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  • Dr. Alan Schreck talks about the Theology Program
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  • Dr. Alan Schreck

    Chair of Theology Department
    Professor of Theology

    (740) 284-5319
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    Dr. Alan Schreck has been a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1978. During this time he has served as director of Graduate Theology for eight years between 1981 and 1999, as chair of the Departments of Theology and Philosophy from 1988-1992, and as chair of the Department of Theology from 1994-1995 and from 1999-2008. Enrollment in the theology program has grown from 20 to 30 students when Dr. Schreck began teaching to over 550 students in both undergraduate and graduate theology programs in 2009.

    Dr. Schreck was awarded the Faculty Campus Leadership and Teaching Award at Franciscan University in 2000.

    As a theology professor, Dr. Schreck has taught classes on the teachings of Vatican II, Church Renewal, Historical Foundations, and Theology of the Holy Spirit at the graduate level, and Theology of the Church, Theology of Christ, Early Christian Life and Thought, and Christian Life and Thought in Modern Times and other theology electives at the undergraduate level.

    Dr. Schreck is well-respected for his expertise in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and their impact on the Catholic Church today. Through his classes and writings he works to tell the truth about what Vatican II really teaches, believing, like Pope John Paul II, that the council was "a great gift of God to the Church in the 20th century." He writes a monthly column on the documents of Vatican II and the encyclical letters of Pope John Paul II in The Sower, an international journal for Catholic catechetics.

    Dr. Schreck also specializes in Catholic Church history, Catholic Church doctrine, Church Renewal and the theology of the Church. He has written a best-selling book on Catholic apologetics, Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs, which was reprinted in 2004 after selling a third of a million copies. Dr. Schreck co-hosts each summer with Dr. Scott Hahn an apologetics conference at Franciscan University, the Defending the Faith Conference, which draws over 1,200 attendees each year.

    Dr. Schreck has also extensively studied the theology of the Holy Spirit and the development of the Church's teaching on the Holy Spirit. He has been actively involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since 1970, and has written and spoken often about the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church and the lives of Catholics, including his book, Your Life in the Holy Spirit (Word Among Us Press).

    In the summer of 2008, Dr. Schreck traveled to Italy to participate in a six-week seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities on St. Francis in the 13th century, studying art and literature in Rome, Siena, and Assisi. Led by Franciscan scholars, Dr. Schreck and 15 other college and university professors did intensive research at the Franciscan library in the Capuchin Generalate outside of Rome, viewed Franciscan art in churches, art galleries and other collections, and participated in seminar discussions on early Franciscan texts.

    Because of his Franciscan studies and long career at Franciscan University, Dr. Schreck is deeply interested in Church renewal, with the example of St. Francis and his call from God to "rebuild my Church." His newest book on the subject is Rebuild My Church! God’s Plan for Authentic Catholic Renewal, from St. Anthony Messenger Press (March 2010).

    Dr. Schreck has published many other books, including Compact History of the Catholic Church (2009), Your Life in the Holy Spirit: What Every Catholic Needs to Know and Experience (2007), Catholic and Christian for Young Adults: Questions and Answers about the Faith (2007), Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise (2005), Catholic Church History from A to Z: An Inspirational Dictionary (2002), and The Essential Catholic Catechism: A Readable, Comprehensive Catechism of the Catholic Faith (2000). He co-wrote Epic: A Journey Through Church History with Steve Weidenkopf in 2009, and a foreword for The Action of the Holy Spirit: The Lord and Giver of Life by Frank J. Sheed in 2006.

    Dr. Schreck received his Doctorate in Theology from University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Ontario, in 1979. His dissertation was "Ronald Knox's Theory of Enthusiasm and its Application to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal." He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Theology from University of St. Michael's College and a Bachelor of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude in Theology and English from University of Notre Dame.

    In addition to his regular column in The Sower, Dr. Schreck has written for Catholic Digest, God's Word Today, Catholic Charismatic, The Family, Immaculata, Catholic Parent, Faith and Renewal, New Covenant, California Mission, Franciscan Way magazines and many others.

    Dr. Schreck is a speaker at numerous Catholic conferences for the laity as well as for academic, diocesan, catechetical, and parish renewal events. His television series, "The Catholic Challenge: Vatican II and You" aired on EWTN, and he has made appearances on several EWTN shows, including "Mother Angelica Live" and "Franciscan University Presents."

    Dr. Schreck belongs to the American Catholic Historical Association and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and attends yearly seminars in American Church History at the University of Notre Dame.

    Dr. Schreck and his wife, Nancy, teach Pre-Cana marriage preparation classes on the spirituality of marriage together, both at Franciscan University and in a local Catholic deanery.

    Dr. Schreck enjoys running and working with youth, so he volunteers as a track coach for the Steuben Striders, a summer youth track program. An Eagle Scout, he serves as the assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 401 and enjoys backpacking and camping. He is also an assistant coach for Franciscan University's NCAA Div. III Track and Field team.

    Alan and Nancy Schreck live in Steubenville, where they have raised their children: Paul, Jeanne, Mark, Margaret, and Peter. He is a member of Triumph of the Cross parish.

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