About Deacon Susan

Tea-drinker, cafe-windowseat-sitter, theologian-stargazer, contemplative-educator, photo-taking-poet, monastic-minded charismatic, anglo-catholic Episcopalian, earth-loving artist, and follower of Jesus Christ.

I am the Assistant Professor of Discipleship and Christian Formation, and Director of the MA in Christian Leadership, at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, joining the faculty in 2014; and deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Dubuque.

Drawn by a love of monastic history and contemplative prayer, I received a Master of Divinity at St John’s University, Collegeville, a Benedictine abbey, and a PhD in Theological Studies, focusing on Practical Theology and Spirituality, from Boston University (2015). My dissertation, Prayer in Theological Education for Ministry: Toward a Contemplative Practical Theological Pedagogy, explores the role of prayer in theological education, closely reading the theologies of Karl Barth, Marjorie Suchocki, and Eugene Peterson for how theology and prayer inter-relate.

A spiritual director, my experience also includes twenty-five years in Adult Christian education, intentional Christian community, retreat facilitation, and liturgical leadership in congregational contexts. I have served on the pastoral staff of three churches.

I have a deep interest in the influence of social technology on the contemplative life. My research includes the practice of lectio divina, internet technology’s influence on the life of prayer, cognitive approaches to habit formation, liturgical catechesis, Celtic spirituality, the medieval mystics, Creation spirituality, and the contemplative dimensions of education.

My wise cat, Minerva, daily reminds me to get off the smartphone and enjoy the beauty of non-screen life.