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Sister Judith Schaefer, OP, Ph.D.
Judith Schaefer

Sr. Judith Schaefer, O.P., is a tenured Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Sister Judy is the Chair of the Theology Department and is working with her theology colleagues to increase the visibility of the Youth Ministry program that Saint Mary’s University uniquely offers. She participated in designing and implementing the First Year Seminar experience for incoming students and served as the Coordinator of the program for six years. As a teacher, she is primarily responsible for supervision and training of pastoral and youth ministry majors, as well as teaching first year students and seniors within the Lasallian Core Traditions Program.

Prior to her tenure at Saint Mary’s, Sister Judy ministered in parishes across the country in the areas of catechesis and religious education. She brings this pastoral and theological experience to her work with undergraduates and graduate students at Saint Mary’s University, as well as to the deaconate and lay ministry programs in the dioceses of Winona and New Ulm, Minnesota. Sister Judy has been invited to teach in various pastoral settings, such as the Diocese of Winona's Institute of Lay Ministry and Deaconate Program, the Diocese of New Ulm's Lay Formation Program, the Institute of Pastoral Ministries, and various other parishes and school settings. Sister has also served as a facilitator of group process for the Mission and Ministry Council fo the Midwest District of the Christian Brothers, INSECT (International Network of Societies of Catholic Theology), Communicative Theology Symposium, and various local and regional organizations.

Sister Judy completed her doctoral work at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, in Theology and Society, with an allied discipline of psychology. Her doctoral dissertation on the intersection of theology and psychology on the topic of religious obedience has been accepted as book in a series with the German publisher, LitVerlag. She has a Masters of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute in Saint Louis and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago. Sister Judy did her undergraduate work in elementary education and received a bachelors degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Sister Judith is a professed member of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation, Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.

Courses Recently Taught at SMU
Bible and Belief
Christian Spiritualities
Fundamental Theology
Liturgical Principles and Practices
Pastoral Ministry Internship
Sacraments and Liturgy
Senior Seminar
Sexuality and Personhood
Theology of Pastoral Ministry
Stories of God and the Human Condition
First Year Seminar
Senior Colloquium: Citizenship, Work, Relationships, and Faith
Human Relations

Professional Organizations
American Academy of Religion
College Theology Society
Catholic Theological Schools of America
Association of Women in Psychology
Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society
National Honor Society for Religious Studies
Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Catholic Honor Society

Ph.D., Theology, Marquette University, 2004
Master of Divinity, Aquinas Institute of Theology, 1988
Master in Pastoral Studies, Loyola University, 1976
B.A., Northeastern Illinois University, 1974

Teaching Experience
2006 to Present: Associate Professor of Theology, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
2000-2006: Assistant Professor of Theology, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
2002 to Present: Faculty, Institute in Pastoral Ministries, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
2002 to Present: Lecturer, Diocese of Winona, MN, Lay Ministry Formation Program
2001 to Present: Lecturer, Diocese of Winona, MN, Permanent Diaconate Program
2006: Lecturer, Diocese of New Ulm, MN, Lay Ministry Formation Program
1999: Adjunct Faculty in Religious Studies, Edgewood College, Madison, WI
1998-1999: Instructor in Diocese of Madison Certification Program, Edgewood College
1998-1998: Instructor in Education for Parish Service Program, Edgewood College
1997 to March 1998: Instructor in Religious Education, Diocese of Dubuque, Dubuque, IA
1983 to June 1986: Religion Teacher, St. John’s High School, Independence, IA
1977 to June 1986: Director of Religious Education, Dioceses of Helena, MT and Dubuque, IA

Other Professional Experience
2005 to Present: Board of Directors, Music Therapy Services of Winona
2005: Consultant and Facilitator, International Network of Societies of Catholic Theology (INSeCT), First International Conference,Catholic Theological Society of America
2005-2006: Consultant, St. Edmund Catholic Education System, Fort Dodge, IA
2004-2005: Consultant, St. Joseph Parish Staff, Red Wing, MN
2005: Facilitator, Mission and Ministry Council, Midwest Province, De La Salle Christian Brothers
2003: Consultant, Cathedral Parish Council, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Winona, MN
2001 to Present: Consultant, Diocese of Winona, MN, Permanent Diaconate Program
2000 to Present: Consultant, Diocese of Winona, MN, Lay Ministry Program
1998-2000: Board of Trustees, Edgewood High School, Madison, WI
1999-2000: Consultant, The Heart Center for Spirituality, Madison, WI
1997-1998: Consultant, Samaritan Counseling Center, Madison, WI
1995-1999: Advisory Board, Program Planning, Dominican Center, Sinsinawa, WI
1996-1997: Consultant, Columbia (South America) Support Group, Madison, WI

Selected Presentations
“Communion: Who We Are and Where We Are Going,” Third Saturday Study Series, Sinsinawa, WI, 16 April 2005

“Women of the Bible: Our Sisters In Faith,” Catholic Daughters of America, Winona Chapter, Winona, MN, 5 March 2005

“If Grace Abounds . . . Why Is There Still Sin?” Just Faith Forum, St. Francis Church, Rochester, MN, 5 February 2005

“Reconcile Our Hearts,” Generations of Faith Program, St. Mary’s Parish, Winona, MN, 17 November 2004

“Spirituality for Catechists,” Winona Area Catechists, St. Stanislaus Parish, Winona, MN, 20 October 2004

“Obedience in the Twenty-First Century: A New Theology,” College Theology Society Conference, Milwaukee, WI, 3 June 2003

“Spirituality: Growth towards Wholeness and Holiness,” Adult Faith Formation Series, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona, MN, 30 March 2003

“At the Heart of Reality is Relationship: American Holy Women,” Women’s History Series, Saint Mary’s University of MN, 11 March 2002

“Attentive Discipleship,” Apostolic Volunteer 2001 Conference, Dominican University, River Forest, IL, 27 July 2001

“Religious Obedience: Theology and Praxis for the 21st Century,” Provincial Assembly of the Sisters of St. Dominic, Akron, Ohio, 5 August 2000

“Theology as Prismatic Imagination,” Aquinas Institute Guest Lecture, St. Louis, MO, 16 February 2000

(Book Review) Communion with Non-Catholics: Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities by Jeffrey VanderWilt. Horizon 32 (Spring 2005): 164-65

“Be of Love A Little More Careful: A Practical Theology of Love,” in Dominican Vision 18, no.1(Spring 1999): 17

Book manuscript currently under review for publication by LIT-Verlag in Communicative Theology – Interdisciplinary Studies Series: Recasting the Vow of Obedience as Communal Collaboration. Series Editors: Bernd Jochen Hilberath, Bradford Hinze, and Matthias Scharer