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SCHOOL STORY

Notre Dame Make Something Day makes a differenceDr. Cruz, SM, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry

Reprinted with permission from Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry

Dean Markuly is proud to announce, on behalf of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, that Dr. Faustino (Tito) Cruz, SM, Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Leadership, will be assuming the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in July 2014.

Prior to his coming to Seattle University in 2011, Dr. Cruz had served in a variety of academic and administrative roles including Executive Vice President and Academic Dean of the Franciscan School of Theology, and convener of the council of deans of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Dr. Cruz's academic, research, and pastoral commitments are deeply rooted in U.S. immigrant life. His published works are in the area of religion, intercultural education, immigration, and transformational leadership. Dr. Cruz has served on the executive board of several organizations including the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), Association of Asian North American Theological Educators (AANATE), and International Academy of Practical Theology (IAPT). He has advanced theological education by serving on accreditation and leadership teams of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. As a teacher, scholar, and practitioner, he actively promotes global education. He has presented academic papers, facilitated workshops, and taught several courses in South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, and Singapore.

As a Marist priest, Dr. Cruz has a pastoral heart. He ministers regularly with the Hispanic community at Saint Louise Parish and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace, both in Bellevue, Washington. Previously, he was associate pastor and administrator in Phoenix, Arizona and Honolulu, Hawaii. At the national level, he served as coordinator of ethnic ministries and pastoral consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. In addition to English, Dr. Cruz is proficient in Filipino, Spanish and French.

This month, we sat down with Dr. Cruz and asked him what he’s most looking forward to in this new role.

"My students often hear me say 'so what?' How are we going to put into practice what we now know, so that we may all become intentional agents of change in today’s church and society? So, the role of Associate Dean will be the context of my reflective practice. It will be a very challenging ministry for me. Here at Seattle University, we are committed to educating the whole person. As an academic leader, I must model the way and inspire others to live this vision more fully. Therefore, I must strive to live as a 'whole person in relationship.' I believe Saint Irenaeus describes this as 'the glory of God.' We also educate to empower leaders for a just and more humane world. As teacher, administrator, and colleague, I am called to act justly and promote right relationships. More concretely, I must sustain a creative, ethical, and collaborative community among our students, faculty, and staff. I ground this commitment in my vocation as educator in faith."

Dean Markuly remarked about the transition:

"We are honored to have attracted someone of Dr. Tito Cruz's scholarly status, depth of higher education experience in other institutions, and breadth of international awareness and connectivity [which] marks a new moment in the history of the school. Dr. Cruz will bring a global awareness to his position, as well as a breadth of experience in business and pastoral work that will serve our school extremely well."

Seattle University founded the School of Theology and MinistrySeattle University founded the School of Theology and Ministry with a globally unique vision--helping students learn to become people of deep faith and spiritual commitment who are comfortable believing what they believe, and are skilled as they work in an increasingly diverse world. Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry holistically educates leaders to contribute to a more just and humane world through their faith that does justice.

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