Announcing Dr. David P. Deavel as new Chair of Theology
Dr. David P. Deavel, Associate Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, has been named Chair of the Theology Department. He assumes this leadership role at a time when the department is blazing a trail by teaching a new curriculum for its M.A. program in Historical Theology and continues working with the St. Mary’s seminary to form priests, deacons and laypeople who will serve Christ and His Church with heads and hearts ready.
“It’s an incredible honor to serve a department with colleagues who are talented scholars and serious Christians who teach about God so that others might be taught by God and come to know Him better,” Deavel said.
Expect More Events Connecting to other Disciplines
The new Chair envisions working with the department to grow the number of UST’s theology students. In keeping with that goal, he would like the department to create more of its own engaging events “to reach out to students looking for wisdom and light from the Church’s theological treasury.” For instance, he points to a scheduled talk during the upcoming Festival of St. Thomas, featuring the University’s Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, OP, on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Eucharist. The first 22 students to arrive for the Jan. 29 talk will receive a box lunch.
He said, “Also, I would like us to do more collaborations on events with other departments in which we show how the thinking in other disciplines connects to theological topics.”
An Accomplished Writer
Prof. Deavel is a prolific and well-published writer. In addition to his book, “Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West,” his academic work has been seen in journals such as Chesterton Review, Chicago Studies, and Faith and Reason. He won the Novak Award in 2013. His featured articles appear regularly in “The Imaginative Conservative.” Furthermore, Deavel is an associate editor of Voegelin View and a contributing editor for Gilbert.
He dedicates at least 10 hours a week to his keyboard.
“It tends to be toward the end of the week after finishing my teaching and administrative duties,” he said. “I write about what I find interesting—great novels, poetry and spiritual topics—but also about important topics on which I have something to say.”
His writing on Catholic education led to an invitation to lecture on Saint Benedict for the Adeodatus Foundation’s 2023 conference. That lecture will form the chapter of a volume published by the Catholic University of America Press. He was also asked by “Blaze” to write an op-ed on how immigration affects the countries people are leaving.
A Department of Theology that Stands Out
Deavel asserts UST’s Theology Department is a standout compared to other universities.
“We are the only Newman Guide school with a program in historical theology,” he explained. “We have scholars specializing in scripture, patristics, medieval, and modern thought who teach the Church’s theological heritage with a focus on scripture, tradition and the Church’s dogmatic teaching in such a way that we get beyond the modern tendency to fragment theology.”
And finally, with a passion for his field, Dr. Deavel made his persuasive case for the value of studying theology.
“St. John Henry Newman made the case that you can’t have a true university without theology being a part of that study. That’s true because, as C. S. Lewis said, God is the only subject that cannot be moderately important. If He doesn’t exist, He’s not important at all. If He does, He matters for every subject. He does exist—and whatever the question you’re studying or asking, it will ultimately have some theological angle. Come study with us at UST-Houston!”