By Lou Baldwin

Special to The CS&T

WYNNEWOOD – St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is losing one of its brightest stars with the announced resignation of Dr. Carmina Magnusen Chapp, academic dean of the Religious Studies spanision and assistant professor in the Department of Systematic Theology in the Theology spanision.

“It’s time,” Chapp said. “God is calling me to do something else. I’m looking forward to being home.”

What that something is hasn’t been decided yet, but presumably it won’t involve the daunting commute from her home in Coopersburg, Lehigh County. Although the distance wasn’t an overriding factor in her leaving St. Charles “it was getting worse and worse,” she said.{{more}}

Originally from the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., she received her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame University in 1989, her master’s degree in Theological Studies from Providence College in 1992 and her doctorate in Roman Catholic Systematic Theology from Duquesne in 1997. She taught at DeSales University from 1996 to 1999 and was director of campus ministry there from 1999-2001.

She joined the St. Charles Borromeo faculty as assistant academic dean of the Religious Studies spanision in 2002 and was appointed dean in 2005. She serves on several professional boards, is vice president of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and was a consulter for the Apostolic Visitation to U.S. Seminaries and Houses of Formation in 2005-2006.

The Religious Studies spanision, which is apart from the program for those studying for the priesthood, offers similar courses taught by the same faculty leading up to both undergraduate and graduate degrees, mostly for the laity, but also for priests interested in continuing education.

Just four years ago, under Chapp, the Catechetical Institute was added to the program. This offers non-credit programs for those who wish to advance their knowledge but are not working toward a degree.

All in all, the Religious Studies spanision has been a valuable asset for the Archdiocese.

“We are very proud of the work that is being done here,” Chapp said.

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.