USML | Summer Scripture

Institute for Ongoing Formation

Summer Scripture

Intended Audience: Any lover of Sacred Scripture.

For general information on the Summer Scripture Seminar click here.

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June 19-24, 2016  - "Psalms"

We are excited to announce our line up of speakers for the Summer Scripture Seminar 2016.  They are: Elizabeth Nagel, SSD; Dianne Bergant CSA, MA, PhD; Eileen Schuller, OSU, MA, PhD; Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis; Fr. Larry Hennessey, STL, PhD; Fr. Douglas Martis, PhD, STD; Rev. John Kartje, PhD, STD.


"Faculty" link on the right for the 2016 speakers bio's: To be updated soon.

 Early Bird Registration: Deadline is April 30, 2016!*

 REGISTER HERE: Registration form to be posted soon



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The schedule for Summer Scripture Seminar includes ample time for meals, prayer, relaxation, fellowship and of course the lectures by some of the finest scholars.  This is a draft of the schedule as we nail down the final details . . .


Sunday, June 19th and Monday, June 20th

Dianne Bergant C.S.A, M.A., Ph.D.

The Wisdom Psalms

1)   The Way of Righteousness

2)   Fear of the Lord  

3)   Wisdom and the Law

 Monday, June 20th (evening) and Tuesday, June 21st

Elizabeth Nagel S.S.D

The Lament Psalms

1)    Life in the Pit: An Exploration of the Biblical Imagery for Sheol

2)    Death, Enemies, and the Psalmist

3)    Psalm 22: The Effects of One Person’s Suffering

 Tuesday, June 21st (evening) and Wednesday, June 22nd

Eileen Schuller O.S.U, M.A, Ph.D.

Thanksgiving Psalms & from Qumran

1)   What can the Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about prayer and worship in Second Temple Judaism (at the time of Jesus)

2)   The Thanksgiving Psalms from Qumran: Psalms of Praise

3)   Sinfulness and Mercy in the Thanksgiving Psalms

Wednesday, June 22nd (evening) and Thursday, June 23rd

Rabbi Michael Balinsky

Penitential Psalms

1)    Hester Panim- The Hiding of God's Face      

2)    When the King Sins: Prayer, Repentance and Confession: Psalm 51 and 2 Samuel 12     

3)   Prayer out of the Depths

 Thursday, June 23rd (evening)

 Fr. Larry Hennessey S.T.L, Ph.D.Psalms and the Church Fathers

 Friday, June 24th 

 Fr. Douglas Martis., Ph.D., S.T.D Psalms and the Liturgy 

 Fr. John Kartje, S.T.L., Ph.D., S.T.D.- Psalms and the New Testament


Each year, the Summer Scripture Seminar assembles a faculty from among the best biblical exegetes and theologians to lead the program.  Faculty are drawn from USML, the several theological faculties in Chicago and from universities across the USA.  When you attend the Summer Scripture Seminar, you will hear from scholars who literally “wrote to book” on contemporary scholarship.  In the coming seminar, we welcome the following scholars as presenters:


Bios for 2015 Summer Scripture Speakers

Sr. Wendy Cotter, CSJ, Ph,D., is a Sister of Saint Joseph from London, Ontario Canada, and a tenured Professor of Scripture in the Theology Department of Loyola University in Chicago where she has taught since 1991.  She received her doctorate from the University of Saint Michael's College in Toronto, Ontario, with a specialization in Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), in particular the Gospel of Mark, and also in First Generation Christianity. The contextualization of earliest Christian communities within the world of Greco-Roman antiquity is a constant special scholarly endeavor. A particular focus is the manner in which early Christians understood the Jesus Miracle stories. In her book, The Miracles of Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook (London, England: Routledge Press, 1999), Cotter presents a selection of the major miracles attributed to the gods and heroes of the first century Mediterranean world in order to better study the claims made by early Christians about Jesus and His miracles. In her most recent book, The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait Through Encounter (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Press, 2010), she illustrates how Jesus' virtues are modeled for would be followers as he respectfully receives the bold and brash petitioners in the miracle stories. 


Rev. John Paul Heil, SSD, is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Ordained in 1974, he studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where he received his Doctorate in Sacred Scripture in 1979. After teaching at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis for 27 years, he joined the faculty of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University of America in 2006.  He is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association, Society of Biblical Literature, and Society of New Testament Studies.

His early career focused on the Gospels and the Letters of Paul, resulting in the publication of several articles and monographs. More recently his focus has been on the worship dimension of the New Testament. This has resulted in monographs on worship in the Letters of Paul, Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter and Jude, and the Book of Revelation. Many of his books are published by Cascade Books including The Letter of James: Worship to Live By and The Book of Revelation: Worship for Life in the Spirit of Prophecy.


Professor Arland J. Hultgren came to Luther Seminary in 1977 as associate professor of New Testament and was named professor in 1986. He was chair of the department from 1986 to 1993. He had been on the faculty in religious studies at Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., from 1969 to 1977.  He was ordained in the Lutheran Church in 1966 and served as assistant pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Tenafly, N.J. until 1968. He also took a parish leave from the seminary and served as pastor of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, in 1979-80.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. (1961), Hultgren earned the M.A. degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1963), and the M.Div. degree from Lutheran School of Theology, Rock Island (1965). He received the Th.D. degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1971, and has done additional study during sabbaticals at the Universities of Cambridge, England (1984-85), and Uppsala, Sweden (1990-91). Hultgren is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., (1990-99) and was editor of Word & World (1981-88).  Books he has written include: The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary (2000), The Rise of Normative Christianity (1994), Christ and His Benefits: Christology and Redemption in the New Testament (1987), and Paul's Gospel and Mission: The Outlook from His Letter to the Romans (1985) among others.


