Gregory Heille, O.P.

Gregory Heille, O.P.

Academic Dean and Vice President
Professor of Homiletics


  • D.Min, Preaching (Western Theological Seminary, Reformed Church in America, Holland MI, 1991)
  • M.Div.; M.A., Liturgy (Aquinas Institute of Theology, 1975)
  • B.A., Mathematics (St. John’s University, Collegeville MN, 1969)

"The Christian life is a person-to-person transforming encounter—betwixt believers and Christ, among believers, and with all the peoples of the world. The Christian gospel is not only an ancient and growing body of doctrine. It is also a transforming set of practices and a call to virtue, always in context, always personal and formational, and all for the common good in the Reign of God.” 

The road that brought me to ministry at Aquinas Institute of Theology involved almost twenty years of pastoral ministry at the Catholic Campus Parish of South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota; Associate Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Madison, Wisconsin; Vocation Coordinator for the Dominican Central Province, Chicago, Illinois; priest for the St. Giles Family Mass Community, Oak Park, Illinois; and chaplain for Dominican Chapel/Marywood and founder and program director for Dominican Center at Marywood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After completing my Doctor of Ministry in Preaching in 1991, I came to Aquinas Institute in 1994 to live in the formation community of Saint Dominic Priory and to serve as Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of Homiletics. Now, a surprising twenty years later, I continue to serve as Professor of Homiletics, while serving also since 2007 as Academic Dean and Vice President. I now reside at Saint Louis Bertrand House near Forest Park.

My academic interests have to do with the theology of preaching, Christian healing, and evangelization —with a particular and longstanding interest in repairing the fractured relationship of men and women in our culture (Galatians 3:28).

I continue to take any opportunity I can to hike in the American West. Favorite places include Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, Zion National Park in Utah, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and the Big Sur Coast in California. I look forward this summer to exploring the coast of Maine and New Brunswick.

Professional Affiliations

  • Past President of the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics
  • Past President of the Academy of Homiletics
  • Commissioner and Officer on the Commission for Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada
  • Board Member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada
  • Advisory Committee Member for the Association of Theological Schools Educational Models and Practices Project (funded by the Lilly Endowment)
  • Dominican Friar and Promoter of Preaching of the Dominican Central Province of St. Albert the Great


  • Honorary Certification in Online Teaching and Learning, Catholic Distance Learning Network, Seminary Department of the National Catholic Education Association (2013)
  • Online Teaching Certification, Quality Matters “Applying the QM Rubric” (2013)
  • MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Design Certification, Catholic Distance Learning Association and Holy Apostles College and Seminary (2013)
  • Building Intercultural Competency for Ministries Certification and Trainer Certification, Congar Institute for Ministry Development and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Multicultural Diversity in the Church (2014)

Recent Book

The Preaching of Pope Francis: Missionary Discipleship and the Ministry of the Word (Liturgical Press,2015).

Forthcoming Presentation

  • “The Power of Liminality in Pope Francis the Preacher,” Marten Homiletics Lecture, Saint Meinrad School of Theology (October 5, 2016): As a preacher who is intimately attuned to the liminal power of Christian priesthood, Pope Francis is a friend of God, a pundit, a storyteller, and a guide. Among other sources, this lecture will turn to the Aparecida Document, the Joy of the Gospel, and the pope’s Triduum preaching to explore the deep sources feeding Pope Francis’s ministry and preaching.

The Way of the Dominican Preacher: Go and Do Likewise!

  • As part of this year’s global 800th anniversary Jubilee celebration of the founding of the Dominican Order, the Dominican Central Province is collaborating to host this global English-speaking Dominican Jubilee Colloquium on Preaching, to be held in Saint Louis on October 11, 12, and 13, 2016. For this signature Jubilee event, Aquinas Institute of Theology’s global collaborators include the Institute for Pastoral Homiletics of the Province of Teutonia in Northern Germany and the Institute for Preaching of the Province of the Philippines. The goals of the colloquium are, first, to celebrate the Jubilee as a global Order of Preachers and, second, to build a global network of relationships to promote preaching in the Dominican Order. Keynote speakers are: on the morning of October 11—Fr. Bruno Cadoré O.P., Master of the Dominican Order (Rome); on the morning of October 12—Sr. Sara Boehmer, O.P., General Prioress of Dominican Sisters of Bethany, theologian and economist (Waldniel, Germany); and on the afternoon of October 13—Dominican laywoman Mary N. Erika Bolanos, O.P., professor of theology, University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines).

Selected Publications

  • Theology of Preaching: Essays on Vision and Mission in the Pulpit. Gregory Heille, O.P., editor. London: Melisende, 2001.
  • Preaching in the Sunday Assembly: A Pastoral Commentary on Fulfilled in Your Hearing. Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics, James Wallace, C.Ss.R., editor, Gregory Heille, O.P., project leader. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.


“The Preaching of Pope Francis.” Keynote talk at the University of Notre Dame Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgics “To All the World: Preaching and the New Evangelization” Conference (June 27, 2014).