Student Profiles

Michael Wahl

Area of Concentration:  Moral Theology

Where are you from?  West Warwick, RI

Prior Degree/Institution:  BA, Theology and Mathematics, Providence College, Providence, RI

Summary of Research Interests:  Thomistic ethics; contemporary virtue ethics; questions of nature and grace, particularly the intersection of ecclesiology and political theology and the relationship between scripture and natural law.

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs?  The ability for students to take courses in a wide variety of areas of study both within and outside the theology department while still allowing students to tailor their research and writing for such coursework to their own research interests.

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program?  Trying to balance course reading with research for projects and papers as well as departmental work and the doctoral application process. Time management is key!

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program?  I served as a TA for an Honors Foundations of Theology course and as a graduate assistant for the MTS program.

What are your plans after graduation?  Hopefully, doctoral studies in moral theology.


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Raul Zegarra

Area of Concentration: Systematic Theology

Where are you from? Lima, Peru

Prior Degree/Institution:  BA Philosophy, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru; Licentiate in Philosophy, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru; MPhil, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Summary of Research Interests: Intersections between philosophy and theology, postmodern theology; liberation theology, critical theory, epistemology. Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, David Tracy, John D. Caputo, Jean-Luc Marion; Gustavo Gutiérrez, Jon Sobrino, Ignacio Ellacuría; the Frakfurt School, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas.

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs? The variety of topics, the strong academic formation of the Faculty.

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Maybe to get accustomed to the culture of Notre Dame in general and the Department in particular, but I don’t think it was a great challenge.

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? I have a research assistantship since I came, but there are also many opportunities for TAing.

What are your plans after graduation? PhD studies and to continue publishing material from my own research in the meantime.


Kyle Potter

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Area of Concentration: Liturgical Studies

Where are you from? Kentucky, United States

Prior Degree/Institution: Master of Applied Theology, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford

Summary of Research Interests: Anglican and Reformation Liturgy, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, missiology.

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs? Great professors, the worship life of the University, the ecumenical make-up of the students in the Theology department, and camaraderie outside the classroom.

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Studying new languages while doing reading and research!

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? I have held a TA position for Collection Development in the Hesburgh Library, as well as employment as a Graduate Student Assistant in the Information Commons, assisting students and faculty in finding library resources.

What are your plans after graduation? Applications to PhD programs in Liturgy as well as Systematic Theology at various universities in the United States and the United Kingdom.


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Sarah Moran

Area of Concentration: Moral Theology

Where are you from? Kiltimagh, Ireland; Denver, Colorado

Prior Degree/Institution: Regis University, Denver, CO; BA in English, Minor in Christian Leadership

Summary of Research Interests: Virtue and Scriptural Ethics; African theology; Ecclesiology and the New Evangelization

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs? Strong sense of community, available, talented and thoughtful faculty; wide course selection; FUNDING!

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Selecting courses from such a variety of offerings; the possibility of applying to PhD programs during the program; working to supplement my stipend for living expenses;

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? Institute for Church Life graduate assistant; Teaching Assistant; Center for Social Concerns graduate assistant.

 


 Laura Taylor

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Area of Concentration: Liturgical Studies

Where are you from? As an Air Force brat, everywhere!

Prior Degree/Institution: University of Notre Dame

Summary of Research Interests: Late antique/early medieval Latin and Byzantine liturgical history

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Program? The outstanding faculty, of course, but also the deep sense of community that forms within each MTS cohort and lasts beyond the two years at ND.

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? The greatest challenge so far has been simply choosing which exciting classes to take each semester!

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? I have worked as a Teaching Assistant for Professor David Clairmont and Msgr. Michael Heintz, as a Research Assistant for Professor Margot Fassler, and as a Research Analyst in the Office of Recruitment Support.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to pursue advanced study in Theology at the doctoral level


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Israel McGrew

Area of Concentration: Biblical Studies

Where are you from? Idaho

Prior Degree/Institution: BA, Concordia University Irvine

Summary of Research Interests: Patristics, Medievals, Reformation; the Ecumenical project; Scriptural and Pastoral theology

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs? Funding and faculty. The size of the program also provides a good pool from which to draw friends and colleagues to support you in both your work and your faith. The opportunity to take a variety of courses within your own and from other fields is valuable.

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Holding the Historical/Critical method in tension with traditional readings of Scripture.

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? TA, Library information desk attendant

What are your plans after graduation? In the immediate future, to pursue ordination. Perhaps eventually doctoral work, teaching and ecumenical dialogue.


