Matthew Gerlach, PhD
Dr. Matthew T. Gerlach serves as Administrative Chair for University-Wide Programs in the School of Arts and Sciences and teaches in the areas of Catholic Studies, Theology, and Philosophy. He works extensively with the Catholic Studies Program, the Honors Program, the Global Studies Programs, the Rome Campus, and various other U-Mary initiatives.
Inspired by a passion for humanities and Catholic culture, he earned his B.A. in Catholic Studies and Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota in 1997 and after graduation assisted the Center for Catholic Studies in processing the Christopher Dawson Collection and launching its Rome program. After returning to the U.S., Dr. Gerlach went on to teach high school theology for three years at Holy Family Catholic High School, Victoria, MN (2001-2004) and completed an M.A. in Theology at St. Thomas; his master’s thesis examined Blessed John Henry Newman’s classic work, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. In 2011, he completed a Ph.D. in theology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (2011), with a dissertation on the how the Sacred Liturgy provides a lex orandi for theological exegesis of Sacred Scripture, especially Biblical typology (lex orandi, lex legendi). While teaching for two years at the Center for Catholic Studies, his alma mater (2008-2010), he was invited to launch a new Catholic Studies program at the University of Mary by Monsignor James P. Shea, president, and coordinate the new Rome Program from the home campus.
The three themes guiding his philosophy of education and his work in the renewal of Catholic higher education are: (1) the Church’s mission to evangelize culture and the “secular” vocation of the lay faithful in this mission; (2) the dialogue and complementarity between faith and reason across academic disciplines and the professions; and (3) the unity of faith and life.
He and his wife Michelle have four children with whom they enjoy hiking in the Badlands of North Dakota and the mountains of western Montana.