theology and Pastoral Psychology.
She is a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians as well as the TCCRSA Women's Caucus comprising Catholic women theologians in Africa.
She recently returned to South Africa from the United States where she was Visiting Fellow at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University (Aug-Dec 2014) and Fulbright scholar in residence at Emmanuel College, Boston (January-May 2015).
In February 2016 she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Africa where she will be participating in a groundbreaking research with Prof Marilyn Naidoo on gender and theological education in South African institutions.
Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P. is Professor of Theology the University of Notre Dame where she specializes in contemporary systematic theology with particular interest in theological anthropology, fundamental theology, and feminist theology and spirituality. She earned her Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America.
She is the author of: Naming Grace: Preaching and the Sacramental Imagination (Continuum, 1997), Speaking with Authority: Catherine of Siena and the Voices of Women Today (Paulist, 2008), The Praxis of the Reign of God: An Introduction to the Theology of Edward Schillebeeckx (co-editor; Fordham University Press, 2002) and numerous articles on theology, preaching, and spirituality.
A former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (2005-2006), Dr. Hilkert was awarded honorary doctorates from Providence College in 2002 and from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis in 2012. She is the recipient of numerous awards and was the first recipient of Washington Theological Union’s Sophia Award for Theological Excellence in service of ministry (1997).
Dr. Hilkert received a grant from the Louisville Institute for the 2012-2013 academic year to support her current research project, a book titledWords of Spirit and Life: Theology, Preaching and Spirituality. Her other major research project is a book in progress on theological anthropology titledGrace Enfleshed: A Sacramental Anthropology.
James Keenan, S.J. is the Canisius Professor a Director of the Canisius Professor and Director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College. He entered the New York Province of the Society of Jesus in 1970 and was ordained a priest in 1982.
Among the many professional activities and positions to his credit, Keenan has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), 2012-2014; as an Editorial Board Member of Theological Studies, 1991-2013; as Series Editor for Moral Traditions, Georgetown University Press, 1993-2013; as Chair, Catholic Theological Coalition on HIV/AIDS Prevention 1997 - present; and was a Consultant to National Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Revision of the Ethical Guidelines for Catholic Health Care Institutions, 1988-1995.
Winner of the 2002 Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award, Keenan is a prolific author and editor. His publications include:
University Ethics: Why Colleges Need A Culture of Ethics (Rowman and Littlefield, May 2015); Paul and Virtue Ethics with Daniel Harrington (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010); “To Follow and to Form Over Time: A Phenomenonology of Conscience,” David DeCosse and Kristin Heyer, ed., Conscience and Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Policies (Orbis Books, 2015): 1-15; and The Gallant Rule: A Feminist Proposal," Linda Hogan and Orobator, ed., Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics: Conversations in the World Church (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press 2014) 219-231.
Father Raymond B. Kemp, S.T.L., is a community organizer, Catholic priest, and professor at Georgetown University. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center where he directed Preaching the Just Word.
Kemp is the author of A Journey in Faith: An Experience of the Catechumenate (Sadlier, 1979) and has published articles in Worship, The Catechumenate, Church, Liturgy 90, and National Catholic Reporter.
Paul Lakeland holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is the Aloysius P. Kelly, S.J. professor of Catholic Studies and director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He is the author of Church: Living Communion (Liturgical Press); Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church; and his 2003 The Liberation of the Laity: In Search of an Accountable Church won the 2004 Catholic Press Award in the category of theology.
Dr. Lakeland is active in the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Workgroup for Constructive Theology.
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala has a PhD in Medicine, and Post Graduate Diplomas in Tissue Banking, Bioethics, and Theology. She heads India’s first Tissue Bank which she established in 1988, and served as India’s Project Co-ordinator for Tissue Banking for the IAEA. She was the first woman President of the Asia Pacific Association of Tissue Banking.
She is a founding member of Satyashodhak a Mumbai based feminist collective that, since its inception in 1984, has contributed significantly to the empowerment of women in the Indian Church: member of the Indian Theological Association (ITA) at a time when the majority of theologians were men, and currently serves on their Executive Committee; founding member of the Indian Women’s Theological Forum (IWTF) and former Assistant Co-ordinator for Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA), which bring together women theologians from academia and the grass roots; member of the ecumenical Indian Christian Women’s Movement (ICWM); and former Secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council.
Recipient of two awards for journalism, she contributed to the anthology: Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table that was distributed to the bishops at the 2015 Synod on the Family, and Elizabeth Johnson’s anthology: The Strength of Her Witness. Earlier she was invited by Voices of Faith as a panelist at a celebration of International Women’s Day in the Vatican.
She conducts sessions on gender sensitization, feminist theology and inter-religious marriage, for seminarians and parish groups and is a resource person for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC), the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and the Bombay Archdiocesan Women’s Commission. She played a key role in the institution of the CBCI Commission for Women (1992), of which she continues to be a core team member, and the drafting of the bishops’ “Gender Policy of the Church of India” (2010) which she presented at the “Women’s Ordination Worldwide” Conference (2015).
Currently she is on the advisory bodies of a few international reform groups as well as the Jesuit Conference of South Asia (JCSA) and the Jesuit Faculties’ Forum for South Asia (JFFSA) engaged in reorientation of the Assistancy.
James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, and author of many books including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. Father Martin has written for a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and is a frequent commentator in the national and international media on religion and spirituality.
