Chicago, IL (December 3, 2012) – Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, announced the appointment by the Holy See of Elizabeth M. Nagel as the new President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, effective immediately. Dr. Nagel replaces Fr. John G. Lodge, who has served as president since 2004.
Along with Mundelein Seminary, The Pontifical Faculty of Theology is one of the seven schools and institutes of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. The Pontifical Faculty offers advanced academic degrees of the Catholic Church under a charter from the Holy See, which the University of Saint Mary of the Lake received in 1929. The Pontifical Faculty prepares women and men for teaching and research positions in seminaries and universities, as well as other specialized ministry in the Church. One of seven such faculties in the United States, Mundelein has the highest enrollment in its pontifical degree programs.
“Dr. Elizabeth Nagel is an ideal choice to lead the Pontifical Faculty,” Cardinal George said in announcing the appointment. “Her life-long vocation as a Scripture scholar and her many years of teaching in seminaries preparing priests to love Christ, whom they encounter in the pages of the Bible prepare her well for this role of leadership.” The Cardinal also commented that only a very few ecclesiastical faculties are headed by women and that he was proud that Chicago was joining their ranks with Dr. Nagel’s appointment.
Dr. Nagel responded to news of her appointment by saying “I feel honored that Cardinal George nominated me for this position. Among the teachings of Scripture that shape my life are that the reign of God on earth was truly inaugurated by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and that this reality should guide the moment-by-moment choices of all who would be Jesus’ disciples. Thus, I look forward to working with students who, by serious prayer and study, seek to understand Christian revelation more deeply so that they might discover how to live it more radically themselves, and also how to communicate it in new and effective ways to the Church in our age.”
“I am pleased that the Cardinal nominated Dr. Nagel for this leadership role.” said Fr. Robert Barron, Rector/President of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. “She has been a very engaged member of our teaching faculty. With her long experience in seminary education, she brings many gifts to the Pontifical Faculty that oversees the University’s research program. Vatican II teaches us that Scripture is the soul of theology, and Dr. Nagel is a great proponent of this view.”
Fr. Thomas A. Baima, who as Vice Rector for Academic Affairs coordinates the schools and institutes of the University, noted that Dr. Nagel has been deeply involved since coming to Mundelein in the program for the research doctorate. “She knows our doctoral program well and has always held candidates to a high standard of scholarship. Dr. Nagel is also well respected by the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago from her keynote address at Convocation 2011. I look forward to working with her in academic administration.”
Elizabeth Nagel was born and raised in north central Missouri. She received a B.S. in physical therapy from the University of Missouri, an M.A. in theology with a concentration in Scripture from Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. She then studied in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where she received the licentiate and doctorate in sacred scripture (SSD). Formerly, full professor of Sacred Scripture in the Theology Division of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary at Overbrook in Wynnewood, PA., Dr. Nagel is the author of Be A Blessing: A Spring of Refreshment on the Road of Daily Life. She writes for Bible Today and has published articles in Chicago Studies and book reviews in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Dr. Nagel lived in Israel for one year and was a Scripture resource person for numerous study tours to the Holy Land. She is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and the Society of Biblical Literature. Her primary interest is in teaching and communicating Sacred Scripture in a way that helps contemporary Christians enter into the biblical text and hear, for themselves, God who speaks there. Dr. Nagel lives in the Village of Mundelein and worships at Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Lake Zurich.
The University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary educates men for the pastoral ministry as diocesan priests. Mundelein is one of only six schools in North America established as a pontifical faculty of theology by the Holy See. Additionally, the University provides distinct and separate formation through its Institutes of Diaconal Studies, Lay Formation and Ongoing Formation to insure competent graduates for the parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Its Liturgical Institute promotes and advances the theology and practice of the Church’s liturgical life.