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The Center for Catholic Studies Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies

Headshot of William Toth. The Toth-Lonergan Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies is an endowed visiting professorship,  named for Deacon William Toth and Fr. Bernard Lonergan. S.J., each man in his own way concerned with the interdisciplinarity required of an authentic Catholic University. The Toth-Lonergan Professorship brings a leading Catholic scholar to campus to articulate and strengthen the universitys Catholic mission and its relevance for and influence on all other areas of the university.

Lonergan Chair To relate the good news of the Gospel to all dimensions of human reality, requires a common ground, a contemporary interdisciplinary philosophy or methodology that can enable conversation and shared inquiry between the various disciplines and methodologies that constitute the contemporary university: the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and other scholarly disciplines. The visiting professor assists faculty and students in undertaking this collaborative work by teaching and deepening our understanding of Lonergan's Lonergan Chair generalized empirical method ("GEM"), which is rooted in the scholar's own self-knowledge, whatever his or her discipline. This approach has proved indispensable for fostering collaborative creativity among scholars across the various disciplines and helping them relate their work to the overall mission of the university.    

About the Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies

The Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies was created by the Center for Catholic Studies to honor two great scholars: Bernard Lonergan, S.J. and Deacon William Toth. Fr. Lonergan (1904-1984) was a renowned scholar whose classic works, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972) link faith and theology with the contemporary sciences and professions by way of a generalized empirical method (GEM). The twenty-five volumes of his Collected Works, published by the University of Toronto Press, include works on theology, the sciences and contemporary economics. Deacon Toth (1940-2008), who taught moral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology, founded the Institute on Work within the Center for Catholic Studies, which later became the Micah Institute. Deacon Toth sought to link Catholic theology with the professions, especially business and law.

J. Michael Stebbins is the third Visiting Professor to hold this title, succeeding Mark Miller of the University of San Francisco (2017-2018) and Fr. Louis Roy of the Dominican University of Ottawa (2019).

The Toth-Lonergan Endowment at the Center for Catholic Studies supports a scholar whose work will deepen and enhance the connections between the University's Catholic mission and scholarly and professional education. The establishment of this endowed position represents another important step in the University's implementation of the strategic plan, Strength to Strength. 

The Toth-Lonergan Endowment at the Center for Catholic Studies is an important resource for promoting Seton Hall's efforts, in President Joseph Nyre's words, "to change destinations and transform the lives of students, faculty and the community at large" as they engage in "the great conversations, controversies and challenges of society."

To support the Toth-Lonergan Endowment, please visit: https://advancement.shu.edu/support/center-for-catholic-studies

The Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair Accepting New Applications, February 2022

We are pleased to invite qualified scholars for a new round of applicants for the Toth-Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies, for the term of either Fall 2022 or Spring 2023. 
A visiting professorship now in its sixth year, the Toth-Lonergan Chair was founded to support the Mission of Seton Hall by engaging faculty, students, and staff in the development of Catholic identity and the cultivation of authentic interdisciplinarity by understanding and applying the work of Bernard Lonergan.   Please consider whether you or someone you know would be interested in applying for either the fall or spring semester this next academic year. Applicants may forward a cover letter and CV to: TothLonerganChair@shu.edu.

To view the Position Description, click here.

With questions,  please contact: catholicstudies@shu.edu

News Stories

The Center for Catholic Studies Re-Appoints Toth-Lonergan Visiting Professor J. Michael Stebbins, Ph.D.

The Center for Catholic Studies
Headshot of Michael Stebbins x222J. Michael Stebbins, Ph.D., has been reappointed as the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Visiting Professor for the 2020-2021 academic year, following his initial appointment  2019.  Professor  Stebbins has  continued to conduct  numerous teaching and scholarly activities throughout the university. Dr. Stebbins' areas of expertise include systematic theology, ethics, human cognition and decision-making, and the theological and philosophical work of Bernard Lonergan. According to Gregory Floyd, Ph.D., the new Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the Bernard Lonergan Institute, "Dr. Stebbins is not only an expert in Lonergan's thought, but also uniquely positioned to help us reflect on its timely application to some of the most pressing ethical issues of our day. His appointment this year continues a tremendous opportunity for our students and our faculty." 

"Dr. Stebbins is the perfect fit for the Toth/Lonergan Professorship," said Msgr. Richard Liddy, University Professor of Catholic Thought and Culture and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies. "Not only is he an excellent teacher who can help students discover how their own concerns are linked to the 'big questions' that human beings have been asking for thousands of years, but he also has a deep grasp of the fundamental issues which grip our society in the present age. I am delighted he is with us at Seton Hall."

The purpose of the Toth/Lonergan Professorship is to enhance the connections between the university's Catholic mission and all areas of the university. In addition to teaching, Dr. Stebbins will have the opportunity to participate in the university's faculty development programs, specifically those which link Bernard Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the various disciplines, such as the Praxis Program of the Advanced Seminar on Mission, sponsored by the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership, and co-sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies. He will also engage in a variety of ways with schools, departments, and programs around the University.

