Celebrated University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins once remarked that the Catholic Church has “the longest intellectual tradition of any institution in the contemporary world.” The mission of the Lumen Christi Institute is to make that tradition a vital part of the culture of today’s university. The Lumen Christi Institute’s programs enrich academic communities at the University of Chicago, across the nation, and throughout the world with the insights of Catholic thought, in order to engage our secular culture in dialogue and ultimately to renew our civilization by forming leaders for a global society in need of Christian wisdom.
Thomas Levergood received his B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in General Studies in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He taught American Literature at a high school in Paris and has done political work and research. After studies in languages and literature in Munich, Paris, and New York, he returned to the University of Chicago to pursue graduate studies in theology, politics, and literature in the Committee on Social Thought. Thomas Levergood is a co-founder of the Lumen Christi Institute.
Madison Chastain is Program Coordinator of the Newman Forum, the Lumen Christi Institute's programming for high school students. Madison received a BA from Saint Mary's College of California, where she studied English as well as Theology and Religious Studies. After spending a year teaching religion to middle schoolers in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a Lasallian Volunteer, Madison came to the University of Chicago Divinity School where she is finishing her MA. Her research focuses on Catholic disability theology and medical ethics.
A native of the Chicagoland area, Mark received a B.A. in Philosophy and Art from North Park University in Chicago and an A.M. in Philosophy of Religions from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He assists in organizing and planning the Institute’s many programs.
Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, visiting fellow in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).
Therese is a native Chicagoan and the proud mother of Cecilia, Anne, Benedict, Josephine, and Margaret. Before joining the Lumen Christi Institute, she worked in development at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Benefactor Relations for over six years. She is a graduate of the University of Dallas, where she received a B.A. in Political Philosophy and an M.B.A. in Business Management.
Born and raised in Oregon, Michael moved to Chicago after a year of teaching in a high school in Nantes, France and a year of independent research on the topic of inculturation theology in various countries across Africa on a Watson Fellowship. He received a B.A. in Religious Studies and French from Willamette University, a M.Div. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has worked at the Lumen Christi Institute for the past 7 years.
Julie is from the western suburbs of Chicago and is raising her daughter, Bridget, there. She is a Humanistic Studies graduate from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame; has a Master’s Degree in History from DePaul University; and a Certificate of Non-profit Management from the University of Notre Dame. Before Joining Lumen Christi Institute, she spent over 25 years in development in higher education and in a non-profit retirement community.
Dr. Peter Tierney coordinates the Science and Religion Initiative at the Lumen Christi Institute. He received his doctorate in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2018. His research is on the evolutionary ecology of reef systems, with a particular focus on Early to Middle Paleozoic reefs of North America. He is also active in Catholic lay ministry in Hyde Park, both at Calvert House and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
Austin Walker is Assistant Director of the Lumen Christi Institute where he directs LCI's Newman Forum and West Suburban Series on Catholic Culture, in addition to serving as the instructor for LCI's Executive Great Books series. He is also an instructor at the University of Chicago's Graham School Basic Program of Liberal Education. He is completing a Ph.D. on John Henry Newman's political philosophy at the University of Chicago's prestigious Committee on Social Thought, and holds M.A.'s from the University of Chicago and the University of Mississippi. He received a B.A. with highest honors in Classical Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2007 to 2011, he taught in the Mississippi Delta for the Mississippi Teacher Corps, where he received the Andrew P. Mullins Jr. Award in 2009.
A graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Kenneth L. Woodward received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied literature with the legendary Frank O’Malley. He edited Newsweek’s Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002, which gave him a unique vantage point on and personal acquaintance with the world’s religious leaders. He is the author of Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint and The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In 2006, the University of Notre Dame gave him its Rev. Robert F. Griffin Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in writing. His most recent publication is entitled Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.
Julie Jansen Kraemer received her bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in 1980 and her M.B.A. from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. In addition to her service to the Lumen Christi Institute, Julie serves on the boards of Regina Dominican College Preparatory School, the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and Catholic Relief Services. Julie, her husband Harry, and their five children live in Wilmette, IL.
Thomas A. Baima is a priest of the archdiocese of Chicago and Dean of the Seminary and Graduate School at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, where he also teaches systematic theology. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of ecclesiology, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and missiology. He is the author of The Concordat of Agreement Between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Lessons on the Way Toward Full Communion, and co-author of Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper.
Alietia Caughron is a managing director of financial risk and enterprise risk management at TIAA. As a longtime benefactor of Catholic education, Caughron is currently on the board of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and a member of the Chicago Board of Regents for her alma mater Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She earned both her master’s degree and doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she received a Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship. Upon earning her doctorate, she began a career in the financial services industry, working at GE Insurance, Swiss Re, Homesite Insurance Group, and CNA Financial.
