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Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

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Our conversation is particularly important at this time in history. Many people today have lost confidence in the pursuit of truth. - Fr. Michael Sweeney, Past DSPT President in his article, “Dominican Education”

Why DSPT?  Why Now?

Since 1932, lay men and women have been educated alongside Dominican friars in a small graduate school in the Bay Area. The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) began as the College of St. Albert the Great when the Master of the Dominican Order requested it 85 years ago. He saw that drawing on the Ancient Greeks and what we know through Revelation would equip students to engage contemporary culture.  And putting lay and religious together would help them engage it in a radically promising way.

St. Thomas welcomed anyone who disagreed with him and viewed the debate as the greatest asset to his learning. Drawing on our Thomistic tradition, our professors bring their students into a conversation not only with each other but also with the great minds – ancient, medieval and contemporary. In our classrooms, faith and reason are integrated. Unlike most other schools, DSPT insists that our faculty in Philosophy and Theology collaborate with each other. 

DSPT is forming men and women to think independently and bring clarity to places that need it most - classrooms filled with young children, universities where young adults are growing up, faith formation centers, the tech industry, business, healthcare, politics, law and more. 

DSPT is forming men and women to think independently and bring clarity to places that need it most – classrooms filled with young children, universities where young adults are growing up, faith formation centers, the tech industry, business, healthcare, politics, law and more. And never has there been a greater need for clear thinking than today.

The 21st century has brought on significant change to our society. As recent Popes have pointed out, people are increasingly unable to think critically. Rather than engaging in honest dialogue they resort to assertions and accusations. They make choices based on feelings, not facts. Because of this, misconceptions about the Catholic faith abound.

Today, Catholics are leaving the Church at startling rates. More and more we see that the public believes science and faith are at war. Studies show that depressions among young people is way up. Technological, scientific and medical innovations are advancing without consideration. We need men and women who are prepared to ask the important questions, engage the various perspectives and get to the truth.

That’s why DSPT is preparing lay and religious men and women to bring the exponential power of faith and reason to our world. The Dominican charism is to preach. Preaching from the pulpit is central to the friar’s vocation and our lay students do their own preaching too.  They preach through teaching, by example and through their ability to drill down on important matters. Through preaching and teaching, our students can help heal the societal ills we see around us.

Some of our students have chosen to study at DSPT over the most prestigious institutions in the world. Religious groups including Diocesan, Salesian, Capuchin, Orthodox and others send their candidates to study with us. 

Religious groups including Diocesan, Salesian, Capuchin, Orthodox and others send their candidates to study with us.

When our students leave the halls of DSPT, they go on to teach sexual morality in high-schools and pursue ground breaking doctoral work throughout Europe. They are pastors in Catholic parishes and lay ministers bringing liturgical traditions back to the Mass. They are writers and teachers. They are in the world providing witness to the truth of Christ and dispelling gross misunderstandings of the teachings of the Church. They are bringing hope to our young people. We all know the work that needs to be done and together we can prepare the men and women who can do it best.

Our faculty are focused on the concerns of the human person in relation to mind-brain technology, end of life issues and human rights. They are breaking down barriers with inter-religious dialogue.

Our faculty are at the intersection of science and faith and advancing new research in art and the history of the church. Three members have held the honorary title Master of Sacred Theology, the highest academic honor bestowed by the Dominican Order. Several have advanced degrees in both philosophy and theology. They have published books and articles and are invited to speak at universities around the world. Our faculty are focused on the concerns of the human person in relation to mind-brain technology, end of life issues and human rights. They are breaking down barriers with inter-religious dialogue. Because of our distinguished faculty, the Master of the Dominican Order commissioned DSPT to host a series of academic conferences putting top philosophers and theologians from around the world into conversation. And we want to do more.

Please join us.

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