Most recently, Dr. Stebbins served as the Executive Vice President of Mission at Avera Health, a four-state Catholic health care system headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In that role he exercised system-level responsibility for mission and formation programs and, more broadly, for the integration of Avera's Catholic identity and mission into its operations. Dr. Stebbins has also served as the director of the Gonzaga Ethics Institute at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and as the director of the Arrupe Program in Social Ethics for Business at the Woodstock Theological Center, located at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Earlier in his career he worked as a registered nurse at Children's Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Stebbins holds a B.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga University, a B.S. in nursing from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College. He is the author of The Divine Initiative: Grace, World-Order, and Human Freedom in the Early Writings of Bernard Lonergan (University of Toronto Press). He and his wife Mary Kay have five children, ages 20 to 33. Dr. Stebbins can be contacted at michael.stebbins@shu.edu.


The Center for Catholic Studies hosted its Annual Friends Dinner to welcome Fr. Roy, the spring 19'Toth/Lonergan ProfessorThe Center for Catholic Studies Welcomes Next Toth/Lonergan Visiting Professor Fr. Louis Roy, O.P.

On Tuesday, October 23, the Center for Catholic Studies hosted its Annual Friends Dinner for the Toth-Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies to welcome the 2019 Toth-Lonergan Professor, Fr. Louis Roy, O.P., a Dominican scholar from Canada. After teaching at Boston College for 21 years, Fr. Roy now teaches at Dominican University in Ottawa. He will join the Seton Hall community for the spring 2019 semester where he will teach courses in the Catholic Studies Program and the Department of Religion.

Friends and supporters of the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Professorship were also joined by the inaugural Toth/Lonergan Professor, Mark Miller, Ph.D. As the first Toth/Lonergan professor at Seton Hall, Miller taught courses within the Core Curriculum, Honors Program, Law School, and Seminary. Miller's time on campus enriched the Catholic mission of the university by becoming part of the interpersonal "glue" that holds the university together. Miller continues to be of service to many faculty members and administrators.

The purpose of the Toth-Lonergan Professor is to enhance the connections between the university's Catholic mission and academic and professional education through teaching students from all areas of the university. Fr. Roy will have the opportunity to participate in the university's faculty development programs, which link Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the various disciplines. 

About Fr. Louis Roy, O.P. - Toth -Lonergan  Visiting Professor 2019
Louis Roy, O.P., holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. After teaching for twenty-one years at the Jesuit University of Boston College, he is now Professor of theology at the Dominican University College in Ottawa. He has published books in English, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. He is interested in intellectual, affective and mystical approaches to God, in religious experience and revelation, in interreligious dialogue, and in the relations between Christianity and cultures.

About Mark Miller- Toth-Lonergan Visiting Professor 2017-2018
Mark T. Miller, Ph. D., (University of San Francisco), a leading authority on the life and work of Bernard Lonergan, was the inaugural Toth/ Lonergan Professor at Seton Hall in 2017-2018. Professor Miller helped enhance the connections between the University's Catholic mission and academic and professional education through teaching students in the Core Curriculum, Honors Program, Law School and Seminary. He will also participated in the University's faculty development programs, which link Lonergan's generalized empirical method ("GEM") with the disciplines

About the Center for Catholic Studies
Founded at Seton Hall University in 1997, The Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture, through scholarly research and publications and ongoing programs for faculty, students, and the general public. In 2001, the Center conducted the annual faculty summer seminar, "The Core of the Core," which originated the present University Core Curriculum. The Center also developed the undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies with its major, minor and certificate, which in 2012 became the Department of Catholic Studies. The Center continues to support the Department with scholarship aid and its ongoing program of co-curricular activities.

Focusing on the central role of the faculty, the Center is the sponsor of regular Faculty Development programs, including lectures, seminars and retreats. The Center also administers two national faculty development programs: Collegium: A Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life, and The Lilly Fellows Program.

The Center maintains a global focus in international scholarship and is the home of the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, as well as the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute. The Institutes offer opportunities for study and research, as well as ongoing programs related to faith and culture. In addition, the Micah Institute for Business and Economics concentrates on communicating Catholic Social Teaching and ethics to business education at Seton Hall and the wider business community. The Center also publishes the prestigious Chesterton Review and The Lonergan Review.

About: Fr. Bernard  Lonergan (1904-1984) was a renowned scholar, who, as noted by Time magazine, was "considered by many intellectuals to be the finest philosophic thinker of the 20th century." Lonergan's classic works, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972), link faith and theology with the contemporary sciences and professions by way of a generalized empirical method (GEM). The 25 volumes of his Collected Works, published by the University of Toronto Press, include works on theology, the sciences and macroeconomics. Since 2009 Seton Hall has annually published The Lonergan Review, edited by Dr. Gregory Floyd, current Director, and Msgr. Richard Liddy,  Founding Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute.

About: Deacon  William Toth (1940-2008), who taught moral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology, founded the Institute on Work within the Center for Catholic Studies, which later became the Micah Institute. He also served as chair of the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Newark. Deacon Toth sought to link Catholic theology with the professions, especially business and law.