Father Garanzini and I wish to share the good news that Brian Schmisek, PhD, has been appointed Director of the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS). Dr. Schmisek, who comes to Loyola from the University of Dallas where he currently serves as the dean and associate professor in the School of Ministry, succeeds Robert Ludwig, PhD, who will return to the faculty at the end of this academic year after nearly eight years leading IPS.
The President and I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the search committee that was chaired by Kevin Gillespie, S.J., associate provost for University Centers of Excellence. The committee members included Robert O’Gorman and Heidi Russell from the Institute of Pastoral Studies, John Hardt from Mission and Identity, Janet Sisler from the Gannon Center, and IPS alum Carol Lackie (MA ’07). Father Garanzini and I also want to express our appreciation to Dr. Ludwig for his advice and support of the process to choose his successor.
During Dr. Schmisek’s time at the University of Dallas, the School of Ministry experienced an era of unprecedented growth. With his leadership, the school introduced an undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry, a master’s degree in Catholic school teaching, other new programs and concentrations, off-site options, the annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference, cooperative alliances with various institutions, summer terms in Rome, and a number of online programs. In addition to serving as the dean, Dr. Schmisek also continued both his teaching and scholarship, having published material each of the last several years. Prior to the University of Dallas, Dr. Schmisek served in a number of capacities with the Diocese of Shreveport, Loyola University New Orleans, Christ the King Catholic Church (Evergreen, Colorado), The Smithsonian Institute of America, The Catholic University of America, Washington International School, and the University of Mississippi.
Dr. Schmisek looks forward to bringing his entrepreneurial, strategic, and fundraising skills to the leadership of IPS to develop new academic initiatives; engage faculty, students, and alumni; and to continue his predecessor’s good work of building strong relationships across a wide network of constituencies. Dr. Schmisek earned his PhD in biblical studies at The Catholic University of America. He earned an MA in classics from The University of Mississippi, another MA in theology from The Catholic University of America, and a BA in philosophy from North Dakota State University.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Schmisek to his new leadership role at Loyola University Chicago. He will officially join the University in July.
John P. Pelissero, PhD