Dr. Von Schlichten New Role on Campus

By: Ashley Grasinger

(GREENSBURG, Pa.) – “I went back and forth on whether I would try to take on Dean,” said von Schlichten. “After a lot of prayer and discernment and conversation, I decided ‘Yeah! I would like to give that a go!’” 

Von Schlichten officially took on the title of Dean on January 1st of 2023. 

“I knew we needed a replacement,” said von Schlichten. “In the school of humanities, that is how it works. People volunteer to be Dean and serve for so many years until someone else takes over.” 

Von Schlichten grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania. He graduated high school in 1987 and continued his education at Drew University, double majoring in English and religion. Von Schlichten has his master’s in English. He also went to seminary and became a Lutheran minister.

“It has been challenging because it is so different from what I am used to,” said von Schlichten. “But, it has been a great experience so far.”

In 1997, von Schlichten got called to the Saint James congregation in Youngstown, Pennsylvania where he served for 17 years while attending graduate school. He received a doctorate in ministry and a Ph.D. in English literature from there. Von Schlichten also got married in 2001 and they have two children as well as a granddaughter together. 

Seton Hill offered von Schlichten a full-time position in 2014. “I love Seton Hill,” said von Schlichten. “I love the students and faculty and more and more made me think, ‘Yeah I would like to work there full time.’”

“During my time as a professor,” said von Schlichten, “I teach gender studies, religious studies, first-year writing, and Western cultures.”

Von Schlichten also developed a class that taught students more about Elizabeth Seton. “In various ways, I have been trying to teach students, faculty, and staff about Mother Seton, because I think she is fabulous and so integral to our identity here.” 

“I love to teach,” said von Schlichten “and I think I am pretty good at it too. I love the students, and I knew as Dean, that would mean I would be teaching less. That was one of the reasons I was hesitant to take the role.” 

At Seton Hill, full-time faculty are expected to teach 4 classes in the fall and 4 in the spring, or the equivalent. When you are dean, you only teach 2 in the fall and 2 in the spring. 

This upcoming fall, von Schlichten plans on teaching Sages, Saints, and Mystics, and Christology.

“I miss being with the students,” said von Schlichten. “But, there are a lot of good things too. I get to really work with my colleagues more. I love my colleagues too.” 

“I want to reassure the students that we have lots of fabulous faculty here and I am also still here,” said von Schlichten. “Anybody who wants to come by and chat with me, I would love to meet with you and talk with you.”