Dr. Joseph Capizzi Becomes the Acting Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies


By Zachary Lichter

On June 27, 2023, President Peter Kilpatrick made an announcement to the CUA community that Dr. Joseph E. Capizzi will be the new acting Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies. 

Capizzi is from Staten Island, New York, but grew up in New Hampshire; he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and six kids. He earned his bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in theological studies at Emory University. He also earned a master’s degree and  Ph.D. in moral theology from the University of Notre Dame. Before receiving his new role, Capizzi served as the director of the Institute for Human Ecology (IHE) for seven years. Additionally, he  wrote a book called A Catechism for Business. 

Dr. Capizzi commented on his new position that he started on July 1.

“There are really two moments I had when I applied for becoming the acting dean: the first moment is when President Kilpatrick approached me and asked if I’d be willing to apply and second is when it became clear I would become the dean. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to apply because I was content running the IHE, doing my research and teaching. But after discussing the position with my wife and thinking about that sort of service of the university and school, I became attracted to the new opportunity. Once it became clear I would become the dean, my excitement grew. We have the opportunity to make this school the best program in Catholic Theology in the country. That is our goal, and I’m looking forward to playing a role in its pursuit.”

Capizzi has been a professor of moral theology at CUA for over 25 years. As a professor at CUA, he taught: TRS 230: Character, Choice, and Community, TRS 632A: Christian Social Ethics, TRS 732B: Beginning of Life Issues, TRS 737C: Law in Moral Theology, and TRS 837: Human and Animal Consciousness. With Capizzi accepting the role of acting Dean, his role as a professor will be limited by him teaching fewer classes. Capizzi has also stepped down from the IHE, which will now be directed by Dr. Francis Russell Hittenger of the University of Tulsa. As acting Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, according to an interview with Capizzi, he plans to carry on the trend the former Dean, Father Mark Morozowich, left at CUA and hopes to see the school grow.

Incoming sophomore theology and philosophy major Ryan Corey had this to say about Dr. Capizzi becoming acting Dean: 

“After reading President Kilpatrick’s email, I am truly excited to see how Dean Capizzi will bring his past experiences with him into his new role, especially his time serving as the executive director of the IHE,” Corey said. “His devotion to his faith will be a wonderful benefit for STRS and I am excited to see how Dean Capizzi can push us further towards academic excellence.”

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