Theology Graduate Student Pursues Ph.D. with Funding

June 20, 2019

Kaitlin Stasinski ‘18G will be attending the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH in the fall of 2019 and has received graduate assistantship funding to pursue her Ph.D. in Theology.

Kaitlin Stasinski

“My goal has always been to grow in my relationship with Christ through the study of theology,” said Ms. Stasinski. “But I have also come to desire to be of service to the Church, primarily through teaching, but also by thinking through contemporary questions and concerns from a theological perspective.”

Ms. Stasinski’s initial career goals were aimed at politics. She majored in Political Science at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY as an undergraduate. Soon after beginning her undergraduate coursework, however, Ms. Stasinski found that she enjoyed the classes for her minor in Theology more than the major. “I had always been interested in early American political thought, much of which was rooted in the Christian understanding of the human person and society,” she said. “But I found that theology offered a more direct route to the fundamental questions I was seeking to have answered.”

While searching for graduate programs, Ms. Stasinski – who grew up in Levittown, NY – contacted Associate Professor and Chair of Theology and Religious Studies Christopher P. Vogt, Ph.D. He offered her a graduate assistantship position to help fund her master’s education. “It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Ms. Stasinski.

As a graduate assistant, Ms. Stasinski worked with several faculty members on research, developing her own research skills along the way. Through her work with Professor Paul D. Molnar, Ph.D., Associate Professor Christopher D. Denny, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Michael Dempsey, Ph.D., Ms. Stasinski immersed herself in the Christian tradition and learned how to think theologically from a center in God’s self-revelation. These faculty members also encouraged her to pursue a Ph.D. and counseled her with advice for how to prepare. Ms. Stasinski also gained teaching experience in preparation for her doctoral program by teaching the core Theology course, Perspectives on Christianity, as an adjunct after completing her master’s degree.

“St John’s provided me with the theological foundation to pursue doctoral study,” she said. “When I started my M.A., I didn’t have an extensive background in theology, but I quickly found myself developing as a scholar throughout my graduate program thanks to the stimulating course work and engaging faculty.”

Outside of her academic work, Ms. Stasinski volunteers at her local parish, St. Bernard’s in Levittown, NY.

“Kaitlin has shown how much a dedicated student can get out of our program,” said Dr. Vogt. “She was able to work closely with her professors to bring her research and writing up to a very high level; this made her a strong candidate for admission to doctoral programs. My colleagues and I are so proud of Kaitlyn and what she has accomplished.”