Seton Hill University (SHU) hired Timothy Gabrielli as a new professor of theology.
“Really, I’ve had two jobs in my life—teaching college students and waiting tables,” Gabrielli said. As a grad assistant at the University of Dayton (UD), he taught a variety of courses to graduate and undergraduate students.
“When I began writing my dissertation about two years ago, I decided to return, for a bit, to my other occupation, which requires subtly teaching people about food, not theology!” Gabrielli went on to say that he would mix in theology “here and there for good measure.”
Gabrielli grew up in Easton, PA. He received his bachelor of arts degree in theology and English literature from the University of Scranton. He then went on to receive his master’s degree in theological studies from UD. “I plan on receiving a Ph.D. in Theology from the UD in December 2013,” Gabrielli said.
“I met Dr. Gabrielli last fall at the American Academy of Religion annual convention where I was conducting the first round of interviews for possible candidates,” said Fran Leap, SHU professor of theology.
“I was struck that not only were his training and credentials very much what the Theology program was looking for in a new member, but he also had a good sense of humor and a ready laugh,” Leap said.
SHU brings in candidates for professor jobs and asks them to conduct a teaching demonstration. During the demonstrations, Gabrielli engaged many of the key points of the SHU education system including Catholic Identity and technology.
“Every indication has been that Seton Hill is a dynamic, tight-knit, community that offers close collaboration between students and faculty,” Gabrielli said, “In my search for a job, I was seeking a place that would allow me to continue my practice of meeting regularly with students and working hand-in-hand with them throughout their education.” Gabrielli is looking forward to coming to SHU; he said SHU seems to be that kind of place.
Gabrielli’s first intention was not to become a theology professor. “I began my life at the University of Scranton as a Business major,” Gabrielli said. In his second semester, he was required to take an intro to theology course as well an intro to short fiction course. He said that taking those courses made him fall in love.
“I was excited by engaging life’s great questions from a theological perspective and excited by work of theology, that is faith seeking understanding,” Gabrielli said. “I could think of nothing more invigorating than doing this for the rest of my life and trying to ignite that same spark in others.”
“Dr. Gabrielli represents a new generation of theologians born after, and thoroughly trained in the theology of, the Second Vatican Council,” Leap said. “This generation is clearly bringing the depth and wisdom of the Vatican II Church to their work in addressing the challenges of our contemporary global culture.”