Christ the Teacher Institute

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:


2017 Kenneth C. Simpson Essay
Megan Marie Angell (’19)
“Look Up at the Sky and Count the Stars if You Can: Infinity, Mathematics, and God”


Catholic Scholars Program  Incoming Freshman Academic Recommendation  2017-2018

Catholic Scholars Program Incoming Freshman Application 2017-2018

Catholic Scholars Program Incoming Freshman Pastoral Recommendation 2017-2018

Catholic Scholars Returning Student Application 2017-2018



Sheil Elective 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. Sheil CORE Seminars are open to students only and are required courses for Catholic Scholars.

CORE SEMINAR  | THE SACRAMENTAL LIFE 2017 | OPEN TO EVERYONE – This CORE Seminar explores prayer and liturgy as gateways to God, and delves into the theology of the sacraments and types of prayer. The seminars are held weekly on Tuesdays beginning September 26 through November 8 from 6:00- 8:00 p.m. (September  26, October 3, 17, 24, and November  7)

SHEIL ELECTIVE SEMINAR | JESUS IN THE GOSPELS | OPEN TO EVERYONE –  For Christians, the Gospels hold a special place as the books which tell us most about what Jesus said and did in his 33 years of life. They also come at the subject from different perspectives. Each writer draws a picture of Jesus that emphasizes what the writer sees as important. For one it’s the connection between Jesus and Moses; for another, it’s the image of Jesus as the one who restores us; and still another latches on to Jesus as the Word (Logos) of God. This seminar will take a careful look at Jesus in each gospel, discuss what each one adds to our understanding, and what happens when we put them all together.  The seminars meet on Thursday  October 12, 19, 26, and November 2, from 6:30-7:45 p.m.  Facilitated by Mary Deeley. This seminar is open to everyone.  Free for Students.  $5 for all others. REGISTER HERE

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.
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.
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
The Sheil Speakers Series invites local and national speakers to come to Sheil for a presentation and conversation. Previous speakers have included:
John Allen, authoritative writer on Vatican affairs , Archbishop Blase Cupich, NU President Morty Schapiro, NU football coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Director of the Vatican Observatory Bros. Guy Consolmagno, S.J.
The Christ the Teacher Institute is directed by Dr. Mary Deeley, who holds an M.Dvi 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. or (847) 328-4648.