Christ the Teacher Institute

Christ the Teacher Institute

"If you are what you should be, 
you will set the whole world ablaze!"
- Saint Catherine of Siena


The Christ the Teacher Institute houses Sheil’s  principal education and formation programs. It’s primary mission is to form Catholic leaders for the Church and the world through the integration of scholarship, prayer, service and leadership. The Institute offers opportunities for learners of all ages to deepen their faith and integrate it into their day-to-day lives. Intellectually stimulating seminars and speakers give all students, associates, and NU community members a chance to explore Catholicism and faith from a wide variety of approaches and contexts. In addition, students may continue their faith exploration through theological reflection and spiritual direction as well as by becoming Catholic Scholars or Catholic Fellows. The Christ the Teacher Institute encompasses five programs:

  • Sheil Seminars are open to everyone at Sheil, at Northwestern and in the community who wants concise and challenging presentations and discussions on various aspects of Catholic teaching. Learn more >
  • The Catholic Scholars Program welcomes students who want to intentionally participate in a 2 year integrated framework of seminars, theological reflection, prayer, service and leadership (1 year track is available for rising seniors. Students apply for the program in the summer and, if accepted, receive a $5,000 stipend. Learn more >
  • Catholic Fellowships in Church Leadership gives students an opportunity to learn Church ministry from the ground up. Under the guidance of a staff member, work 10 hours a week in a specific area of leadership. Applications are open in the spring and students accepted into the program are given a $2,000 stipend for their work during the year. Learn more >
  • The Kenneth C. Simpson Essay Prize is awarded to the student in any discipline who writes the best essay on the influence or foundations of Catholic thought or imagination in his or her discipline. Essay is due the 3rd week of spring quarter. The winner receives $1,000 and the opportunity for a public lecture on campus. Learn more>
  • The Sheil Speakers Series invites local and national speakers to come to Sheil for a presentation and conversation. Past speakers have included John Allen, Francis Cardinal George, NU President Morty Schapiro, and football coach Pat Fitzgerald

Explore each of these programs further — and find details and program applications — at the links above or to your left.

Program Leadership 
The Christ the Teacher Institute is directed by Dr. Mary Deeley, who holds an M.Div from Yale University and a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Early Christian Literature from Northwestern University. She has taught, worked, and ministered in academic settings since 1978.  Mary is the author of a Mothers, Lovers, Priests, Prophets, and Kings:  What the Old Testament Tells Us About God and Ourselves, Daybreaks:  Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas, and Remembering God: Resting in the Midst of Life all published by Liguori Press, as well as numerous reflections and articles on the bible, lectionary readings, scripture, campus ministry, and young adults.  Mary is also a frequent speaker on such diverse topics as Evangelization, Discernment, Preaching, Liturgical and Celtic Spirituality, Prayer, and Ministry and Leadership. She particularly enjoys working with young adults in formation and discernment.  Dr. Deeley interacts personally with the students and teaches some of the seminars for Christ the Teacher. She serves as an advisor to all Catholic Scholars and as the Pastoral Associate for the Sheil Catholic Center.
m-deeley@u.northwestern.edu or (847) 328-4648.