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Welcome to the website for the Breen Chair in Catholic Systematic Theology at John Carroll University. Here you will find information about the courses we offer, the events we sponsor, and the resources we provide to promote engagement with the Catholic theological tradition.

The Breen Chair was established within the Department of Theology and Religious Studies thanks to a generous gift by JCU alumni Jack ’56 and Mary Jane ’91, ’94G Breen, who have done so much to support the Catholic and Jesuit mission of the University. Rooted in that tradition and, with a generous openness to others, the Breen Chair shares John Carroll’s commitment to inspire individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and in the world.

I welcome your interest.

Edward P. Hahnenberg, Ph.D.

Edward P. Hahnenberg, Ph.D., was appointed to the Department of Theology & Religious Studies in 2011, as the inaugural holder of the Breen Chair in Catholic Theology.

The Breen Chair was inaugurated in 2011 through a generous endowment gift from Jack '56 and Mary Jane '91, '94G Breen. The Chair enhances our Jesuit and Catholic tradition through the teaching of Catholic systematic theology, an academic discipline that seeks to develop an orderly, rational, and intelligible account of the Catholic faith.

The Breen Chair serves students through the creation and teaching of courses in Catholic theology. Recent course offerings include: Contemporary Catholic Theology, Saints & Society, Catholicism in a Digital Age, Sacraments, Understanding Church, What Happened at Vatican II, Jesus in Film & History, and Teaching Theology. Click here for full course listings.

The Breen Chair sponsors various lectures, panels, and programs on campus. Recent Breen events have dealt with topics that include: responding to the refugee crisis, Jesus according to Islam, Justice and the Family, the church and social media, and Catholic-atheist dialogue.

The Breen Chair sponsors an annual workshop for high school theology teachers and hosts a podcast series on teaching theology.

Theology for Teachers

Every fall, John Carroll hosts a day-long workshop for teachers focused on theological updating and practical tips for the classroom.

JCU offers a 15-hour master's-level certificate specifically designed for those teaching theology in Catholic high schools, with courses mapped to the USCCB curriculum framework.


Hear from expert theologians and great teachers about life in and beyond the classroom.

Edward Hahnenberg

Edward Hahenberg

The author or co-editor of five books — including A Church with Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millennium and Theology for Ministry: An Introduction for Lay Ministers. He is currently a delegate to the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue.

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Catholic Courses

Check out courses offered through the Breen Chair in Catholic Theology



Theological thoughts and practical tips for high school teachers.

Crowd at lecture.

Lecture Series

Video archive of past lectures, panels, and events at JCU

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Theology & Religious Studies

Visit the Department of Theology & Religious Studies to learn more about events, programs, and course offerings.

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The Breen Chair in Catholic Theology