Rhonda Miska holds a MA in Pastoral Ministry from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2011) and an undergraduate degree in International Studies and French from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point (2002). She served as a Jesuit Volunteer in rural Nicaragua from 2002-2004, as the Social Justice Minister/Hispanic Minister at a Catholic parish from 2004-2008, and as the Community Coordinator of Innisfree Village (a community with adults with intellectual disabilities) from 2008-2014. Her ministry experiences include facilitating Muslim-Christian dialogue, coordinating a homeless shelter, leading re-entry retreats for returned missioners, accompanying migrant children in federal immigration court, teaching workshops on writing as spiritual practice, and serving in leadership for a congregation-based community organization. Rhonda is a contributor (as author and translator) to the book Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table (Paulist Press, 2015).
Miska has contributed to U.S. Catholic, America Magazine, and Global Sisters Report. She writes from Dubuque, Iowa, where she teaches religious studies at Clarke University. She is a candidate with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa.
Carolyn Osiek, R.S.C.J. taught at the graduate level for twenty-six years at the Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, then for six years at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, where she is Charles Fischer Catholic Professor of New Testament emerita. She holds a doctorate in New Testament and Christian Origins from Harvard University, and is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature. She is a former associate editor of The Bible Today and former New Testament Book Review Editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. She is the author of many books and articles on subjects of the New Testament and Early Church. She is now archivist for the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States-Canada Province.
BRIAN J. PIERCE, OP is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA. In the 1990’s Brian was part of a team of Dominicans that ministered in Honduras, forming lay preachers of the Word, as well as working with rural communities, college students and with street people living with HIV-AIDS. After serving the Dominican Family in Latin America for fifteen years, Brian served as the Order's liaison with the Dominican monasteries of contemplative nuns worldwide. Brian is now stationed in Irving, Texas as an itinerant preacher. Brian has written three books in English: Martin de Porres: A Saint of the Americas (New City Press, 2004), We Walk the Path Together: Learning from Thich Nhat Hanh and Meister Eckhart (2005) and Jesus and the Prodigal Son (2016), both published by Orbis Books, NY.
Dr. Nancy Pineda-Madrid is Associate Professor of Theology and Latino/Latina Ministry at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. She holds a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union and an M.Div. from Seattle University. Her research areas include Soteriology, Feminist Theologies (U.S. and Third World), U.S. Latino/a Theologies, and North American Pragmatism and Religious Thought.
In addition to numerous book chapters and journal articles, she is author of Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juárez. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2011) and co-editor of Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment (Paulist Press, 2013. ((with Richard Lennan)).
Barbara E. Reid, O.P. is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She holds a Masters from Aquinas College in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is Vice President and Academic Dean at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where she is also Professor of New Testament Studies.
She is the author of Abiding Word: Sunday Reflections for Year B (Liturgical Press, 2011; Year C, 2012, Year A, 2013), Taking Up the Cross: New Testament Interpretations Through Latina and Feminist Eyes (Fortress Press, 2007; Spanish translation: Reconsiderar la Cruz, Editorial Verbo Divino, 2009), The Gospel According to Matthew. New Collegeville Bible Commentary Series (Liturgical Press, 2005), Parables for Preachers (3 volumes; Liturgical Press, 1999, 2000, 2001; Spanish translation: Las Parábolas: Predicándolas y Viviéndolas (Ciclo A, B, 2008, 2009), Choosing the Better Part? Women in the Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1996), A Retreat With St. Luke (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000), and many journal articles. Forthcoming is Wisdom's Feast: An Introduction to Feminist Interpretation of the Scriptures (Eerdman’s Press, 2016). She is General Editor for Wisdom Commentary Series, a new 58-volume feminist commentary on the Bible (Liturgical Press).
Kerry Robinson is the executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management which is dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S.
Kerry has served as a trustee on the national boards of the Education for Parish Service Foundation; Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA); the Gregorian University Foundation; the National Catholic AIDS Network; the Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College; the Center of Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA); the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University; Busted Halo: Paulist Young Adult Ministries; America Magazine; Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities; and the National Pastoral Life Center. From 1995 to 2010 she served on the national committee for the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She currently serves on the Core Group of the Initiative of Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and is a trustee Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
In 1988 Kerry received a B.A. degree from Georgetown University, and in 1994 received an M.A.R. degree from Yale Divinity School, concentrating in ethics. She is a recipient of honorary doctorates from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire (2013); Misericordia University in Pennsylvania (2012); St Joseph University in Connecticut (2011); and the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University in California (2010). She was honored with the Sapientia et Doctrina Award from the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University (2009); with the Hearts of the Community Award from the Apostles of the Sacred Heart (2011); and was named the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving Distinguished Visitor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (2013).
Sister Chris Schenk is a regular columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. Her column “Simply Spirit” is available at http://ncronline.org/blogs/simply-spirit It appears online twice a month and periodically in print. She is currently researching a book about women’s leadership in early Christian art and archaeology. Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity will be published by Fortress Press in 2017. In October 2013, Schenk stepped down from her position as the founding director of FutureChurch, an international coalition of parish centered Catholics working for full participation of all Catholics in the life of the Church. She led the organization from 1990-2013 and worked to transform a diocesan network of 28 parish councils and 100 parish leaders into an international organization of over 3500 parish-centered activists reflecting the values of Vatican II. A Sister of St. Joseph, Sr. Chris formerly worked as a nurse midwife in Cleveland for 20 years. In 1980 she helped to organize a successful statewide coalition to expand Medicaid coverage to include pregnant low-income women and their children. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University and holds two Masters degrees, one in science from Boston College and an MA in Theology "with distinction" from St. Mary's Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland.
Fr. Jude Siciliano OP has been a preacher since his ordination in 1969. For fourteen years he taught Homiletics at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and is past president of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics. He preaches parish retreats, as well as retreats for priests, religious, deacons and laity. He also travels throughout the U.S. giving preaching workshops to ordained and lay preachers, writes weekly email reflections on the Sunday scriptures and maintains a webpage (www.PreacherExchange.com) for preachers and laity interested in preparing for Sunday worship.