Religous Studies Faculty & Staff

Amanda Osheim, Ph.D.
Professor Osheim received her Ph.D. from Boston College in theology, with special expertise in ecclesiology, which is the study of faith shared and expressed in community. She teaches Introduction to Religious Studies and Theology; Foundations in Ministry; God’s Literature; Empowered Catholic Women, and Modes of Inquiry, and she works closely with the Archdiocese of Dubuque to develop programs that meet the growing need for Lay Leadership within the Catholic Church.

Professor Osheim's scholarly interests include how church practices and teachings develop over time; the dynamic between communion and mission in the life of the church and world; and the emerging theology and practice of ministries for lay members of the church.

David Pitt, Ph.D.
Professor Pitt received his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, with an emphasis on Liturgical Studies, and his M.A. in Liturgical Music from St. John’s University, where he studied organ performance and composition. He teaches courses that help students understand the Catholic tradition, especially Catholic sacraments and the history of Catholic rites (Mass, Baptism, etc.), as well as courses related to music and art used in worship settings. Professor Pitt has directed the Loras College Liturgical Music Conference since its beginning, and has worked with various Iowa dioceses and with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on issues of liturgical music leadership.

Professor Pitt's academic interests include the historical development of the liturgy as well as the intersection of theology and music; he has published numerous articles concerning liturgical music as well as three hymn texts.  He has served as a church organist since 1983, and has given concerts in the United States and Canada.

John Waldmeir, Ph.D.
Professor Waldmeir received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the area of Religion and Literature, where he studied the way sacred writings like the Bible or the Qur’an fit with secular literature like novels and poetry. He teaches undergraduate courses in Catholic identity, sacred scriptures, world religions, and religious traditions within the United States, and he chairs the Division of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology.

Professor Waldmeir has published four books, most recently Cathedrals of Bone: The Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature.  He is interested in imaginative writings like novels, poems and plays that are written by people from different religious traditions.

Rev. Douglas Wathier, S.T.D.
Fr. Wathier received S.T.D. (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with an emphasis on the transmission of revelation and the act of faith. He teaches courses in the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, including Character and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; The Once and Future Church; The Displaced Person: Human Dignity and Human Rights; Councils, Creeds, and Culture; Belief and Unbelief and the Good Life; and Leadership Seminar for Social Justice. He also teaches christology and ecclesiology in the graduate program,  offers J-term courses with travel in Germany and Italy
Director of the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, and serves as an instructor in the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Deacon Formation Program.

Fr. Wathier's academic interests include Catholic Identity in Higher Education. He has been invited to give presentations about this topic at Arizona State University and Fordham University. He also has given a presentation about the reception of revelation and the clerical abuse scandal at Georgetown University.

Carol Oberfoell
Academic Secretary, Division of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology
Secretary, Kucera Center for Catholic Studies

Carol's duties with the Kucera Center consist of assisting in the planning and site manager duties for fall and spring Pastoral Leadership Study Days in Cedar Falls or Waterloo, and managing the mailing and databases for all books in the Loras Press series. She has been employed with Loras for 30 years.

Ann Werz, Leadership Coordinator for Religious Studies and Theology
Ann received a BS from the University of Iowa in 1974, and an MA in Pastoral Studies from Loras College in 2003. She has served as the Director of Faith Formation (2003-2005) and Pastoral Associate (2005-2010) at St. Mary & St. Patrick Parishes, in Dubuque. During that time she was active on the following Archdiocese of Dubuque Committees: Lay Formation, Pastoral Associates, Charism Discernment.

Her responsibilities at Loras include serving as the liaison for Religious Studies Majors doing practicums in parishes, schools, and service organizations; coordinating service and outreach for Breitbach Catholic Thinkers & Leaders (a group of 60 students); and serving as an instructor for the Leadership Seminar for senior Breitbach Catholic Thinkers & Leaders.
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