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Lighting the Way

The renewal of Catholic philosophy in the contemporary world.


For more than 40 years, the Center for Thomistic Studies at University of St. Thomas has remained the only graduate philosophy program in North America exclusively devoted to studying the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition.

Fr. Victor Brezik, CSB (†2009) worked determinedly for years to establish an academic center devoted to our patron saint at UST, and he ensured that the Center for Thomistic Studies would be founded in celebration of the centenary of the encyclical Aeterni Patris. Through the work of the Center’s faculty and graduate students, the University of St. Thomas responds to the calls of Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis to “go to Thomas” as a source and guide for the renewal of Catholic philosophy in conversation with the contemporary world.

The distinguished faculty of the Center make significant contributions to scholarship, publishing articles and books that shape the scholarly discussion concerning Thomistic philosophy. Also, the Center is the sponsoring host for the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the primary professional organization for Catholic philosophers in the United States.

Notably, the Center’s Ph.D program boasts one of the best placement rates among graduate philosophy programs in the United States, with more than 80% of its Ph.D graduates over the last decade placed with full-time appointments as professors at colleges and seminaries. The Center is grateful for the generosity of benefactors, who make it possible through scholarships and fellowships for graduate students to devote themselves to passing on the treasures of the Thomistic tradition to the next generation.


Dr. Mirela Oliva is a professor of Philosophy and the Rudman Chair of Philosophy. Her expertise is in the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, focusing on Aquinas and contemporary philosophy. She published a book on mental language and the divine mind and is currently writing a book on the meaning of life titled, “Das innere Verbum in Gadamers Hermeneutik.” Her recent articles concern providence, purpose, narrative meaning and prophecy.

Dr. Thomas M. Osborne is a professor of Philosophy. His expertise includes medieval and late scholastic philosophy, moral psychology and ethics. His recent books include, “Aquinas’ Ethics” in the Cambridge Elements series and “Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham.”

Dr. Brian T. Carl is an associate professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for Thomistic Studies. His scholarship focuses on the metaphysics and philosophical theology of St. Thomas. His recent publications concern Thomism and evolution and St. Thomas on divine mercy.

Dr. Steven J. Jensen is a professor of Philosophy and Bishop Nold Chair in Graduate Philosophy. An expert in Thomistic ethics and anthropology, his recent books include “The Human Person: A Beginner’s Thomistic Psychology,” “Knowing the Natural Law: From Precepts and Inclinations to Deriving Oughts” and “Living the Good Life: A Beginner’s Thomistic Ethics.” Fr. Raphael Mary Salzillo, OP, is an assistant professor of Philosophy. His scholarship focuses on St. Thomas’s philosophy of human nature, especially his account of the human soul as part of the human being. Fr. Raphael Mary is also a Catholic priest and a member of the Western Province of the Dominican Order.

About the Author — Sandra Soliz, MLA '01 Soliz

AvatarSandra Soliz, director of Communications for University of St. Thomas, has served the University for 20 years in Marketing Communications Department. In her position, she handles media relations and serves as the editor of the Encounter Magazine.

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