Regular Faculty

Fr. Christopher J. Renz, OP

DSPT Professor - Fr. Chris Renz, OP

Academic Dean

Assistant Professor of Religion & the Arts and Science & Theology

Office Location: West 04
Phone: 510-883-2084
Office Hours: by appointment



BS, St. Peter's College; MDiv, Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology; MA, Graduate Theological Union; PhD, Northwestern University.


Whatever issue we are looking at, whether science or the creative arts, I hope students will gain a sense of the dynamic interaction between their particular religious tradition and their personal life.

In his current work as academic dean, Fr. Chris enjoys being part of an administrative team strongly committed to enlivening the mission of the School.

Courses Taught:

Research Interests:

Trained as a microbiologist, Fr. Chris is interested in the interface between science and spirituality, particularly in those areas of science which impact daily life choices (the "spirituality" of faith). In his course on "Food: Does Local Really Matter?," Fr. Chris combines this academic interest with his own love for food through an in-depth exploration of sustainable alternatives to industrialized agriculture and food preparation.

Fr. Chris also has a passion for poetry, particularly those more "contemplative" authors who make vivid connections between the Divine and daily life. Some of his favorite writers include St. John of the Cross, T. S. Eliot, Mary Oliver, Annie Dillard, and William Stafford. Having served for nearly fifteen years as general editor of a past DSPT publication, Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry, Fr. Chris is committed to the interchange between religion, philosophy, and the fine arts. Reading selected works from Plotinus, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Jacques Maritain alongside a variety of contemporary poets, Fr. Chris explores the relationship between creativity, the fine arts (particularly poetry), and our ability to encounter the Divine in a course entitled, "Poetry & Creative Intuition."

Fr. Chris works extensively with Blackfriars Gallery, helping artists bring their work into the ongoing conversation with contemporary culture.
He also currently serves on a national advisory board to the Dialog on Science, Ethics, and Religion project jointly sponsored by AAAS and ATS on bringing science into the seminary curriculum.

Selected Publications:


  • In this Light Which Gives light: A History of the College of St. Albert the Great (1930-1980). Oakland, CA: Western Dominican Province, 2009.  Order page

Articles and Chapters

  • "Religion, Spirituality and Health in the New Evangelization," in Trends in Spirituality. Bangalore, India: Asian Trading Corporation (forthcoming).
  • "Our Daily Bread: Practical Wisdom for Food Purchase & Consumption in a Global Market," Angelicum 86 (2009): 215-237.
  • "Brookhurst: The Perry Legacy of Hospitality." Alameda County Historical Society Quarterly XXXIII, no. 4 (Oct 2007).
  • "The College of St. Albert the Great: Following the Legacy of Its Patron." Ad Gentes (Autumn 2007).
  • "Putting the Johannine Pericopes in Context: A Liturgical Approach to Preaching the Scrutinies." Catechumenate 22, no. 6 (November 2000): 20-30.
  • "Christian Education and the Confirmation Debate: Towards a Theology of Catechesis," Journal of Christian Education 41, no. 1 (1998): 53-65.
Book Reviews
  • Timothy J. Demy and Gary P. Stewart, eds. Genetic Engineering: A Christian Response. Kregal Academic & Professional, 1999. CTNS Bulletin 21, no. 3 (Summer 2001): 27-29.
  • Suzanne Holland, Karen Labacqz, and Laurie Zoloth, eds. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001. CTNS Bulletin 21, no. 3 (Summer 2001): 25-27.
Other Publications and Events
Short Essays and Reflections
  • "Monks & Friars & Food - Oh, my!" - exhibition notes, Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology (Spring 2012).
  • "Visual Meditations from Thomas Merton's Abbey of Gethsemani" - exhibition notes, Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology (Fall 2011).

Poems have appeared in the following anthologies and journals:

Oranges from Dominic’s Tree: A New Volume of Poetry; Review for Religious; Commonweal and