January 23, 2020 — Father Joseph Mueller, SJ, rector of the Marquette Jesuit Community and associate professor of theology in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the dean of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. Father Mueller will remain in his roles at Marquette during the spring semester and assume his new role at Santa Clara on July 1.
The Midwest Province will undergo its internal process to determine a new rector for Marquette’s Jesuit Community, with the final appointment coming from the Superior General of the Society of Jesus in Rome. Marquette’s next rector is expected to be announced this spring, before Fr. Mueller assumes his new role at Santa Clara.
Father Mueller began teaching theology at Marquette in 1999. From 2008–10, he served as associate dean for academic affairs in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. After his return to the Theology Department, he became the rector of the Jesuit Community in July 2017, a position that put him on the University Leadership Council.
“Father Mueller has provided thoughtful, steady leadership at Marquette for many years, and he has been a valuable Jesuit adviser to me as Marquette’s first lay president,” said Marquette President Michael R. Lovell. “On behalf of the Marquette community, I want to thank him for his wise counsel and friendship and wish him well in this new mission of service.”
“I will greatly miss Milwaukee and Marquette, which will always have a place in my prayers. I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the students and colleagues who have given me so much during my student days and my years on the Theology Department faculty here,” Fr. Mueller said. “Although I leave behind dear friends and winter is my favorite season, I am looking forward to helping the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara to form the next generation of lay and ordained ministers for the church. I'm glad I'll be playing for the same Jesuit team out there as Marquette does here.”
A Detroit native who entered the Society of Jesus in 1982 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1993, Fr. Mueller received his bachelor’s degree from Marquette in 1981 and earned his doctorate in sacred theology from Centre Sèvres, Paris, in 2005.
His scholarship is focused on ecclesiology and early Christian theology, especially the church order literature of the first five centuries and its interpretation of the Old Testament. His most recent publications include articles on the Trinitarian theology of the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions and on marriage and family law in the church order literature. From 2008 until 2015 he worked as a member of the team representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ. [Source: Jesuit School of Theology]