Stewart Clem, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Moral Theology

Director, Ashley-O’Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership


  • Ph.D. in Moral Theology and Christian Ethics from the University of Notre Dame in 2019
  • M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School in 2013
  • M.A. in Philosophy from Oklahoma State University in 2008
  • B.A. in Philosophy and B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University in 2005

About :

Prof. Clem is a moral theologian whose scholarly interests include the thought of Thomas Aquinas, ancient and modern moral philosophy, medical ethics, and issues at the intersection of virtue theory, law, and public policy. He has several projects currently in progress, including a monograph tentatively titled, Truth as a Virtue: A Thomistic Framework for the Ethics of Lying and Truthtelling. He is also developing a project on the ethics of free speech that traces its philosophical foundations to the early modern period and offers a theological analysis of public discourse in pluralistic contexts.

Prof. Clem is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and regularly preaches and teaches in the parish. He is a fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation, a member of the Living Church Foundation, and a regular contributor to the Covenant blog.

Current Courses:

  • Justice and Catholic Social Thought
  • Ethics of Human Sexuality
  • Foundations of Catholic Morality
  • Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • “Still Human: A Thomistic Analysis of 'Persistent Vegetative State,’” Studies in Christian Ethics, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Feb. 2019): 46-55
  • “The Passions of Christ in the Moral Theology of Thomas Aquinas: An Integrative Account,” New Blackfriars, Vol. 99, Issue 1082 (July 2018): 458-480
  • “Dropping the Debt: A New Conundrum in Kant’s Rational Religion,” Religious Studies, Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 2018): 131-145
  • “Post-Truth and Vices Opposed to Truth,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Fall / Winter 2017): 97-116
  • “Speaking Truthfully: A Thomistic Perspective on the Peculiar Origins of Human Language,” in The Evolution of Wisdom, Ed. Celia Deane-Drummond and Agustín Fuentes (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017), 109-126

Recent Presentations:

  • “Free Speech, Hate Speech, and Human Speech,” Society of Christian Ethics, 2019
  • “Questioning the Centrality of ‘the Self’ for Augustine: The Art of Lying as Case Study,” American Academy of Religion, 2018
  • “Biological Death and Death of the Human Person: A Thomistic Analysis,” Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, 2018
  • “Sins of Speech in a Post-Truth Age,” American Academy of Religion, 2017
  • “Sacrifice and the Virtue of Religion: A Thomistic Engagement with René Girard,” American Academy of Religion, 2017

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Health Association
  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Society for the Study of Christian Ethics
  • Society of Scholar Priests