Carolyn WrightCarolyn Wright

Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, 2006-present
Director of the Apollos Project, 2004-present
Director of Field Education, 2007-present


  • B.S., Chemistry, Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio
  • M.Div., Aquinas Institute of Theology

Director of Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)

I often look back in wonder and awe on the journey with which God has graced me. Had you asked me while I was analyzing a myriad of solvents, polymers and pigments with the aid of analytical instruments where my path might lead, I certainly could not have imagined! Utter grace!

Through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., I have the privilege to nurture partnerships between Aquinas Institute of Theology and local parishes in the surrounding dioceses. The Apollos Project affords the parish and Aquinas Institute of Theology the capacity to enter into a collaborative relationship to assess the parish community’s ministerial needs, call forth a person to ministry and form a parish leader who will meet existing and/or projected ministry needs of the community. The candidate enters the MAPS program at Aquinas Institute of Theology with an eye towards the ministerial needs of the parish and is integrated over the course of study as a member of the parish’s pastoral team. We are in our fourth year of the initiative, learning much and plan to begin to share those learnings with the broader community in the coming academic year.

As a neophyte field education director, I have a steep learning curve – one in which I enjoy participating. It is grace to companion our students as they test out their pastoral leadership skill: bringing the world of academia to bear on pastoral experience and the world of pastoral experience to bear on academia. Under the larger umbrella of theological reflection, the program’s curriculum sets a framework for development in the areas of pastoral leadership, integration, effectiveness, service and ministry of the Word. Through my relationships with students and supervisors, I have been kept particularly aware that the teacher is the learner and the learner the teacher, each calling the other to transformation.

Ever since I can remember, I was intrigued with the Church as a community of faith. As a child, I was fortunate to have been pastored by a priest who called our community of faith to embrace its giftedness. In doing so, we were guided to be a community which could effect transformation both internally as we cared for each other and externally as we cared for the world around us. It is this foundation which serves as a touchstone for me in my teaching and research. My work with parishes and students in the field education program has further directed my reading interests this past academic year. I am currently exploring research in the following areas of thought: a theology of parish, corporate ministries, and supervision of ministry students.

In my spare time I enjoy sitting with coffee cup in hand around a table with friends enjoying a challenging game of Scrabble, working easy New York Times crossword puzzles, reading the latest Star Trek or Tony Hillerman novels, floating local rivers, hiking in the Red Rock country of the Southwest and spending time with family in the great state of Ohio.