The Catholic University of America

Sept. 13, 2006

Prestigious Theologians Join Faculty at The Catholic University of America

WASHINGTON - The School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America has hired three new professors who are international leaders in their fields and have joined CUA as full, or "ordinary," professors. The school also has hired two young faculty members as assistant professors.

"It is a rare opportunity for a school to be able to recruit three world renowned theology scholars at the same time," says Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin, S.T.D., dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies. "These prestigious new hires take the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America to a new level of excellence."

The first of those hired as full professors is an Australian, Rev. Brian V. Johnstone, C.SS.R., a widely-published moral theologian who has taught in Rome for 20 years, most recently at the Alphonsian Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University. Previously he taught at CUA from 1981 to 1987 (and in 2005) and at Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne from 1973 to 1981. He will hold the university's endowed Warren Blanding Chair of Religion and Culture.

A second new ordinary professor from Britain, Rev. Paul McPartlan, will hold the Carl J. Peter Chair of Systematic and Ecumenical Theology. He has been a leader in Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogues with the Anglican Church, the World Methodist Council and the Orthodox Church.

A professor of systematic theology at the University of London from 1995 to 2005 and a visiting professor at CUA last year, Father McPartlan was named to the coordinating committee of the newly reconstituted Roman Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, and "is perched to be an important person in that dialogue," Monsignor Irwin says.

Father McPartlan also is a member of the International Theological Commission, a body of 30 Catholic theologians from around the world that advises the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A third new ordinary professor is Rev. John Paul Heil, the author of 11 books focused on New Testament theology. Father Heil is known as one of the best of the classically trained biblical scholars and brings a vast knowledge of biblical and modern languages to his study and teaching, Monsignor Irwin says. Father Heil has taught at the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary's School of Theology in St. Louis since 1979.

CUA's School of Theology and Religious Studies also has hired two new assistant professors, William C. Mattison and Thomas Schärtl.

Mattison, a moral theologian, was formerly an assistant professor at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md. He is a co-chair of a national group of young Catholic moral theologians called New Wine, New Wineskins, and edited that group's 2005 book, "New Wine, New Wineskins: A Next Generation Reflects on Key Issues in Catholic Moral Theology" (Rowan & Littlefield Publishers).

Schärtl, a systematic theologian, comes to CUA with a doctorate in theology and an M.A. in philosophy earned in his homeland of Germany. A specialist in the nexus of theology and philosophy, he brings an important European voice to the faculty, according to Monsignor Irwin.

All five of these faculty members have started their new appointments with the present fall semester. For more information, call Chris Harrison or Katie Lee at 202-319-5600.

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CUA is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Its School of Theology and Religious Studies - CUA's oldest school, established in 1889 - is renowned for its professional training of lay and clerical leaders from all over the world who serve the Catholic Church. It offers both ecclesiastical and civil degrees and oversees seven separate areas of concentration.

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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600, harrisoc@cua.edu
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600, leect@cua.edu