STEUBENVILLE, OH—Recognizing him as a singular gift to the Catholic Church, Franciscan University of Steubenville awarded the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization to world-renowned Scripture scholar, theologian, author, and speaker Dr. Scott Hahn.
Father Terence Henry, TOR, University president, made the announcement during Franciscan University’s 64th annual commencement ceremonies, held May 12.
A professor of theology and Scripture at Franciscan University since 1990, Hahn plans to utilize the chair to advance the mission of the New Evangelization launched by Pope John Paul II and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
“Through his work at Franciscan University, his scholarly research and publications, his popular writing and countless speaking engagements, Dr. Scott Hahn has done the very thing the Fathers of Vatican II called upon Catholic scholars to do,” said Father Terence Henry, TOR. “This new appointment will aid him in his ongoing work in teaching sacred Scripture and the New Evangelization, which is so close to his heart.”
Hahn’s work in the New Evangelization has been praised by many Church leaders including Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archdiocese of New York, who said Hahn's teaching brings people closer to Sacred Scripture, and William Cardinal Levada, prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, who hailed Hahn for helping to create a new apologetics to counter both the “new atheism” and anti-Catholic fundamentalism.
On hearing the announcement of the new chair, Dr. Hahn stated: “I am deeply grateful for the appointment, and humbled by the honor of holding an endowed chair named after Father Michael Scanlan, one of my personal heroes in the faith, as well as a spiritual father and dear friend for over 20 years. We share a holy passion to go deeper into God’s Word and to make it more understandable and accessible to others. For over a generation, Father Mike has shown us how to combine academic study and spiritual fervor in a way that changes lives—our own and others—and thus how to advance the New Evangelization, which is at the heart of the Church’s mission.”
This chair will allow Hahn to deepen his impact in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and evangelization. He will have more opportunities to mentor both undergraduate and master's students by teaching on campus and developing online courses for graduate students.
He will continue to produce scholarly and popular works on biblical theology and the New Evangelization in print, audio, video, and online; appear as a regular panelist on Franciscan University Presents
and other EWTN programs; and continue his speaking engagements at conferences, pilgrimages, and retreats for scholars and the laity, both on the Franciscan University campus and worldwide.
Hahn is the founder and director of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
. From 2005 to 2011, he held the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The author or co-author of more than 40 books, his newest titles include Many Are Called
, Covenant and Communion
, The Catholic Bible Dictionary
, and The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire
Scott Hahn received his BA degree with a triple major in theology, philosophy, and economics from Grove City College, Pennsylvania, in 1979. He earned his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982, and in 1995, his PhD in theology from Marquette University (Phi Beta Kappa
). He is also a visiting professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he has been formally granted a “canonical mission.” A former pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia and professor at Chesapeake Theological Seminary, Hahn entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children and six grandchildren.
The new chair is named in honor of Franciscan University’s fourth president, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, who transformed Franciscan University from a small regional college struggling to keep its doors open, into a world-renowned leader in Catholic higher education.
A fervent evangelizer himself, it was Father Scanlan who hired Hahn in 1990 to teach for the University, which now has the largest undergraduate theology and catechetics program in the nation.