Fr. Maher to leave Georgetown for the University of Scranton

Ryan Maher, S.J.,(COL’ 82) Associate Dean of Georgetown College, will be leaving Georgetown University at the end of this academic year.

On Tuesday, Kevin Quinn, S.J., President of the University of Scranton, announced that Maher will be the founding executive director of the university’s newly created Jesuit Center. Maher has served on Scranton’s Board of Trustees.

The 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.”

During his tenure at Georgetown, Maher has become one of the most popular and well-known Jesuits on campus. In 2009, Maher received the Georgetown University College Democrats’ Alumnus of the Year Award. Fr. Maher is also known for his popular class “Jesuit Education.”

“I love teaching that course, and I told the president of Scranton that I would only make the move to Scranton if I could continue teaching it up there,” Maher wrote to Vox in an email.

Maher becomes the executive director of The Jesuit Center at the University of Scranton in July 2012. He assured Vox in an email that he plans to teach at Georgetown for the remainder of the academic year.

Read the full text of Fr. Quinn’s email to University of Scranton students after the jump.

November 22, 2011

Dear Members of the University Community,

Before we begin a well-deserved Thanksgiving break, I wantedto share two important developments for our University community.

First, I wish to announce the establishment of The Jesuit Center at The University of Scranton, a new resource within our community that will engage faculty and staff in our mission and will help to keep our Catholic and Jesuit identity at the core of our work together. The 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. Through its work, the Center will help to realize one of the key strategies of the Cura Personalis theme of our Strategic Plan which calls us to “… provide faculty and staff, especially those who are new to community, with opportunities to help them understand and appreciate the sacred and centuries-old work of Catholic and Jesuit education.”

I have so many hopes for the role that the Center will play in the life of our community. For this reason, I am delighted to announce that Ryan J. Maher, S.J., an accomplished professor and administrator at Georgetown University, has agreed to serve as the founding Executive Director of The Jesuit Center, effective July 1, 2012. A dear friend and colleague, Father Maher is already familiar with the University, having served on our Board of Trustees. He is an articulate champion for the importance of Jesuit-lay collaboration and the role that faculty and staff must play in maintaining the vitality of our mission.

Father Maher and The Jesuit Center will report to Rick Malloy, S.J., who will have the new title of Vice President for University Mission & Ministry. Father Maher will also serve on the President’s Cabinet. As part of this change, the University Ministries division will be renamed University Mission & Ministry, reflecting the broader scope that follows the establishment of The Jesuit Center. The division will consist of the following elements: Campus Ministry, Community Outreach Office, International Service Program and The Jesuit Center.

Ryan J. Maher, S.J.
Father Maher currently serves as associate dean of Georgetown College, the undergraduate school of arts and sciences at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He is also a professorial lecturer in theology and Catholic studies at Georgetown. 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.

As the Church prepares for Advent, a season of promise, I hope that you will share my enthusiasm at the establishment of The Jesuit Center and join me in praying for Father Maher’s success as he begins his work next July.

May you and your families have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.

Photo: Emily Voigtlander

5 Comments on “Fr. Maher to leave Georgetown for the University of Scranton

  1. Huge loss for Georgetown, but a really fantastic opportunity for Fr. Maher. Best of luck.

  2. NO!! I was so excited to take his Jesuit Education class my senior year. Truly such a loss. His homilies have been some of the best I’ve ever heard.

  3. I truly hate to see him leave, he’s one of the best Jesuits Georgetown has and it’s a shame we couldn’t hold onto him. Still, it certainly is a great opportunity for him and I hope he can inspire students there as much as he’s able to at Georgetown.

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