Katarina Schuth

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Sister Katarina Schuth, O.S.F.

Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., is an American Religious Sister, who has been a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Rochester, Minnesota since 1960, through most of which she has been a faculty member in higher education institutions. She is a leading figure in the fields of Pastoral Theology and the Sociology of Religion. She holds an Endowed Professorship for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, in St. Paul, Minnesota, part of the University of St. Thomas.


Educated in the Social Sciences and Theology, Schuth has earned a Master's degree and a doctorate in Cultural Geography from Syracuse University, and a Master of Theological Studies and Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor's degree in History from the former College of Saint Teresa, Winona, Minnesota.


As a researcher and teacher, her primary interests are in theological education and the relationship between the Church and American culture. Recognized internationally as an expert on seminary education, she has written numerous articles and several books on Catholic seminaries.



  • Seminaries, Theologates, and the Future of Church Ministry: An Analysis of Trends and Transitions published by Liturgical Press, 1999
  • Reason for the Hope: The Futures of Roman Catholic Theologates in 1989
  • Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes published by Liturgical Press 2006

She co-authored:

  • Cooperative Ventures in Theological Education published by University Press of America with Fraser, Friar, Radtke, Savage, 1989
  • Educating Leaders for Ministry published by Liturgical Press 2005

Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes[edit]

This most recent book is of vital interest to the Catholic Church in the United States, which is coming to grips with the severe shortage of priests, thus requiring many of them to serve multiple parishes. In the book Sr. Schuth examines regional and diocesan differences by surveying over nine hundred of these priests and interviewing nearly a hundred more. They offer information about spiritual and community leadership and about staffing and organization of parishes in the present context. Using their suggestions, the book tries to discern what contributes to the building of vital and dynamic parishes and what causes indifference and dissolution. The book highlights what is successful in maintaining the strength of these small parishes and what practices lead to their diminishment. The book is written not only as an aid to those who find themselves pastoring several congregations, but also seminary educators, diocesan leaders, and congregations.


Besides these books, Schuth has written numerous book reviews:

  • "Three Phases of Their Life and Ministry" on Experiences of Priests Ordained for Five to Nine Years by Dean Hoge (April 2006)
  • an introduction to "Catholic Priesthood: Formation and Human Development" by Gerald Coleman, S.S., Liguori Publications (2006)
  • An Affinity of Little Hours by Nancy Klein Maguire, “And then there was One.” America 194/12 (April 3, 2006): 30-32.
  • Orders and Ministry: Leadership in the World Church by Kenan Osborne (Orbis Books, Summer 2006) in America 195/2 (July 17–24, 2006): 21-22.
  • The Collar: A Year of Striving and Faith Inside a Catholic Seminary by Jonathan Englert (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006) forthcoming in Journal of the American Catholic Historical Society


  • “The Researcher’s Role in the Church,” Origins 35/20 (October 27, 2005): 325-329
  • “Character and Assessment of Learning for Religious Vocation: Interview Study of Roman Catholic Students and Faculty,” Theological Education 40/2 (Summer 2005) 1-45
  • “A View of the State of the Priesthood in the United States,” Louvain Studies 30/1 (May 2005) 8-24.


  • Chair of the Leadership Roundtable Education and Formation Committee of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
  • Advisor to the John Jay College Causes and Context Study
  • Charter Member of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's Catholic Common Ground Initiative since 1996
  • member of the selection committee for the Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology.

In recent years Sr. Schuth has been a member of more than ten boards of theological schools, including currently:


Schuth has been awarded honorary degrees from:

Other honors include:

  • Weston Jesuit School of Theology, 2005, the Pedro Arrupe Award for Excellence in Ministry
  • Archbishop John Roach Award given in Recognition of Notable Accomplishments in Service to the Church, by the Commission on Women, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, 1995
  • Distinguished Catholic Leadership Award for Service to the Catholic Church given by Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, Washington, DC, 1995
  • Margaret A. Paluch Award given in Recognition of Significant Contributions to Vocation Ministry, by the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, 1994
  • Loras Lane Award given for Outstanding Service to Seminaries in the United States, by the National Catholic Educational Association, Washington, DC, 1989
  • Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for Accomplishments and Leadership in Catholic Higher Education given by St. Bonaventure University, 1995


Schuth continues to teach in the areas of Pastoral Ministry, Sociology of Religion, and World Religions and carries on research on seminaries and church life. She holds an Endowed Professorship for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Her speaking engagements, workshops, and conferences for numerous institutions, organizations, dioceses, and individual congregations are scheduled regularly in the United States and internationally.

External links[edit]