A Sampling of Roman Catholic Graduates of Yale Divinity School

Angela Batie ’07 M.Div.
Angela Batie is a campus minister at St. Louis University, a Jesuit institution whose student body is about half Roman Catholic. She lives in the school’s Griesedieck Hall, a 900-person residence facility for first-year students, and also serves graduate students. Her commitment to religious diversity is partly informed by her experience at YDS. “Worshiping in Marquand was enriching and fulfilling,” she says. “I did not know then how formative it would be. It has forced me to be creative and exposed me to other sensitivities in planning liturgy.” Batie is also a contributing author to From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism (Liturgical Press).

Paul Baumann ’81 MAR
Paul Baumann is editor of Commonweal Magazine, where he writes editorials and solicits and edits articles. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Newsday, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications. Previously, he worked as a newspaper editorial writer, reporter, and movie reviewer at the Day, a Connecticut newspaper.

Father Steven Boguslawski ’90 STM, ’99 Ph.D.
Steven Boguslawski is president of the Pontifical Faculty at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and also serves as executive director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. He has been a member of the Order of Preachers since 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1987. Previous positions include dean of studies and rector/president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and in the offices of the vice president and academic dean as well as provincial regent of studies at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. He is the author of several books on Jewish-Catholic relations in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and co-editor of two books on the new evangelization urged by Pope John Paul II.

Katie Bugyis ’09 MAR
Katie Bugyis was the 2009 recipient of YDS’s Julia A. Archibald High Scholarship Prize and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in medieval studies at Notre Dame. Her research interests focus on how women from the early twelfth to the mid-fifteenth century variously strove to articulate the wisdom of the Godhead in accordance with their uniquely revealed prophetic vocation, the prescriptions of the Church on their sex, and their understanding of the purpose of prophetic utterance with respect to the larger Christian community.

Joseph F. Cistone ’90 MAR
Joseph Cistone is executive director of International Partners in Mission, a faith-based, non-governmental organization with programs in fifty communities and on five continents. Previous positions include vice president of capital, endowment, and philanthropic programs at the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation as well as associate director of the International Office for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation of the Franciscan Friars Minor and director of the Joined Hands Refugee Center, both in Rome, Italy.

Jane Ferreira ’89 MAR
Jane Ferreira is president and CEO of the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, an organization that provides basic literacy and life skills to low-income women. Previously, Ferreira served as an associate chaplain at Yale. She has spent twenty-five years as a pastoral minister and administrator in various communities throughout the United States.

Rita Ferrone ’83 M.Div.
Rita Ferrone is a recognized leader in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church for her efforts in the area of adult Christian initiation during a time when the reforms of the Second Vatican Council have opened new avenues of ministry for lay people and women. A writer, speaker, consultant, and workshop facilitator, she has played a vital role in liturgical reform and the challenges of training clergy, parish staff, and non-professional parish ministers. She has worked on the parish, diocesan, and national levels to promote liturgical renewal and to provide support for adult converts in their reception into local Christian communities. Her books include Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium, in the series Rediscovering Vatican II, the 18-volume series Foundations in Faith, and On the Rite of Election.

Nichole Flores ’09 M.Div.
Nichole Flores is studying theological ethics in the Ph.D. program at Boston College, where she is exploring theological questions that were introduced to her at YDS, including those raised during her supervised ministry experience in the Leadership in Public Ministry Program. She is especially interested in the relationship between religion and politics and devoted much of her first year at Boston College to investigating issues of human trafficking, modern day slavery, immigration, and international rights from a theological perspective. After completing her doctorate, she hopes to teach at the university level, write about Christian theology in the public square, and continue to pursue social and economic justice through advocacy and community organization.

Jeanie Graustein ’95 M.Div.
Jeanie Graustein is the environmental justice ministry coordinator for the Office of Urban Affairs of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. She invites parishioners to reflect on the moral nature and interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental justice issues. She also participates in meetings and work of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. She is a former docent at Yale’s Peabody Museum and a member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), for which she co-chaired the 2004 annual conference, Earth’s Waters in Crisis: a Scientific, Spiritual, and Moral Challenge.

