Launched in 2009, the Catholic Studies Speaker Series offers 2-3 lectures per year by national and international Catholic figures and scholars. The series also brings students into contact, both in the classroom and in informal settings, with great living Catholic thinkers like Bishop Robert Barron, Joseph Pearce, Eleonore Stump and Duncan Stroik. The series helps fulfill the mission of the Catholic Studies program, "to share the riches of the Church's own culture" with students and the community.

Catholic Studies Lecture Series Events


Catherine Brown Tkacz

“Susanna Victrix, Christus Victor: Women as Types of Christ” (January 30, 2024)

The Church Fathers called Susanna the “victorious woman” (victrix) because she defeated the Elders both when they sought to coerce her into sexual obedience and again when she was falsely tried by them (Daniel 13). She was the first biblical woman whom Christians recognized as prefiguring Christ in his Passion. Artworks and texts from the first century through the present will be shown during the lecture, showing the eleven women who have prefigured the Lord, an innovative Christian interpretation based on the fact that Jesus Christ calls everyone, male and female, to holiness.

Dr. Catherine Brown Tkacz is Professor of Theology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. Her numerous publications on women in the Church, including deaconesses, led to her appointment to the Vatican Commission on Women and the Diaconate. Her most recent book, Women as Types of Christ: An Apostolic Tradition in East and West, is in press.

Michael W. Tkacz, Bernard J. Coughlin

“What’s So Great About Albert the Great? His Life, Times, and Contributions to Western Civilization” (February 1, 2024)

The medieval scholar Albert the Great is best known today as the teacher of Thomas Aquinas. Yet, Albert’s contributions to western civilization go far beyond this. He was not only an important church leader and accomplished theologian, but he was also the central figure in the medieval scientific revolution that gave rise to the tradition of experimental research that continues today.

Dr. Michael W. Tkacz is Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J. Professor of Christian Philosophy at
Gonzaga University and past president of the Society for Thomistic Natural Philosophy. He is the editor, with John P. Hittinger and Daniel C. Wagner, of the Intelligibility of Nature: A William A. Wallace Reader. He is also the author of The Second Liberal Art: A Guide to Traditional Logic. His articles on medieval philosophy have appeared in various scholarly journals and book-length collections of essays.


Joseph T. Stuart, Ph.D.

“The Age of Enlightenment and Our Souls: Legacies of Cultural Conflict, Engagement, and Retreat.” (January 31, 2023)

Dr. Stuart is Associate Professor of History and Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, where he lives with his wife and four children. Dr. Stuart grew up near Big Rapids, MI, worked at the Russell Kirk Center in Mecosta, MI, for a number of years, and completed his graduate studies at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Stuart taught as an Adjunct Professor here at Aquinas College in 2010. He is now the Chair of the History program at the University of Mary and is the author or co-author of three books.

Dr. Alicia Cordoba, D.M.A.

"Mission and Identity at the Heart of Catholic Higher Education" (November 3, 2022)


Mary C. Moorman

A Theology of Indulgences: A Revised Construal

Mary C. Moorman brings her combined interests in law and theology to the fore in her initial work on the legal and theological framework which undergirds the Church's indulgences. Mary holds a Juris Doctor in law with a focus on religious legal systems from Boston University. She completed her work in medieval systematic theology at Yale and Southern Methodist University. She is author of "Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit" (Emmaus Academic, 2017).

Fr. Paul Murray

 Fr. Robert Barron, "Thomas Merton's Metaphysics of Peace"

Dawn Eden, "My Tangled Road to Rome"

Sr. Mary Prudence Allen, RSM, Ph. D., "Can the Complementarity of Woman and Man be Proved? 

Dr. Ralph Martin, “The New Evangelization: Why Bother?”
Presented by Eerdmans Bookstore

Special Lecture on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition