Susan K. Wood, SCL

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

Professor of Systematic Theology
Room 112; ext. 250

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 and eight years as department chair at Marquette. She was President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Academic Dean of Regis College.


Very active in ecumenical work, Prof. Wood serves on the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue (1994-2019), the North American Roman Catholic-Orthodox Theological Consultation (2005-present), the International Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue (2008-present), and the conversation between the Baptist World Alliance and the Roman Catholic Church (2006-2010, 2017-2021). 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 is an associate editor of Pro Ecclesia and 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

    • A Priestly People, Lay and Ordained
    • RGT3421/6421HS – Vatican II and Its History, Texts, and Theology

  • 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 academic journals


    “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.


    “Baptism: A Common Call to Service,” Proceedings of the Seventy-First Annual Convention, October 12-15, 2009, Louisville, Kentucky, Cannon Law Society of America, 71 (2009): 1-11.


    Chapters in multi-author volumes


    “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).


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


    “’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 Theology,” 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.


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


    “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.


    “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.


    “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.


    “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.


    “The Ecclesial Meaning of the Eucharist,” in Critical Issues in Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Carl E. Braaten, Alberto L. Garcia and Susan K. Wood, eds. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011), 105-119.


    “Communal and Sacramental Dimensions of Eschatology,” in The Hope of Eternal Life: Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue XI. Common Statement of the Eleventh Round of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue. Lowell G. Almen & Richard J. Sklba, Eds. (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2011), 179-195.


    “The Trinity in the Liturgy, Sacraments, and Mysticism,” in The Cambridge Companion to The Trinity, ed. by Peter C. Phan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) 381-397.


    “The Liturgy and Sacraments,” in The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism, ed. by James J. Buckley, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, and Trent Pomplum (West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) 340-353.