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Dean Manternach

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Office: 104 MJH 
Mail Stop: 1825 
Phone: 8154 


Professional experience: Dr. Dean P. Manternach completed his Ph.D. in Theology and Education at Boston College before coming to Clarke in 2003. He speaks regularly on topics of catechesis, mission, and adult faith formation in parishes within the region, teaches graduate level ministry courses at Loyola University Chicago, and is active as a leader in various professional organizations including the Religious Education Association: Association of Professors and Practitioners in Religious Education (APPRE) and the National Association of Lay Ministry (NALM). He also serves as chair of the Board of Directors for the NETWORK Education Program, a national Catholic social justice lobby group in Washington, D.C. His research interests are in the areas of adult faith formation, catechesis, vocation and lay mission.

Teaching philosophy: Teaching religious studies in a Catholic institution is a privileged and sacred encounter because you are inviting the learner to know more deeply who they are and state where they stand with respect to their faith tradition. As a teacher I do not go away from this encounter with students unchanged: my knowledge is enlarged as I seek to meet their questions, my insights come from hearing their stories, my examples are honed to meet their life experiences and understanding of the world, and my vocation is deepened as I present for study the best of the Catholic intellectual tradition that calls them as persons into mission.

Dean’s impact on students: Students are invited to know their religious faith and discover their own vocation through a sharing of their primary concerns and questions related to living well in relation to self, others, the world and God. A week does not go by in any of my classes that students are not invited in the classroom to a quiet, reflective space to “turn the soul” by journaling, tell the story of their experience, and share their responses with peers in the pursuit of helping them discover how faith matters for living their lives. 

Dean’s favorite:

Quote – “The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

Place traveled – Santiago de Compostela – Sabbatical study, Spring 2013

Hobby – Gardening, cantoring, cooking for family and friends, learning Spanish

Courses Taught

CU 101 Transitions:
First Year Seminar

RELS 100 Foundations of the Spiritual Life

RELS 204 Faith Communities

RELS 215 Spirituality of Christian Marriage

RELS 218 Ethics for Christian Living

RELS 219 Faith and Holistic Development

RELS 395 Practicum in Catechetical, Liturgical, Pastoral or Youth Ministries

IPS 555 – Human Person & Psychological Development (Loyola University Chicago)

IPS 580 – Field Education I – Religious Education
 (Loyola University Chicago)

Recent Publications & Presentations

"Theology and Catechesis: What Does it Mean to Me?" – Presentation to the Independence DIOCORE, St. Mary’s, Manchester, IA, August 2012.

"The Spirituality of the Catechist," Presentation to the Elkader DIOCORE, St. Mary’s, Strawberry Point, January 2012.

"A Time for Renewal," Co-Retreat Facilitator for St. Mary’s Parish Lenten Mission, Manchester, IA, March 2012.

"What Gives You Hope in the Future?" SALT, A Publication of the Sisters of Charity, BVM, Vol. 37, No. 3, Spring 2009.

"Student-Centered Assessment of Service Learning: Inviting Transformation through Telling the Story," University of Notre Dame, Center for Social Concerns Conference, From Evangelization To Discipleship: Integrating Catholic Social Thought And Community Based Learning, June 6, 2007.


  • CONNECT 2015
  • IPCW 2015
  • Homecoming 2015