College of Arts and Sciences

Patrick Kelly, SJ, PhD

  • Patrick Kelly, SJ, PhD
    PhD, Religion
    Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
    Phone: 206-296-2816
    Building/Room: Casey 2E



    Patrick M. Kelly SJ, received his doctorate in theology, ethics and culture at the School of Religion of the Claremont Graduate University in 2005. Fr. Kelly, who also teaches in the School of Theology and Ministry, teaches and writes in the areas of Christianity and cultures, theological anthropology, Christian spirituality and interreligious dialogue. He has taught courses such as Ignatian Spirituality, The Soul of Sport: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry, Sport and the Spiritual Life, Spiritual Discernment and Decision Making, and Spirituality, Health and Leisure.

    Fr. Kelly, who is originally from Redford Township, Michigan, is a Jesuit of the Detroit Province. His hobbies include running on mountain trails, photography, playing the guitar, reading, listening to music and watching The Colbert Report.

    Selected Publications


    Catholic Perspectives on Sports: From Medieval to Modern Times, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2012. Watch a video to learn more.

    Academic Articles and Book Chapters

    “Flow, Sport and the Spiritual Life,” Chapter 7 in Theology, Ethics and Transcendence in Sport, Jim Parry, Mark Nesti and Nick Watson, eds., New York: Routledge Press, 2010.

    “Loved Into Freedom and Service: Lay Experiences of the Exercises in Daily Life,” Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, 39/2, Summer 2007, 1-35.

    Popular Essays on Religion and Culture

    “Does God Support Democracy? The president’s theological justification for war in Iraq demands scrutiny,” in National Catholic Reporter Feb. 4, 2005.

    "The Rising of Bruce Springsteen," in America, The National Catholic Weekly, Feb. 10, 2003, 8-10.

    Selected Academic Presentations

    Four Lectures: “Christians in Sport: A Revisionist History,” “Flow, Sport and Spirituality,” “The Body in Sport: Theological Reflections,” and “Hoop Dreams and Ethical Considerations,”at the Spiritual Life Institute at St. Martin’s University, Lacey, WA, June 20-24, 2011.

    “The Body and Play in Sport: A Revisionist History,” at the International Association of Philosophers of Sport annual conference in Rome, Italy, September, 2010.

    “Sports and the Spiritual Life,” Sacred Heart University in CT, sponsored by SHU’s Center for Catholic Thought, Ethics and Culture, March 2010.

    “The Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian Spirituality,” Meditation in Comparative Perspective session at the American Academy of Religion PNW meeting, April 24, 2009.

    “How Can we Understand Play and Artistic and Creative Activities in General as ‘Spiritual’?”, Catholic Theological Society of America, Miami, FL, May 2008.

    “Flow, Sport and the Spiritual Life,” Inaugural International Conference on Sport and Spirituality, St. John’s University, York, England, Summer 2007.

    Selected Presentations in the Community

    “Ignatian Spirituality,” St. Cecilia’s Parish, Bainbridge Island, WA, Nov., 2010.

    "Play, Sport and the Spiritual Life,"Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle, October 25, 2009.

    “Sport and the Spiritual Life,” to men’s groups from various parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit, August 1st, 2009.

    Organized, hosted and facilitated the conference The Soul of Youth Sport: Discovering the Life-Giving Dimensions for coaches and others who work with youth in sport at Seattle Universityin June 27-29, 2008.

    Soul of Youth Sport Symposium

    Fr. Kelly has taken a leadership role in the formation of a partnership between Seattle University, University of Notre Dame, Neumann University, and the National Catholic Education Association. This partnership exists to put on conferences that deal with how youth sport can lead to the integral development of the young person, with specific attention given to the area of spirituality. The title of the annual conference is the Soul of Youth Sport Symposium. This conference will be held at Notre Dame in June, 2013 and at Seattle University in June, 2014.

    Editorial Responsibilities

    International Journal of Religion and Sport


    American Academy of Religion

    Catholic Theological Society of America

    International Association for Philosophers of Sport