Susan K. Wood, SCL

B.A.; M.A.; STL; Ph.D.

Professor of Systematic Theology

Room 316; ext. 273

Teaching Level: Basic Degree, GCTS Full (Regular Faculty)
Specializations: Systematic theology: ecclesiology, ecumenism, sacramental theology, nouvelle théologie

Susan K. Wood, SCL is professor of systematic theology. After earning a M.A. degree in French at Middlebury College and a Ph.D. in theology at Marquette University, where her dissertation was on the Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac, Prof. Wood taught at St. Mary College in Leavenworth Kansas; Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN; and Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Her administrative experience includes five years as Associate Dean at Saint John’s, eight years as department chair at Marquette, and three years as Academic Dean at Regis College, Toronto, 2019-2022. She was President of the Catholic Theological Society of America 2014-2015. She received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Association of America in 2021 in recognition of “outstanding and distinguished achievement in theology.”


Very active in ecumenical work, Prof. Wood serves on the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue (1994-present), the North American Roman Catholic-Orthodox Theological Consultation (2005-present), the International Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue (2008-2019), and the conversation between the Baptist World Alliance and the Roman Catholic Church (2006-2010, 2017-2022). She has also participated in consultations on baptism, theological anthropology, and the nature and purpose of ecumenical dialogue sponsored by Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches and the Joint Working Group. She serves on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ecclesiology. Most of her writing explores the connections between ecclesiology and sacramental theology.

  • Research Interests and Expertise

    • Ecumenical theology
    • Ecclesiology
    • Sacramental theology
    • Nouvelle théologie
    • Theology of ministry

  • Courses

    • RGT55641H Ecumenical Methodology and Achievements
    • RGT3421/6421HS Vatican II and Its History, Texts, and Theology
    • RGT3411H/6411H A Priestly People, Lay and Ordained

  • Publications



    A Shared Spiritual Journey: Lutherans and Catholics Traveling Toward Unity. Co-authored by Susan K. Wood and Timothy J. Wengert.  New York: Paulist Press, 2016.


    One Baptism: The Ecumenical Implications of the Doctrine of Baptism. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009.


    El Sacramento del Orden: Una Visiόn Teolόgia desde la Liturgia. Trans. Jordi Guàrdia. Biblioteca Litúrgica 33. Barcelona:  Centre de Pastoral Litúrgica, 2008. Translation of Sacramental Orders, see below.


    Sacramental Orders.  Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2000.


    Spiritual Exegesis and the Church in the Theology of Henri de Lubac. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998; Wipf & Stock, 2010.


    Edited books


    Critical Issues in Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Carl. E. Braaten, Alberto L. Garcia and Susan K. Wood (eds).   Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.


    Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood: Theologies of Lay and Ordained Ministry. Editor. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003.


    Articles in Journals


    Sorores in Spe: How to Resolve the Remaining Issues,” Centro Pro Unione Bulletin, Spring 2022: 48-52.  https://www.prounione.it/bulletin/web-n101-spring2022/. 


    “Editorial: Fresh Challenges and Possibilities in Lutheran-Roman Catholic Ecumenical Relations,” Ecclesiology 17 (2021):  318-314. 


    “Assessing Artificial Intelligence,” Toronto Journal of Theology, 36/1 (2020): 87-89. 


    Questioning Authority Examined through the Lens of Receptive Ecumenism” Anglican Theological Review, 102/4 (2020): 607-614. 


    “Editorial: Thinking and Feeling with the Church (Sentire cum Ecclesia), Ecclesiology 15 (2019): 3-6. 


    “Pope Francis and Ecumenism,” One in Christ 52/1 (2018): 3-16. 


    “Walter Kasper on the Church,” Ecclesiology 14 (2018): 203-211. 


    “The Shifting Ecumenical Landscape at the 2017 Centenary,” Theological Studies, September 2017.


    “The Correlation between Ecclesial Communion and the Recognition of Ministry,” One in Christ 50/2 (2016): 238-249.


    “Ecclesiological Issues in the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue: The Recognition of Lutheran Communities as Churches,” Centro Pro Unione Semi-Annual Bulletin, No. 88 (Fall 2015): 16-21.


    “Is Baptism Complete or Part of a Larger Christian Initiation? A Dialogue with Lutheran Sacramental Theology,” Seminary Ridge Review 17/2 (2015): 35-48. 


    “Editorial: A Parable for the Ecumenical Movement Today,” Ecclesiology 10 (2014): 285-291. 


    “Eucharist and Society,” Modern Theology 30/2 (April 2014): 357-365. 


    “Die Eucharistie: Ökumenische Errungenschaften und bleibende Unterschied,” Ökumenische Rundschau 61/4 (October-December 2012) 389-410.


    “Continuity and Development in Roman Catholic Ecclesiology,” Ecclesiology 7/2 (May 2011): 147-172. 


