by Leanne Loy and guest writer
On July 1, Dr. Shawn Colberg will begin his new position as the dean of the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary. Colberg will replace Fr. Dale Launderville, OSB, who has served in the position since 2015.
Colberg is currently the associate professor of theology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and associate dean in the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary.
“I am honored to serve St.John’s School of Theology and Seminary as dean,” Colberg said. “We have a tremendous mission which stands at the heart of St. Ben’s and St. John’s to deliver world-class theological education and formation that prepares women and men for collaborative service and transformational leadership in the church and wider world.”
Originally from Dassel, Minnesota with his home parish in nearby Darwin, Colberg received his undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. He completed a master of divinity degree at the Yale School of Divinity and earned a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame with areas of focus in medieval and Reformation theology.
“We are positioned to do great things in the years ahead” Colberg said. “[that’s] thanks in part to the wise leadership of our current dean, Fr. Dale Launderville, OSB, as well as sponsorship by St. John’s Abbey and our rich, continuing collaboration with St. Benedict’s Monastery.”
“Shawn Colberg brings excellent credentials as both scholar and teacher, as well as a deep commitment to our Catholic Benedictine tradition,” said James Mullen, SJU transitional president. “He has an outstanding vision for the School of Theology and Seminary and will build upon the extraordinary legacy Fr. Dale has established during his tenure as dean.”
Published widely in journals, Colberg recently published a book on the theologies of grace and human action in St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas titled “The Wayfarer’s End.” Prior to joining the faculty at CSB and SJU, Colberg served as assistant professor for teaching and the associate chair for graduate studies in the department of theology at Notre Dame.
There are many who are excited to have him aboard.
“On behalf of the Board of Regents, I offer congratulations to Dr. Colberg in his appointment as dean of the School of Theology and Seminary,” said Dennis Smid, chair of the School of Theology and Seminary Board of Regents. “The Board believes Dr. Colberg has the aptitude, attitude and leadership skills to guide the School of Theology and Seminary in the challenging times ahead.”
And from his predecessor,
“Shawn Colberg is a highly regarded teacher with significant publications in the area of medieval church history,” Launderville added. “His passionate commitment to the Catholic and Benedictine tradition has drawn him to administrative work in the School of Theology and Seminary. His excellent service as School of Theology and Seminary associate dean for the past three years has positioned him well for carrying out the responsibilities of the dean. We are blessed to have him as our new leader in the summer of 2022.”
Shawn Colberg is married to Kristin Colberg, associate professor of theology at CSB and SJU and the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary. They live in St. Joseph with their two daughters Mary Clare and Catherine, who are both students at St. Cloud Cathedral High School.