Sr. Gill Goulding

Sr. Gill Goulding CJ

B.A.; M.Th.; S.T.L.; Ph.D.

Professor of Systematic Theology

Room 201; 416-925-2833

Teaching Level: Basic Degree, GCTS Full (Regular Faculty)
Specializations: Systematic Theology and Spirituality
Cross-listed to Theological and Pastoral Theology

Sister of the Congregatio Jesu an order founded in 1609 by the Venerable Mary Ward which has the same Constitutions as the Society of Jesus. The Congregation is currently in a process of merger with the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto). She came from Scotland to Canada in 2001. In 2012 she was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be a theological expert at the Synod on the New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian Faith. She is a member of the Theological Commission of the Conference of Religious in Canada and by appointment of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops a member of the Faith and Witness Commission (Theological Commission) of the Canadian Council of Churches. Sr. Gill is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Von Hugel Institute, at St. Edmund’s College University of Cambridge, UK. In 2021 Sr. Gill was appointed by Cardinal Grech to the Theological Commission of the Synod 2021-2024.
Alongside her work as a theologian she undertakes a ministry of spiritual direction and retreat work. Sr. Gill has for many years given the 30 days Spiritual Exercises, to diocesan priests each Summer at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton university.




BA University of York – History and Politics

Postgraduate Certificate in Education University of Sussex

MTh University of London

STL Regis College

PhD University of Edinburgh

Research Fellowship University of Edinburgh


Recent Awards:

  • 2016-2017 Henry Luce III Fellowship
  • 2017 Visiting Fellow Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge UK
  • 2018 Senior Research Associate Von Hugel Institute, University of Cambridge UK
  • 2021 Appointed by Cardinal Grech to Theological Commission of Synod 2021-2024
  • 2021-2022 Grant from European Foundation for project “The Forgotten Dimension: Theology in-forming a response to the abuse crisis.
  • Research Interests and Expertise

    • The Trinitarian horizon in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • The theological consonance and dissonance in the work of Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • The theological complementarities in the work of Bernard Lonergan and Hans Urs von Balthasar with a particular emphasis on the Trinity.
    • The Influence of Ignatius Loyola on the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • Exploring, Vocation, Mission, Personhood Gratuity and Holiness in the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • The Indebtedness of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • The Theology of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI
    • The contribution of John Paul II to a renewed theological anthropology
    • Exploring the theology of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola
    • Identifying the Ignatian influence on twentieth and twenty first century Jesuit theologians particularly though not exclusively in the realm of ecclesiology
    • The inextricable link between contemplation and theology in the quest for profound truth.
    • The ‘place’ of fragmentation and organic vision in current theological research methodology
    • The New Evangelisation
    • The theology of Henri de Lubac
    • The theology of Romano Guardini
    • The Dynamic Impact of Mercy on the Mission of the Church.

  • Courses

    • Kenosis
    • Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • Balthasar and Lonergan
    • Two Swiss Radicals: Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • The Dynamic Imperative of the New Evangelization
    • Ignatian Contribution to Contemporary Ecclesiology
    • Theology of the Spiritual Exercises
    • Theology and Holiness in the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar
    • Research Methodology of David Tracy