    Chapters in multi-author volumes


    “Reception of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church: A Historical, Theological, and Liturgical Commentary,” Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, Theological Commentary (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, forthcoming). 


    “Reception of the Decree on Ecumenism in the U.S. Context,” in Vatican II: Legacy and Mandate, continental volume on North America, Australia, and the Pacific, edited by Massimo Faggioli, Catherine Clifford, Ormand Rush and Richard Lennon. Tubingen University Press. (Forthcoming) 


    “The Prophetic Ministry to the Word, in Priestly Ministry and the People of God: Hopes and Horizons, Richard R. Gaillardetz, Thomas H. Groome, Richard Lenan (New York: Orbis Press, 2022), 177-184.


    “Baptism,” in Oxford Handbook of Ecumenical Studies, ed. By Paul McPartlan (Oxford University Press, Published online March, 2017. Hard copy, 2020. https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199600847.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199600847 ISBN 9780199600847 


    “Eucharistic Sacrifice in Ecumenical Dialogue,” in ‘Ecclesia semper reformanda”. Renewal and Reform beyond Polemics, ed. by De Mey, P. and François, W. Series: Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 306. (Leuven: Peeters, 2020), 237-252. ISBN 978-90-429-4142-7. 


    “Ecumenism,” in Cambridge Companion to Vatican II, ed. by Richard R. Gaillardetz,  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), pp. 282-302. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cambridge-companion-to-vatican-ii/ecumenism/7F1C0CE9B6161E820CDC0577F3530E69 


    “Holy Orders.” The Oxford Handbook of Catholic Theology. Lewis Ayres and Medi Volpe, eds. London: Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford University Press, 2016. Print edition, March, 2019. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199566273.013.30. 


    “Pope Francis and the Ecclesiology of Henri de Lubac, in Discovering Pope Francis: The Roots of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s Thinking, edited by Brian Y. Lee and Rev. Thomas L. Knoebel (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2019), 130-149. 


    “The Ecumenical Imperative after Vatican II: Achievements and Challenges,” in Catholicism Opening to the World and Other Confessions: Vatican II and its Impact, ed. By Vladimir Latinovic, Gerard Mannion, Jason Welle, O.F.M. (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 309-325.


    “The Dialogue between Faith and Reason in a Catholic University,” in Fidelity and Freedom: “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” at Twenty-Five, Stephen M. Hildebrand and Sean O. Sheridan TOR, eds., (Steubenville: Franciscan University Press, 2018), 114-129. 


    From Conflict to Communion?” Signs of Forgiveness – Paths of Conversion – Practice of Penance, Theodor Dieter, Andrea Grillo, James Puglesi, eds., (Peter Lang, September, 2017). 


    “’Return to Your Baptism Daily:’ Baptism and Christian Life,” in Luther Refracted: The Reformer’s Ecumenical Legacy, ed. by Piotr J. Malysz and Derek R. Nelson (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 193-214. 


    “Liturgical Ecclesiology,” in A Church with Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millennium, ed. by Richard Gaillardetz and Edward Hahnenberg (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2015), 138-158. 


    “Henri de Lubac and the Church-World Relationship in Gaudium et Spes,”in The Legacy of Vatican II, ed. by Massimo Faggioli and Andrea Vicini, S.J. (New York: Paulist Press, 2015), 226-247. 


    “The Church: A People Sent in Mission,” in The New Evangelization: Faith, People, Context and Practice, ed. by Paul Grogan and Kirsteen Kim (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015), 65-78. 


    “Unity at the Table,” in The Theology of Cardinal Walter Kasper, ed. by Kirsten M. Colberg and Robert A Krieg (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014), 189-202.


    “The Sacramental Foundations of Ecclesial Identity: Barrier or Passageway to Ecumenical Unity?” in Believing in Community, ed by P. de Mey, P. de Witte and G. Mannion (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2013), 455-476. (Juried)


    “Henri de Lubac,” in The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought, ed. by Chad Meister and James Beilby (London: Routledge, 2013), chapter 16. (Invited)


    “Unity in the Sacraments and Unity in Ethics,” in The Morally Divided Body: Ethical Disagreement and the Disunity of the Church, ed. by Michael Root & James J Buckley (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012), 61-76. (Juried) 


    “A Case Study of Ecclesial Exclusion: Eucharistic Sharing,” in Ecclesiology and Exclusion: Boundaries of Being and Belonging in Postmodern Times, ed. by Dennis M. Doyle, Timothy J. Furry, Pasal D. Bazzell (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2012), 255-264. (Juried) 


    “Two Phases of Baptist-Roman Catholic International Theological Conversations,” in Celebrating a Century of Ecumenism: Exploring the Achievements of International Dialogue, ed. by John A. Radano (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2012), 264-282. (Invited) 


    “A Theology of Authorization of Lay Ecclesial Ministry,” in In the Name of the Church, ed. by William J. Cahoy (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012), 99-116. (Invited)