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Faculty Profile: Valerie Lesniak, Ph.D.

November 29, 2018

Valerie Lesniak is currently serving as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the School of Theology and Ministry. Administration is not new to Valerie as she has served both as an elementary school principal as well as a high school administrator in the lovely city of her birth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For about thirty years of her adult life, Valerie was a member of a religious community of women, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania. As a member of this order, Valerie served in different leadership capacities and had the opportunity to work in a variety of places such as in the remote river communities of Borba, Brazil, the hollers of Appalachia, the inner city of Pittsburgh as well as its wealthy suburbs.

She worked as a cable TV interviewer in Oakland, California and wrote and produced inspirational and meditative videos for hospital television networks. Valerie received her undergraduate degree in history and theology from Carlow College, Pittsburgh, PA and her Master of Arts in systematic theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in the interdisciplinary field of Spirituality.

Valerie has taught at the Jesuit School of Theology, St. Paul Seminary University of St. Thomas and Heythrop College, University of London in London, England. Valerie will be celebrating twenty years at Seattle University in 2019. She offers spiritual direction and enjoys long appreciative walks in nature.

Valerie loves to travel and feels that travel is one of the best ways to earn life degrees. She has traveled all over Europe, the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia and Australia. She has written on a variety of expressions of contemporary spiritualties, spiritual direction and mysticism. She uses her Facebook account to pass on messages of hope and inspiration as an extension of her work in spiritual direction.