Theology, B.A.


Dr. Dominic ColonnaDominic Colonna
Professor (Theology) and Faculty Mission Liaison

1998 Ph.D. (Systematic Theology), Fordham University
1989 M.Div., Yale University
1983 B.A. (Music), Connecticut College

Areas of Research Interest: Theological Aesthetics, Moral Theology, Catholic and Lasallian Mission

Dominic Colonna has been teaching at Lewis University since 1999. Dr. Colonna attempts to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom by having students read and respond to primary source materials including art. Art, he believes, calls one to make the same kind of personal responses that one makes in one’s spiritual life and, often, it engages students more effectively than traditional texts. Dr. Colonna has been taking students annually since 2001 to Italy to study theology by experiencing the art and architecture of Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Ravenna.

Dr. Colonna teaches Search for Faith and Christian Action and Values each semester.  Each year, he teaches the upper-level course History of Christian Thought in addition to the class in Italy, Christian Faith and the Arts.

Br. Raymond McManamanBrother Raymond McManaman

1981 S.T.D., San Francisco Theological Seminary
1977 D.Min., Aquinas Institute of Theology
1972 M.A., Seattle University
1956 M.A., St. Mary’s College- Winona, MN
1951 B.A., St. Mary’s College- Winona, MN

Brother Raymond McManaman has taught at Lewis University for 38 years. He is a former Dean of Students and a former Chair of the Theology (then Religious Studies) Department. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the University, Project of the Joliet Diocese; a member of the Academic Formation Committee of the Diaconate Program of the Joliet Diocese; and a faculty member of the Diaconate Program.

Karen Trimble-AlliaumeKaren Trimble-Alliaume
Professor, Co-director of the Women's Studies Program, Chair

1999 Ph.D., Duke University
1994 Graduate Certificate, Duke University
1987 B.A., Loyola College- Baltimore

Karen Trimble Alliaume received her doctorate in theology and ethics from Duke University in 1999, where she pursued feminist and other liberation theologies of the United States and the developing world; systematic and constructive Christian theology; Catholic moral theology and Christian ethics; and interdisciplinary work in literature, feminist theory, and women's studies. Her most recent essay, “(Theology of the) Body Language: Christopher West as Harlequin 2.0,” was published in Sex, Gender, and Christianity, edited by Priscilla Pope-Levison and John R. Levison (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2012), while another essay, “Disturbingly Catholic: Thinking the Inordinate Body” was published in Susan M. St. Ville and Ellen Armour, eds., Bodily Citations: Religion and Judith Butler (New York:Columbia University Press, 2006).

At Lewis, she has taught numerous courses including Christianity and Consumer Culture; Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; Marriage, Relationships and Sexuality in Christian Tradition; Religion and Literature; Women and Religion; War, Peace and Violence in Christian Tradition; Introduction to Women’s Studies; and the Women’s Studies Capstone Seminar.

She is currently working on a book project, “Who Do We Say We Are? Catholic Feminist Theology and Critical Methodologies,” with co-author Dr. Susan Abraham of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Dr. Clare Komoroske RothschildDr. Clare K. Rothschild
Professor (Scripture Studies)

2003 Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School
1992 M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
1986 B.A., University of California

Clare K. Rothschild is Associate Professor in the Department of Theological Studies specializing in the area of Biblical Studies. Her research agenda includes interpreting the New Testament in its Greco-Roman and Hellenistic Jewish contexts, studying the New Testament in relation to both early Christian and late antique Christian literature, and utilizing a variety of methodological approaches. Her tertiary interests take in other aspects of the literary worlds of Graeco-Roman and Second Temple Judaism in its various forms of expression in Palestine and the Diaspora. Recently, together with colleague Trevor Thompson of Abilene Christian University, she completed the first English translation of the newly-discovered De indolentia or “On the Avoidance of Grief,” a letter from the distinguished ancient physician, Galen in which he describes how he coped following the fire that destroyed much of his library and medicines in 192/93 CE. The text was discovered in a monastery in Thessaloniki in 2005. In terms of travel, in 1999, a generous fellowship led her to spend a few weeks at an archaeological site in Israel with the Combined Caesarea Expeditions. In 2006, she received a Humboldt Fellowship to spend the academic school year in Munich, Germany. And in January 2009, she took part as Visiting Faculty on Emory University’s Turkey Research Travel Seminar. To the classroom, she brings a contagious measure of enthusiasm for her discipline. Prior to her time at Lewis, she held teaching positions at McCormick Seminary, Xavier University, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame), and DePaul University. Courses she teaches at Lewis include New Testament/Early Christian Literature, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Jewish Wisdom Literature, Early Christian Apocalypses, and Paul.

She currently serves as editor of Early Christianity, new journal of the publisher, Mohr Siebeck. She also serves on the executive committee of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, acts as co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti, and is an active member of the Catholic Biblical Association, North American Patristics Society, Midwest SBL, and Chicago Society of Biblical Research. Each year she delivers research papers in seminars and conferences all over the world.

Dr. Maryellen Davis CollettDr. Maryellen Davis Collett
Associate Professor

2007 Ph.D. University of North Carolina
2001 M.A., University of North Carolina
1998 B.A., Williams College

Dr. Maryellen Davis Collett is an associate professor in the Department of Theology helping to develop a program in Catholic Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in the Religious Studies program (Religion in North America and Religion and Culture), with a dissertation titled Mary as Media Icon: The Madonna in Twentieth-Century American Catholic Devotional Cultures. Dr. Collett also received a M.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill for which she wrote a thesis entitled “Popery” or Patriotism?: Constructions of Catholic Identity in Antebellum Fiction. Her B.A. is from Williams College in Massachusetts. Dr. Collett has published and presented on the complex intersections of Catholicism and culture. Her publications include “Mary as Media Icon: Gender and Militancy in Twentieth-Century U.S. Roman Catholic Devotional Media” in Lynn Schofield Clark, ed. Religion, Media, and the Marketplace (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2007) and “Lewis University as Sacred Space” in Celebrating 75 Years: Lewis University 1932-2007 (Wassberg, Schackmuth, Davis, & Cremin, 2006).

