The University of Scranton Establishes The Jesuit Center

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The University of Scranton announced the establishment of The Jesuit Center and named its former Trustee Rev. Ryan J. Maher, S.J., as the founding executive director.

The University of Scranton announced the establishment of The Jesuit Center to assist in keeping its Catholic and Jesuit character at the core of its operation. The University also announced the appointment of former Trustee Rev. Ryan J. Maher, S.J., as the founding executive director of The Jesuit Center, effective July 1, 2012. Father Maher currently serves as associate dean of Georgetown College, the undergraduate school of arts and sciences at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

The Jesuit Center will foster faculty and staff participation in the Jesuit higher educational mission, support faculty teaching and scholarship that advances the University’s Catholic and Jesuit character, and promote Ignatian spirituality within an interreligious context.

“The establishment of The Jesuit Center at The University of Scranton was a personal priority because our Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity is central to all that we do,” said Rev. Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., University president. “Because I have so many hopes for the role that the center will play in the life of our community, I am delighted that Father Maher has agreed to join us. He is an accomplished professor and administrator and an articulate champion for the collaborative role that faculty and staff must play in maintaining the vitality of our mission.”

The executive director of The Jesuit Center will report to Rev. Richard G. Malloy, S.J., Vice President for University mission and ministry, and will serve on the President’s Cabinet.

In addition to serving as associate dean, Father Maher is a professorial lecturer in theology and Catholic studies at Georgetown University. He previously served as the director of Catholic studies and was the founding faculty member of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service campus in Doha, Qatar. In the Middle East, he taught theology to the school’s predominantly Muslim student body.

He previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, and as a teacher at Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C., and St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia.

Father Maher entered the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1986 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Georgetown University. He holds a master’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., and a master’s degree in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif. He earned his doctorate from the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif., where he was awarded Best Dissertation of the Year for the School of Education.