Thomas A. Kopecek ’68 B.D.
Thomas A. Kopecek is professor emeritus of religion at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He has held research fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities and teaches in the areas of New Testament and early Christianity, modern Christian theology and Christology, and Asian religions.

Candida Moss ’02 MAR, ’08 Ph.D.
Candida Moss is an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in the interpretation of the New Testament and the history of early Christianity. Her first book, The Other Christs: Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), examines the presentation of martyrs as Christ figures in the early church. She is currently working on a history of martyrdom in the first and second centuries C.E. for the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.

Martin O’Connor ’02 M.Div.
Martin O’Connor is chaplain at the University of New Haven (UNH). As a young man, he felt destined to be a priest and entered Fairfield University with that intent. However, he eventually left Fairfield, joined the Army, then entered the University of New Haven and at the same time began a career in the New Haven Fire Department. While a firefighter, he earned a law degree from the University of Connecticut. He became director of the fire science program at UNH, was appointed New Haven’s fire chief, and finally returned to UNH to teach and serve as the president of the Alumni Association’s board of directors. Eventually, he enrolled at Yale Divinity School, where he earned his master of divinity degree. Today he teaches fire science at UNH, is the University’s campus minister, and is pursuing yet another degree, a doctorate of ministry at Fordham University.

Mary Ellen O’Driscoll ’02 M.Div.
Mary Ellen O’Driscoll is program officer at the Humanitas Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation in New York that seeks to enrich the life of the Catholic Church in the United States and to enhance the Church’s outreach to the marginalized and disadvantaged. She has previously served as a parish pastoral associate at the Catholic Community of St. Bridget in the Archdiocese of Hartford and worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Michael Peppard ’03 MAR, ’09 Ph.D.
Michael Peppard is assistant professor in biblical theology and New Testament at Fordham University. His research interests include New Testament studies, the history of early Christianity, the history of the Bible, and contemporary issues. He is currently at work on The Christian Son of God in the Roman World, the first book-length treatment of how the divine sonship proclaimed by early Christians would have resonated in the social and political context of the Roman empire.

Royal W.F. Rhodes ’71 B.D.
Royal W.F. Rhodes is the Donald L. Rogan Professor of Religious Studies at Kenyon College. He is the author/co-author of several books, including Faith of Christians (Fortress Press, 1984), Eclipse of Justice: Ethics, Economics, and the Lost Traditions of American Catholicism (Orbis, 1992), and The Lion and the Cross: Early Christianity in Victorian Novels (Ohio State University Press, 1995). Rhodes was honored with both the senior cup at Kenyon and the trustees award for distinguished teaching.

Kerry Robinson ’94 MAR
Kerry Robinson is executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, an organization that promotes excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human resource development of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. She previously served as director of development at St. Thomas More Center, leading a $73 million fundraising drive to expand Catholic intellectual and spiritual life and construct a Catholic student center at Yale.

Martha Serpas ’94 M.Div.
Martha Serpas teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Houston. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Côte Blanche (New Issues) and The Dirty Side of the Storm (W.W. Norton). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation, Southwest Review, and Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, as well as in a number of anthologies, including the Library of America’s American Religious Poems. She has also taught at Yale Divinity School and the University of Tampa, where she served as poetry editor of Tampa Review.

William Bry Shields ’76 M.Div.
William Bry Shields is president of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, one of three high schools of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile. With approximately 1,100 students in grades nine through twelve, the school serves Mobile and Baldwin Counties of south Alabama and east Jackson County of south Mississippi.

Horacio Vela III ’07 MAR
Horacio Vela III is a Ph.D. candidate in the Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity program at Notre Dame. His interests include Hellenistic Judaism, Luke-Acts, and the history of biblical interpretation. He is also a student of the origins and development of the Mexican Guadalupe tradition and contemporary U.S. Hispanic Catholic theology. He is a doctoral fellow of the Hispanic Theological Initiative. Vela has traveled to Israel for coursework and has participated in the International Summer School in Coptic Papyrology at the University of Leipzig.