Associate Dean Transition: Dr. Callahan & Dr. Cruz

Written by Hannah Crivello
February 26, 2014


After twenty-four years of serving in administrative leadership at Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry, Dr. Sharon Henderson Callahan will be transitioning out of the role of Associate Dean to serve as a Program Director and full-time professor, in the coming 2014-2015 academic year.

Dr. Callahan has supported core and adjunct faculty throughout the transitions of five deans over twenty years in addition to directing degree programs and overseeing the student community. She has helped in acquiring and managing over $5,000,000 in grant funding during her tenure, allowing the school to further its work in holistic leadership and cultural diversity and sensitivity.? Dr. Callahan has also directed the school?s outreach to parishes and congregations through the Scripture & Leadership Training Program (SALT) and other leadership development initiatives that have been launched and sustained over time. The SALT program is now available in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese in addition to English, and cohorts of students are using SALT materials throughout Vietnam and China. As a representative of the school, Dr. Callahan has engaged in ongoing ecumenical and interreligious dialogues in Nicaragua, Mexico, Kenya, Ireland, Scotland and other places in Europe, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China. Dr. Callahan has written works published in numerous journals and as chapters in books, having just released a SAGE Publications two-volume work "Religious Leadership: A Reference Handbook" containing 97 chapters representing authors from multiple Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other perspectives.

In addition to her leadership within Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry, Dr. Callahan has served for many decades as a volunteer catechist, has taught in many parishes throughout the region, has served as a liturgical musician and pastoral associate, and has played many other leadership training and facilitator roles. Many communities and individuals have been impacted by Dr. Callahan?s dedication to supporting and advocating for lay leaders in parishes and faith communities throughout the greater Seattle area.

e sat down with Dr. Callahan this last month and she shared some of her reflections on her time at the school:

?I have had the privilege of getting to know each and every student who has come into our programs and graduated since 1993. I have also appreciated the great honor of working with the best faculty in any institution I know. Both adjunct faculty and fulltime faculty have demonstrated consistent care for the leadership of the people of God and the world.?

Dean Markuly asked Dr. Callahan what she was most looking forward to, in transitioning to full-time teaching. Dr. Callahan shared:

??As far back as I can remember (perhaps beginning at the age of three or four years old!) I have wanted to teach. Throughout every season of my work and over the course of many transitions in career paths, I have consistently stayed connected to teaching. In this upcoming year, I look forward to teaching full-time as well as directing the school?s new Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree and its companion Post Master's Certificate in Pastoral Leadership. I believe we have the opportunity to dream with those who will lead communities of faith into the next phase of realizing the reign of God. I have already met with five DMin students and have appreciated hearing about their passions, and what they want to pursue and contribute. Their visions and gifts are needed in our churches, communities and world.?

Dean Markuly is proud to announce, on behalf of Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry, that Dr. Faustino (Tito) Cruz, SM, Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Leadership, will be assuming the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Prior to his coming to Seattle University in 2011, Dr. Cruz had served in a variety of academic and administrative roles including as Executive Vice President and Academic Dean of the Franciscan School of Theology, and convener of the council of deans of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Dr. Cruz?s academic, research, and pastoral commitments are deeply rooted in U.S. immigrant life.
His published works are in the area of religion, intercultural education, immigration, and transformational leadership. Dr. Cruz has served on the executive board of several organizations including the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), Association of Asian North American Theological Educators (AANATE), and International Academy of Practical Theology (IAPT). He has advanced theological education by serving on accreditation and leadership teams of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. As a teacher, scholar, and practitioner, he actively promotes global education. He has presented academic papers, facilitated workshops, and taught courses in South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, and Singapore.

As a Marist priest, Dr. Cruz has a pastoral heart. He ministers regularly with the Hispanic community at Saint Louise Parish and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace, both in Bellevue, WA. Previously, he was associate pastor and administrator in Phoenix, Arizona and Honolulu, Hawaii. At the national level, he served as coordinator of ethnic ministries and pastoral consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. In addition to English, Dr. Cruz is proficient in Filipino, Spanish and French.

This month, we sat down with Dr. Cruz and asked him what he?s most looking forward to in this new role.

"My students often hear me say, 'so what?' How are we going to put into practice what we now know, so that we may all become intentional agents of change in today?s church and society? So, the role of Associate Dean will be the context of my reflective practice. It will be a very challenging ministry for me. Here at Seattle University, we are committed to educating the whole person. As an academic leader, I must model the way and inspire others to live this vision more fully. Therefore, I must strive to live as a 'whole person in relationship.' I believe Saint Irenaeus describes this as 'the glory of God.' We also educate to empower leaders for a just and more humane world. As teacher, administrator, and colleague, I am called to act justly and promote right relationships. More concretely, I must sustain a creative, ethical, and collaborative community among our students, faculty, and staff. I ground this commitment in my vocation as educator in faith.

Dean Markuly remarked about the transition:

"Dr. Sharon Callahan has made a remarkable contribution to the School of Theology and Ministry and has been a wonderful colleague in addressing the blinding array of administrative duties required to operate a top-notch educational institution.? I am sad to see her move out of the position she has demonstrated herself so competent in doing.? However, it will be great to have continue in her capacity as a teacher and scholar, and in applying her administrative skills to our new doctoral program, which will quickly have some internationally unique features.

We are honored to have attracted someone of Dr. Tito Cruz?s scholarly status, depth of higher education experience in other institutions, and breadth of international awareness and connectivity marks a new moment in the history of the school.?Dr. Cruz will bring a global awareness to his position, as well as a breadth of experience in business and pastoral work that will serve our school extremely well.?