John T. Cusack is the Global Co-Chairman of DLA Piper’s Finance Group and Co-Chairman of DLA Piper Real Estate Capital Markets Group and he has been a partner of DLA Piper and its predecessor firms for over 25 years. His legal practice is in the area of corporate and finance law. Among his clients are financial institutions, private equity funds and corporations and partnerships, both public and private. John is also an active investor holding interest in a number of privately held companies in various industries, including real estate, retail distribution and technology. John received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Drew University in 1980 and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1983. He is a member of the bars of the states of New York and Illinois. John is married to Elizabeth Cusack and has three children. He has been a member of Saint Clement Parish in Chicago for over 20 years. He also sits on the board of City Year Chicago and is a member of the Saddle & Cycle Club of Chicago.
Father Brian Daley, SJ, is the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He received B.A. degrees from Fordham University and the University of Oxford, where he completed an M.A. in 1967 and a DPhil in 1978. In 2012 he was awarded the Ratzinger Prize in Theology, which has been nicknamed the “Nobel Prize in Theology.” Father Daley is an internationally renowned scholar of the Fathers of the Church. His most recent books are The Hope of the Early Church and On The Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies.
Noel Moore graduated from the University of Chicago in 1981. During the 1980s, he began working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, and, by the late 1980s, Noel had left the floor to focus exclusively on developing proprietary trading strategies. At the end of 1991, he founded a global macro trading advisory firm where he built a record of consistent, low-risk returns for 16 years. Currently, Noel invests and trades across all financial markets. He is a managing equity partner for Traditum and Endurance Asset Management, a fund of funds LP. Noel and his wife of 27 years, Michele, are the proud parents of five children, who range in age from 12 to 23. For the past 26 years, they have worshiped at St. Luke Parish in River Forest. Noel and his wife are also active members of the River Forest Tennis Club.
Anna Bonta Moreland is Associate Professor of Humanities at Villanova University. She received her PhD in Systematic Theology from Boston College. Prof. Moreland is author of Known by Nature: Thomas Aquinas on Natural Knowledge of God and What’s Reason Got to Do with it? Contemporary Theologies of Religious Pluralism (forthcoming). She resides in Bryn Mawr, PA with her husband and four children.
Charles W. (“Chip”) Mulaney, Jr, earned his A.B. degree at Georgetown University in 1971 and his juris doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1974. Chip is currently a Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions (friendly and hostile), joint ventures and corporate financings. He counsels clients on a broad range of securities and corporate matters, including disclosure issues, the duties of directors and governance matters. Chip was named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Chicago Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year, and has repeatedly been listed in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and The Best Lawyers in America, and was selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers 2009 and Crain’s Chicago’s Who’s Who 2012 list. A member of the Board of Advisors of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1982, Chip served as chairman of the organization’s board of directors from 2008 to 2010. He also served on Catholic Charities’ stewardship, major gifts and by-laws committees. He and his wife, Ellen, reside in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, and are the proud parents of three children.
James N. Perry, Jr. is a co-founder of Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago. He oversees MDP’s investing efforts in the telecommunications, media and technology services industries. Jim currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Chicago Archdiocese School Board, as well as the Board of Directors of the Big Shoulders Fund and the Advisory Board of Catholic Charities. He served as one of the first-ever lay Board Members of Catholic Relief Services between 2003 and 2009, and he currently now serves on the Catholic Relief Services Foundation Board. Jim was a founding funder of Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism documentary series, and he sits on the board of Fr. Barron’s WordOnFire digital media evangelization enterprise. Jim also sits on the board Chicago Public Media, as well as the Institute on Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and he received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1985. Jim and his wife, Molly, have three children and reside in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
J. Peter Ricketts is the Governor of the state of Nebraska. Founder of Drakon LLC an asset management company based in Omaha, Nebraska, he is also a member of the TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation Board of Directors, a director for the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and an Advisory Board member for the Alumni Capital Network. In addition to his service to the Lumen Christi Institute, Ricketts serves on the Global Advisory Board for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and as a board member for the Chicago Cubs Charities. In Omaha, he is the president of the Platte Institute for Economic Research, serves on the Boards of the Christian Urban Education Service and the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago, where he also earned his B.A. Ricketts is a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Mark E. Schneider earned his B.A. from Indiana University in 1996 with highest honors, studied Philosophy, Politics & Economics at the University of Oxford (as a Marshall Scholar), and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 2003, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mark is currently a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, focusing on civil and criminal government enforcement defense and internal investigations. Prior to joining Kirkland, Mark served for more than a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he handled a broad docket of complex criminal cases at the trial and appellate level and served in multiple leadership roles, including as chief of appeals. He also served for a year at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Prior to studying law, Mark was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, Inc., where he worked on growth strategy and corporate development. Mark is an elected member of the American Law Institute, was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has been a lecturer for several years at the University of Chicago Law School.
James A. Serritella is a Partner at Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., located in downtown Chicago, and focuses his practice on serving the legal needs of tax exempt religious and not-for-profit organizations and managing overall client relationships. Serritella has represented the prevailing party in constitutional and public policy litigation including the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of NLRB v. the Catholic Bishop of Chicago. He was also lead counsel for Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in Cook v. Bernardin. Apart from being on the Board of the Lumen Christi Institute, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Music of the Baroque, a Chicago performing arts group that promotes appreciation for classical music. Serritella earned an M.A. from the Committee for the Analysis of Ideas and Study of Methods at the University of Chicago, and received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Serritella has been awarded the Rerum Novarum Award from St. Joseph Seminary, the Caritas Christi Urget Nos award from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Pax et Bonum Award from the Franciscan Friars, and the Outstanding Leaders Award from the Carmelite Order.
