Jean deBlois, C.S.J.

MA, Theology, University of San Francisco; Ph.D. (Moral Theology and Medical Ethics), Catholic University of America
Professor of Systematic Theology 2000-
Director of Master of Arts in Health Care Mission Program, 2000-

I am a

Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In my former life I was a registered nurse working in critical care. I worked in the first paramedic base station West of the Mississippi and supervised a critical care unit where we trained firemen to be paramedics and supervised paramedics in the field.

I asked to study theology

because of all the ethical issues I encountered as a nurse in the 1970s. I was given permission to study and received an MA in theology from the University of San Francisco (my hometown) in 1979 and found that I was “smitten” with the study bug.  So, rather than returning to nursing I continued my studies and received a Ph.D. in moral theology and medical ethics from the Catholic University of America in 1988.

I spent 6 years

on the faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine at St. Louis University Health Sciences Center where I taught ethics in all the schools on the medical center campus.  I worked for 6 years at the Catholic Health Association where I was first an ethicist and later served as Vice-president for Mission and Sponsorship.

For the past 9 years I have been on the faculty of Aquinas Institute of Theology.  In addition to teaching courses, I also serve as the director of the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission program. This program is designed to provide leaders in Catholic health care with a firm grounding in the Catholic theological tradition that is at the heart of and informs this ministry of the Church.  The program began in 2000 and since that time we have graduated three groups of ministry leaders, have two currently in progress and will begin cohort six in July 2009.

I serve

on the board of Ascension Health on behalf of my congregation, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.   I also work with ethics committees for Cardinal Ritter Senior Services and Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis. 

In the areas of theology and ethics,

I am particularly interested in the ethical dimensions of end of life decision making; the effects of advancing technologies on the delivery of health care;  environmental ethics and the future of Mother Earth; lay leadership formation and the evolution of sponsorship for Catholic health care and other ministries of the church.

When I am not working

on or thinking about ethical issues or teaching a class what I really like to do is work in our garden, play an occasional game of golf and tussle with Clancy, our goofy but lovable Border Collie.