USF Philosophy/Theology Spring Lecture to feature Father Joseph P. Chinnici

February 1, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Father Joseph P. Chinnici, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara, will present “Faith, Reform, and Mission: When the Church Becomes an Obstacle” as part of the University of Saint Francis Philosophy/Theology Spring Lecture Series.

The lecture will take place 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in the USF North Campus Auditorium, 2702 Spring St.

Chinnici, professor at the Franciscan School of Theology, Oceanside, in affiliation with the University of San Diego, has engaged with the struggles of church leadership in the midst of sexual abuse revelations of the last 30 years. His book When Values Collide, The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse and the Challenges of Leadership, in 2010 received national awards in pastoral theology.

After ordination and the reception of his doctorate from the University of Oxford, he has served as Professor of Church History and Provincial Minister of the West Coast Franciscans. As Past President of the American Catholic Historical Association, he is known for both his numerous works in the history of the Church in the United States and also for his promotion of the Franciscan tradition in teaching, retreat work, pastoral outreach, and educational administration.

Chinnici’s lecture will address how, for the last 30 years, three waves of public revelations about clergy sexual abuse and episcopal malpractice have shaped the Church’s social image and shaken the faith of many believers. In the midst of this challenge, Francis of Assisi’s unique understanding of faith, the theology of Bonaventure, and the reforming inheritance of the Franciscan family have a significant contribution to make in discovering a path forward.

Admission is free to the lecture, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Theology and the USF School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Angie Springer at 260-399-7700, ext. 8100 or

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 16 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships, and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.