Date of Award
Doctor of Theology (ThD)
Brother John Crawford, F.S.C., Ph.D., La Salle University
Reverend Francis Berna, Ph.D., La Salle University
Dennid Feltwell, Ph.D., Pasco-Hernando State College
Grace and the prophetic imagination are the theological wellsprings that provide the fertile ground for an encounter with God's Holy Mystery, a God who transcends humanity yet who in steadfast love cares for all even to the point of becoming one of with humanity. Grace opens the hearts and minds of individuals to hear God's prophetic word where God reveals God's very nature and where people grow in becoming themselves fully and wholly for others. The prophetic imagination affords believers the awareness to see God's incarnational love alive and present - now and everywhere. Since mystery and self-transcendence, a life and a meaning for it are foundational for a healthy religion, this project will integrate various voices to formulate a much-needed pedagogy that provides a space where students are disarmed, stories shared, trust restored, and compassion resurrected thereby preparing students for an integrated life.
The underpinning question this project addresses for religious education and educators in the twenty-first century is; How might we teach an alienated and increasing religiously illiterate populace, a population in Parker Palmer's words, that lives on the "flatlands of a desacralized world?"  According to Palmer, the desacralized landscape is flat, tedious, and devoid of surprise or wonder. It gives no impetus to neither go beyond oneself nor explore the depths of one's being, not to mention experience the mystery of God's love. Transforming these "flatlands" is paramount and requires forming critical thinkers for the present and integrated lives for the future.
 Thomas F. O'Meara, O.P., "Religious Education for Maturity: The Presence of Grace," Religious Education LXVIII, no. 4 (July/August 1973): 454.
 Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998) 115.
Sims, Michael J., "The Prophetic Imagination as the Conduit for Grace and Fertile Ground for Students on the Flatlands of a Desacralized World" (2021). Th.D. Dissertations. 15.