The St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville has named Shawn Colberg as its new dean. He replaces Benedictine Father Dale Launderville, who has served in the position since 2015.
Colberg, currently an associate professor of theology at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and associate dean at the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary, will begin his new position July 1.
“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.
“Shawn Colberg is a highly regarded teacher with significant publications in the area of medieval church history,” Father Launderville said. “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.”
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 an assistant professor for teaching and the associate chair for graduate studies in the Department of Theology at Notre Dame.
“We are positioned to do great things in the years ahead thanks in part to the wise leadership of our current dean, Father Dale Launderville, OSB, as well as sponsorship by St. John’s Abbey and our rich continuing collaboration with St. Benedict’s Monastery. Our record of success in forming and placing graduate students in professional settings is second to none, and I am excited to support this special work into the future,” Colberg added.
“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 that Dr. Colberg has the aptitude, attitude and leadership skills to guide the School of Theology and Seminary in the challenging times ahead. The board looks forward to working with him to advance the mission of the school as a valued component of St. John’s University and an impactful contributor to the Catholic Church.”
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 Cathedral High School in St. Cloud.
“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 that Father Dale has established during his tenure as dean.”