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Anthony Bukyanagandi Isabirye

Area of Concentration: History of Christianity

Where are you from? Uganda-Africa

Prior Degree/Institution: Bachelor of Divinity

Summary of Research Interests: Early Patristics, especially Origen

What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Program? Full scholarship, fully trained professors, high technology, creation of ideas

What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Life is very expensive to maintain, insurance coverage is still low, much stress with many readings and papers.

What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? I am already a government employee.

What are your plans after graduation? I am a Lecturer in a high school teacher-training college.

 


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Theodore Janiszewski

Area of Concentration: Biblical Studies
 
Where are you from? Pittsburgh
 
Prior Degree/Institution: BS, Rochester Institute of Technology
 
Summary of Research Interests: Textual Criticism, Patristic Exegesis, Early Jewish Christianity, Rabbinics
 
What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs? Funding, faculty, and the name: the program is fully funded, the faculty is world-class, and being a graduate of the University of Notre Dame will open doors for you wherever you choose to go.
 
What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Holding the historical critical method in tension with traditional readings of Scripture
 
What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? TA, Graduate Assistant at Hesburgh Library

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Wenxuan Yuan

Area of Concentration:  Biblical Studies
 
Where are you from?  Beijing, China
 
Prior Degree/Institution:  BA, Classics, Renmin University of China
 
Summary of Research Interests:  Hebrew Bible with a special focus on the Torah; Judaism and other ancient Near Eastern traditions; Rabbinic literature; Jewish-Christian relations. I am also a great fun of sacred music!
 
What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Programs?  Strong sense of community; ability to take courses in different areas of theology; great (and available!) professors; funding
 
What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program?  Sometimes I find it hard to balance course reading with papers as well as research projects.
 
What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program?  I will try to get a job at the library info desk next semester.
 
What are your plans after graduation?  I would like to pursue advanced study in the Old Testament at the doctoral level, but I would probably apply for another master program in Near Eastern Studies before that.

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Joshua Haxton

Where are you from: Spokane, WA and Tucson, AZ
 
Prior Degree/Institution: BA, Philosophy, Gonzaga University
 
Summary of Research Interests: I am interested in Sacramental Theology generally, specifically Holy Orders and Matrimony. Especially questions of ecclesiology and orders, the relationship of the ordained to the community, the deaconate, the theological understanding of Lay Ecclesial Ministers, and building a more robust theology of marriage. 
 
What are the greatest strengths of the MTS program?: The challenge of the program and the professors demand the very best from you, and gives the tools to rise to the challenge. An atmosphere of camaraderie and collaboration between fellow MTS students fosters an intellectual environment which is conducive to growth as a person and an academic.
 
What has been your greatest challenge in the MTS program?: Finding balance with one's academic obligations and private life can be challenging in the beginning. Being married and in graduate school requires organization, prioritizing, and discipline in order to find that correct balance, but the department goes out of its way to assist their students in this challenge. 
 
What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS program?: I have TA'd for the Theology and Philosophy Librarian, as well as worked for the Notre Dame Children's Choir as a Transportation Coordinator. 
 

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Rachel Chow

Area of Concentration: Moral Theology/Christian Ethics
 
Where are you from? Nutley, NJ
 
Prior Degree/Institution:  BA in Theology/Religious Studies from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
 
Summary of Research Interests: Theology and mental health; theologies of disability; virtue ethics; desert monasticism and acedia; the thought of Stanley Hauerwas and Emmanuel Katongole.
 
What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Program? Friendly and collegial classmates (in both the MTS and MDiv programs); a really supportive program director; opportunities to think about academic life through colloquium sessions; fantastic funding.
 
What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program? Adjusting to being at a large university; vocational discernment; trying not to get buried by the lake-effect snow.
 
What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? Part-time research assistant for the Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (in the Institute for Church Life)

 


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Emily Dubie

Area of Concentration: Moral Theology & Christian Ethics
 
Where are you from? Fairfield, Vermont
 
Prior Degree/Institution: BA in International Relations from Saint Anselm College, NH
 
Summary of Research Interests: Christian social ethics; political theology; eschatology; ecclesiology; international development; faith-based social services; welfare policy; intentional communities; prayer and social action
 
What are the greatest strengths of the MTS Program? A supportive community of theology graduate students; fabulous faculty; generous funding.
 
What have been your greatest challenges in the MTS Program?  Finding the right life-work balance.
 
What employment opportunities have you pursued while in the MTS Program? Teaching assistant for the Theology Department
 
What are your plans after graduation? Will apply to do doctoral work in theological ethics.