Gary Boelhower Ph.D.
Theology and Religious Studies
What is your field of expertise, and what makes you interested in this field?
My fields of expertise are process theology, ethics and spirituality and leadership. Process theology provides a way of looking at the world and God that brings together recent explorations in science with our deepest reasoning and intuition about the purpose and meaning of existence. Ethics is critical to every dimension of our lives because we seek the good not only for ourselves but our communities. The integration of spirituality and leadership is essential because effective leaders care about the well being of persons and their communities as much as they do about the financial bottom line.
Can you briefly introduce the academic program (or department) you are in to our prospective students?
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies (TRS) offers a major and minor to anyone who is interested in a broad and challenging investigation that includes theology, biblical studies, ethics and the religions of the world. Some of our majors and minors hope to go into ministry as lay persons or ordained ministers. Others see the TRS major or minor as a stepping stone for advanced studies in another field or a complement to their major in one of the professions. One thing is certain, the TRS major or minor will help you think in depth about some of the most important questions that face us as unique human beings.
From your perspective, what distinguishes St. Scholastica and your program from other colleges and universities?
The TRS program at CSS gives you a broad background rather than a narrow focus. We think this is particularly important for the challenges that face us in contemporary society. Our faculty are experts and researchers in their particular fields of theology and religious studies and they take a personal interest in your success and in your future.
What do you like best about St. Scholastica?
The reason I came to CSS is its commitment to a set of values-respect, hospitality, community, stewardship, and love of learning. With our focus on these values, we prepare learners not only to be competent in their professions but to be caring, compassionate and responsible human beings. Competence is not enough to create a world of greater understanding and deeper connection among persons, where individuals flourish.
What's your most interesting teaching or research experience at St. Scholastica?
I truly enjoy every one of my courses. Teaching is my passion and a deep fulfillment because I see learning happening, new ideas being investigated, new attitudes taking shape. I also am committed to several writing projects-a book on decision making from the spiritual wisdom traditions, a book on practical wisdom that uses the labyrinth as a reflection tool, a book of poetry, and a children's book.
What's your advice for prospective students?
Read each book as if it were an adventure, an exploration of a new and promising territory. Read, re-read, underline, make notes in the margins and then ask questions. Immerse yourself in the learning community inside and outside the classroom. Challenge yourself with something a little risky each day-a new friend, the climbing wall, a worship service, a peace and justice lecture, a service opportunity, etc. Live at the edge of your best, growing self.