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Portrait of Paulette Skiba

Paulette Skiba, BVM

Chair of Religious Studies,
Professor of Religious Studies,
Chair of Philosophy

Educational Background

Ph.D., Systematic Theology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1997

M.A., Religious Studies, Mundelein College, Chicago, IL, 1987

Teaching Philosophy

At the heart of my teaching is a concern for the spiritual growth of each student whether they practice a religious tradition or not. To facilitate a process of personal exploration, I try to create a space in the classroom where students are free to grapple honestly with the central questions of meaning, purpose and God. This exploration is done in a dialog with contemporary and classic religious texts and with perspectives from around the globe. I am most concerned with the voices that at times have traditionally been excluded from theological reflection.

‘Go on steady and quiet.’ - Mary Frances Clarke

Paulette Skiba


Professional Background

Paulette has given workshops and retreats in parishes and retreat centers in the Dubuque area, Ecuador and Ghana. Before studying for her doctorate, she served at the Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador, and Holy Family Grade School in the inner city of Chicago. She has been a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for more than 30 years.

Research Interests

Recent research has focused on the Spirituality of Mary Frances Clarke, BVM Spirituality and the Core Values. She has also conducted research on faith practices in Ecuador and Ghana.

Courses Taught

  • RELS 100 Foundations of the Spiritual Life
  • RELS 202 World Religions
  • RELS 216 Contemporary Catholic Faith
  • RELS 222 The Multicultural Faces of Jesus
  • RELS 404 History of Catholic-Christian Thought

Certifications and Memberships

  • Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA)
  • Society for Christian-Buddhist Studies
  • College Theology Society (CTS)
  • American Academy of Religion (AAR)

Additional Information

Paulette has served as co-convener of the Women’s Constructive Theology Seminar and on the steering committee of the Karl Rahner Society

  • Publications

    “Bring to Bloom this Arid Place: Justice and BVM Mission,” Salt, Spring, 2015.

    “Buying the Field: Catholic Religious Life in Mission to the World by Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M.” Book Review, Theological Studies, Vol. 75, no. 2  (June 2014), 441-442.

    “And Mary Prayed, “Ba-ruch a-tah A-don-ai”: In Quest of the Jewish Mary,” Salt, vol. 42, 1. Fall 2013.                         

    “After Years of Crosses, the Crown: Reflections on Mary Frances Clarke and Early BVM Spirituality,” Salt, vol. 40, 2 (Winter 2012), 6-7.

  • Papers and Presentations

    “The Church of the Poor: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel,” Paper and Process for Day of Reflection for Iowa Bishops’ Conference and Major Superiors of IA Religious Congregations. Directed the day with Abbot Brendan Freeman who was also a presenter for the day), New Melleray, October 21, 2014.

    “Rahner’s Theology of Saying ‘Yes’ to God as a Resource for Apostolic Religious Life Today,” Online National and International Symposium on Religious Life, Sponsored by Gathering Voices: Women Religious Under 55, Paper and discussion. April 15, 2014.