Father Daniel Torson, CPPSFather Daniel Torson, CPPS
Assistant Professor

2001 Doctor of Ministry, Pacific School of Religion of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
1995 Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies, St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN
1990 Master of Divinity, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN
1979 Bachelor of Music Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialization in classical saxophone.

Father Daniel Torson is an Assistant Professor of Theology with specialties in Catholic Studies (including Liturgy and Sacraments), Christian Ethics, and Pastoral Ministry.  He is a member of the religious community, the Society of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province. In addition to his degrees, Fr. Torson has completed advanced studies in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago with research interests in Virtue and Narrative Ethics. Father Torson’s pastoral experience includes chaplaincy at four universities and is a weekly presider for weekend Masses at parishes in the area.  Fr. Torson is a former member of the Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band, the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command Band (Omaha, NE), and is an avid sports fan of both college and professional athletics.

Dr. James BurkeDr. James Burke
Associate Professor of Theology
Director, Center for Ministry & Spirituality

2007 Ph.D., Christian Ethics, Loyola University Chicago
1979 M.A., Divinity School, University of Chicago
1972 B.A., University of Notre Dame

James Burke joined the Lewis faculty in 2006 and has directed Lewis University's Center for Ministry & Spirituality since 2008. As a Christian ethicist formed in the Roman Catholic moral theological tradition, he aims in teaching to foster students' love for critical reading of primary and contemporary theological sources, for inter-worldview dialogue and for writing theology well. He hopes to foster habits of the mind and heart which will compel students throughout their lives to create Lasallian communities that seek justice and build peace nonviolently.

He regularly teaches Search for Faith, Introduction to Christian Theology, Christian Action & Values, Christian Social Teaching, and Research Methods in Theology. With colleagues, he is developing a Vatican II ecclesiology course and Peace Studies Minor.

Since 2007, Dr. Burke has actively participated in a nationwide ecumenical and interfaith consultation on just peacemaking. He contributed to the consultation's two books—Just Peacemaking: The New Paradigm for the Ethics of Peace and War Paperback (Pilgrim Press, 2008), and Interfaith Just Peacemaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012).

Through the Center for Ministry & Spirituality, Dr. Burke directs the organizing of the annual Spring Signum Fidei Lecture and biennial symposia, exploring intersections of faith and culture with ministry and spirituality. In 2012, the Center began a fiftieth-anniversary commemoration of the Second Vatican Council, Pilgrimage to Vatican II—2012-2015. The Fall 2014 symposium will ask from interfaith and interdisciplinary perspectives: What ought the twenty-first century Catholic and Lasallian university look like, if we were responsive not only to the spirit and letter of Vatican II and Circular 461 on Lasallian association, but also to Pope Francis' teaching?

Dr. Christie BillupsDr. Christie Billups
Assistant Professor
Director of Pastoral Ministry
Coordinator of Service Learning
Coordinator of Prison Ministry Leadership Curriculum

2007 D.Min., Catholic Theological Union
2001 M.A.P.S., Catholic Theological Union
1990 M.A.T., National Louis University
1982 B.A., St. Michael's College

Dr. Billups is an assistant professor in the Department of Theology. She also directs the Pastoral Ministry program and coordinates service learning for the university.  She received D.Min. and MAPS degrees from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, a MAT in Elementary Education from National Louis University, and a B.A. in Religious Studies from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, VT.

She has been a Practical Theologian in both academia and by serving as Youth Minister, High School Campus Minister, Theology Teacher, and Jail Minister. Her thesis topics for her degrees were Ministry with LGBT Youth, Juvenile Justice: Ethical Considerations, and Confronting Racism in a Diverse, Urban Catholic High School.

Publications include:
New Theology Review. “Ministry with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Questioning Youth.” February 2009.
National Catholic Reporter. “New Evangelization and True Evangelization.” February 2012.

Topics on which Dr. Billups has presented and/or blogged:
Restorative Justice, Prison Ministry, Service Learning, Interfaith Dialogue among Abrahamic Traditions, The Creed, Beloved Community, and Dismantling Racism.

Elizabeth SartellElizabeth Sartell
Assistant Professor

PhD Candidate (Islamic Studies), University of Chicago Divinity School
2013 M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School
2008 B.S., University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Elizabeth Sartell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology, specializing in the area of Islamic Studies and comparative Abrahamic traditions.  Her current research centers on medieval Islamic and Jewish theories on the origins of the universe and on the crossovers of philosophy and mysticism within these varied approaches.  Her dissertation focuses on the intricate mystical theory of Ibn al-ʿArabī (d. 1240 CE) about the role of the Arabic alphabet and God’s speech in the creation of the universe.  Her project seeks to place Ibn al-ʿArabī’s thought within the larger mystical discourse between medieval Muslim and Jewish texts, highlighting the relevance of minority texts and voices to studies of dominant cultures.  Her other projects focus on inclusive pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching practices.

Prof. Sartell has published articles, presented talks, and led workshops in the fields of Islamic medical ethics; science, magic, and religion in the Islamicate world; Islamic mysticism; Islamic and Jewish lettrism; and inclusive pedagogy in the humanities and in the study of religion.

At Lewis, Prof. Sartell teaches Search for Faith and Christianity and World Religions, and she is developing new course offerings with a focus on Islam or comparative Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).