Scott Turicchi is President and Chief Financial Officer of j2 Global, Inc., a publicly traded technology company based in Los Angeles, providing cloud services and digital media solutions. Scott oversees all merger and acquisitions, financial and public company matters. Prior to joining j2 Global, Scott was a managing director in Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation’s investment banking department, where he was responsible for corporate finance activities. Scott received a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Claremont McKenna College in 1985. Scott and his wife, Lannette, currently chair the Council of Institutional Advancement for the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Additionally, Scott serves as Board Chair for Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA and is Vice Chairman of Legatus International. Scott and Lannette reside in Pasadena, CA with their three daughters.
Don Briel holds the Blessed John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts at the University of Mary. He is the founder, and was for twenty years director, of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he held the Koch Chair of Catholic Studies. His areas of specialization include Newman studies, ecclesiology, and dogmatic theology. He is also a Notre Dame alumnus who has written extensively on the nature and promise of Catholic universities, including his recent “Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas” in Best Practices: Enhancing Religious Identity at Catholic Colleges and Universities and “The Prospects for Catholic Universities in a Secular Age,” published in The Angelicum. Briel serves on a number of national advisory boards, including the Advisory Council on Justice Education of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Vincent Carraud is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Caen. He holds degrees from the University of Poitiers and the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Carraud has published numerous articles on the history of modern philosophy and several books, including Causa Sive Ratio: La Raison De La Cause, De Suarez a Leibniz, and Pascal et la philosophie. Carraud is also science editor for the Bulletin cartesien.
Sr. Agnes Cunningham is a member of the Sisters of the Holy Heart of Mary and is superior of the SSCM Convent in Champaign, Illinois. She is professor emeritus of historical and systematic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. Sr. Agnes was the first woman president of the Catholic Theological Association. She holds a doctorate in historical theology from the Institut Catholique de Lyon.
Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See from 2008 to 2009. She writes and teaches in the fields of human rights, comparative law, constitutional law, and political theory. Glendon served two terms as a member of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics (2001-2004), and has represented the Holy See at various conferences including the 1995 U.N. Women’s conference in Beijing. She is author of many articles and books, most recently, The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt (2011) and has lectured widely in this country and in Europe. In May 2012, she was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan federal body that is principally responsible for reviewing the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and making policy recommendations to the president, secretary of state, and Congress.
Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies at the University of Chicago. He has written extensively about the history of apocalyptic thought, spirituality, and mysticism. McGinn's many books include Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil, The Presence of God, a multivolume history of Western Christian mysticism, and most recently Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography.
David Tracy is Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religion in the Divinity School. He is also in the Committee on Social Thought. He received his STL and STD from Gregorian University, Rome, and has taught a wide variety of courses in contemporary theology at the University of Chicago. He has offered classes in philosophical, systematic, and constructive theology and hermeneutics, and courses dealing with issues and persons in religion and modern thought. His publications include The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism and On Naming the Present: Reflections on God, Hermeneutics, and Church. Professor Tracy is currently writing a book on God.
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron is Archbishop of Detroit. He received an A.B. in Philosophy and Classical Languages from Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, and an S.T.B. and later a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. Archbishop Vigneron was ordained to the priesthood in the Detroit Presbyterate on July 26, 1975 at St. Clement of Rome Church, by the late Cardinal John Dearden. He earned his M.A. and PhD in Philosophy in 1983 and 1987, respectively, with a dissertation on the German Philosopher, Edmund Husserl. In 1988 he was appointed dean of that Sacred Heart College Seminary and became a key member of the team working to realize Cardinal Edmund Szoka’s vision for the transformation of that institution into a “major seminary” offering graduate theological education. Archbishop Vigneron has served on the Committee for the American College in Louvain, the Committee on the Liturgy and the ad hoc Committee on the Plenary Council Varium. He is currently a member of the Doctrine Committee and the Catechism Committee. Archbishop Vigneron is a trustee of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, St. Patrick Seminary (Menlo Park, CA) and the Catholic University of America. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Association of Theological Schools and the board of the Detroit chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly “The National Conference of Christians and Jews”), and the board of Ave Maria University.
Carol Zaleski is Professor of World Religions at Smith College, where she has taught since 1989. She is the author of Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times and The Life of the World to Come.
The Lumen Christi Institute is honored to call home the James J. Gavin, Jr. House. Built in a 1920’s French Renaissance style and acquired in 2011, Gavin House is located across from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and adjacent to the Frederick C. Robie House, an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Gavin House hosts the Institute’s offices and serves as a venue for small lectures, seminars, dinners, and receptions. Most importantly, the building acts as an anchor for the Institute and a symbol of its commitment to bringing Catholic thought to students and faculty at one of the world’s leading universities. We are grateful to our donors and benefactors—especially the Gavin family—for providing us with such a wonderful home.
There are many ways you can support the Lumen Christi Institute.
Never miss another event.
Join our e-mail list.