  • Selected publications

    • Reform, Revival or Reversal: The Reformation 500 Years on: A Response to Ephraim Radner in Pro Ecclesia (Winter 2016)
    • A Church of Passion and Hope: The Formation of An Ecclesial Dispostion from Ignatius Loyola to Pope Francis.  (London: Bloomsbury, 2015)
    • “Holiness of Mind and Heart: The Dynamic Imperative of Conversion and Contemplation for the study of Theology.” in Ed. James Keating, Entering Into the Mind of Christ: The True Nature of Theology, (Omaha: University of Creighton, Institute of Priestly Formation, 2014) 91-119.
    • “Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of Vocation” in The Disciple’s Call: Theologies of Vocation from Scripture to the Present Day (London: Bloomsbury, T & T Clark, 2013)
    • “Balthasar and The Contemplation of Truth” in ed. Lambert Zuidervaart, Truth Matters (Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 2013)
    • “The Irreducible Particularity of Christ in the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar” in International Theological Symposium on The Eucharist as Communion, (Maynooth: National University of Ireland, 2012)
    • “Rules for Right Thinking with the Church” in Good Shepherds: Living Christ’s Own Pastoral Authority, ed. James Keating, (Omaha: Institute of Priestly Formation, Institute for Priestly Formation Publications, 2012), 59-78
    • “Credible Communion – The Witness of Contemporary Religious Life” Pastoral and Homiletic Review, (accepted for late 2012 publication)
    • “Mary Ward and the Ignatian Charism” The Way, 51/3, 2012, 43-58
    • “Love Alone is Credible”, chapter included in Renewing Apostolic Religious Life, ed. Fr. R Gribble (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2011), 111-127.
    • “A Church of Passion and Hope, An Ignatian Perspective” Milltown Studies, 64, Winter 2009, 9-29
    • “A Glimpse of Glory” Religious Life Review Jan/Feb 2009, 19-27
    • “Vanpunkten vid Cardoner” Polanco Nr. 3-4/2009
    • “The Cardoner Imperative”, The Way 47 (2008) 243-259.
    • Foreword to the 2007 edition of St. Ignatius Loyola: Letters to Women, ed.Hugo Rahner SJ, [New York: Crossroad,2007] xxv-xxvii
    • “Truth and Silence: Learning from Abuse”, The Way, October 2003, 44-55.
    • “Passion, Prophecy and Perseverance – The leitmotif of Carmel”, Toronto Journal of Theology, 21/2, Spring 2005, 169-181.
    • Creative Perseverance: Sustaining Life-Giving Ministry in Today’s Church, Ottawa, Novalis, 2003.
    • On the Edge of Mystery: Towards A Spiritual Hermeneutic of the Urban Margins, Bern, Peter Lang, 2000.
    • ‘Adrienne von Speyr: Woman of Reconciliation’ in Adrienne von Speyr: Una donna nel cuore del Ventesimo secolo, a cura di Jaques Servais (Cantagalli EU Press: Rome, Italy, 2020) 79-90
    • ‘Towards a Theological and Synodal Response to the Abuse Crisis’ New Blackfriars, Vol 102, No. 1097, January 2021 96-107
    • ‘Catholicism and Consecrated Life’ chapter for monograph on ‘Catholicism’ by Blackwell, Oxford, forthcoming 2023
    • ‘Pope Francis and Mercy: A dynamic theological hermeneutic’ (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2023)

  • Current Research Projects and Grants

    2016-17 Henry Luce III Fellowship


    Project title: Configured to Christ: The Dynamic Impact of Mercy on the Mission of the Church.


    Facing global problems of climate change, terror, unemployment, refugees, and dire poverty, Pope Francis has given shape to his compassion through endorsing a clear trajectory of mercy, love and forgiveness as pre-eminently the mission of the Church to contemporary cultures and communities of faith. The mercy of God has a concrete face in Jesus Christ. This project aims to re-appropriate the theological foundations of mercy, the Christological and Trinitarian roots and the ecclesiological ramifications of that call to exercise mercy both within and without the parameters of the Church. It will draw on three primary interlocutors to whom Pope Francis has owned his own indebtedness namely: Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac and Ignatius Loyola. The project will also examine how Pope Francis has elevated Christian discourse about mercy endeavoring to draw from the tradition and to bridge polarizations, such as those which mark church life in North America, to focus Christian energies on fecundity in the mission. The potential ramifications for ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue are very significant.  At the most profound level, Pope Francis has issued a challenge to a re-appropriation of an understanding of the Church configured to Christ journeying with him towards Trinitarian life. From the heart of the Trinity and the depths of the mystery of God the tide of God’s mercy never ceases.


    One of the goals of this project is to produce a monograph, which would contribute to theological scholarship by analyzing and assessing the impact of Pope Francis’ understanding of mercy on the contemporary church both in the specificity of the Roman Catholic tradition and in the wider Christian church.  Secondly such an ecclesiological understanding of mercy will be shown to be decisively rooted in a robust Christology and the mystery of the Trinity. Thirdly the work will make some modest contribution to the area of inter-faith dialogue and inter-disciplinary work.


    Another project in collaboration with Professor Jeremy Wilkins (Boston College) is a book focusing convergences in the work of Bernard Lonergan and Hans Urs von Balthasar under a provisional title ‘Convergences for the Enrichment of Theology’.

  • Currently Teaching