Dr. Urban von Wahlde earned an M. A. from Loyola University of Chicago (Classical Languages) and a Ph.D. from Marquette University (New Testament Studies).  He has taught on the graduate and undergraduate faculties at Loyola University Chicago since 1981. He was chairperson of the department from 1987-1993. He has been an editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and currently serves on the Association's committee for scholarship in emerging nations. In addition he is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Dr. von Wahlde is the author of three books and a  three-volume commentary on the Gospel and Letters of John for the Eerdmans Critical Commentary series.  Dr. von Wahlde is also the author of the major entry on the Gospel of John and the major entry on John, the Son of Zebedee for the multi-volume Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception.  He is also the author of over fifty scholarly articles. Although his primary focus is on the Johannine literature, he has also published articles on the gospel of Mark and the Acts of the Apostles. His research interests include relations between Christians and Jews in the First Century, questions of anti-Judaism in the Gospel of John, apocalyptic literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Rev. Michael J.K. Fuller earned a B.A. at Loras College, Dubuque, IA and M.Div., S.T.L., and S.T.D. at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. Before being ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockford, IL, Fr. Fuller served as a Peace Corps Volunteer where he taught math and science in the Kingdom of Swaziland  in Southern Africa. After ordination, he was Associate Pastor for St. Bridget Parish, Loves Park, Illinois and taught Medical Ethics at Saint Anthony College of Nursing in Rockford, Illinois. He is the author of The Virgin Martyrs: Hagiography and Mystagogical Interpretation and is current editor of Chicago Studies.


Cathy Crino earned both a B.A. and  Secondary Teaching Credentials at the University of California in Los Angeles.  She went on to earn M.Div from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA (Now the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College).  She is a Certified Pastoral Associate and a Certified Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago and currently serves in both roles at St. Alphonsus Parish, Chicago, Illinois.  Cathy has a wide range of experience in various aspects of parish ministry including running RCIA programs, Bible Study, adult catechesis, children’s religious education and Sacrament preparation, Ministry of Care, marriage preparation and annulment ministry (She is a Field Advocate for the Archdiocese’ Tribunal), Peace and Justice programs including Respect for Life, recruitment and training of liturgical ministers and coordinators, writing weekly bulletin inserts and managing the parish’s website and social media platforms.  Her publications include co-authoring “Infant Baptism: A Sourcebook for Parishes” and “Another Look at Children’s Liturgy of the Word.”


Joe Paprocki earned a B.A. and M.A.P.S. from Loyola University Chicago and  holds a D. Min from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He has been involved in the catechetical ministry for over 30 years and is presently serving at a parish in Evergreen Park, Il.  Joe also serves as the National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press.  He has authored a number of books – most notably,  The Bible Blueprint: A Catholic’s Guide to Understanding and Embracing God’s Word;Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your LifeThe Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education TeacherA Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe; Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith (all from Loyola Press).



June 21-26, 2015: PARABLES

2015 Speakers:

Fr. John Paul Heil S.S.D.

  • Parables as a Treasure for Disciples (Part 1: Matt 13:1-23)
  • Parables as a Treasure for Disciples (Part 2: Matt 13:24-52)
  • Parables as a Challenge for Disciples (Matt 25:1-46)

Professor Arland Hultgren Th.D

  •  Parables of the Lost and Found: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son 
  • Parables of Exemplary Behavior: The Good Samaritan, The Rich Fool, and the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
  • Parables Telling of Injustices:  The Unjust Steward, The Unjust Judge, and The Great Banquet

 Professor Wendy Cotter, C.S.J.

  •  The Mystery of Christ's New Life in Us: The Seed Growing Secretly (Mk 4:26-29) and The Lamp (Mk 4:21) Facing Up to Evil with the Hope of Christ: The Wicked Tenants (Mk 12:10);
  • The Fig Tree in Summer (Mk 13:28); and Waiting for the Master to Return to Us (Mk13: 34-37)
  • The Markan Jesus Calls Us To Something New: The Patch on a garment (Mark 2:21); The New Wineskins (Mk 2:22) and Concerning Salt (Mk 9:49-50)

  Professor Urban von Wahlde Ph.D

 John’s Gospel:  Jesus Reveals Himself in Parables

  •  “I am the Bread Come Down From Heaven”   
  • "I am the Good Shepherd; I am the Gate"  
  •  I am the Vine; I am the Way the Truth and the Life; I AM"

  Fr. Michael Fuller S.T.L, S.T.D.– Parables in Light of the Spiritual Life

  Cathy Crino  B.A.– Parables in Light of Catechesis

  Joe Paprocki – B.A., M.A.P.S. Parables in Light of Evangelization


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June 22-27, 2014: “Conquest & Kingship: Leadership in Joshua,Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings”

2014 Speakers:     

Rev. Leslie Hoppe, O.F.M., Ph.D. 

  • What Is a King To Do?  Deut 17:14-20”
  • Priests & Prophets: Deut 18:1-22
  • The Deuteronomic Alternative:  Deut 16:18–18:22"

Rev. John Kartje, Ph.D., S.T.D. 

  • “Identifying Biblical Wisdom Motifs in the   Deuteronomic History”
  • Conquering Wisely: The Biblical Warrior as Student and Sage”
  • Educating the Prince: Royal Wisdom Beyond Solomon”

Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza, Ph.D.

  • “Supporting Cast vs. Supporting Caste - The  Major Importance of Minor Biblical Characters”
  • “Two Starving Mothers Before a King –    II Kings 6. 24-31”
  • “A Servant Girl Overshadows a Military   General – II Kings 5”

Rev. David G. Monaco, C.P., Ph.D. 

  • “Struck from the Left: Ehud in   Judges 3:;12-4:1”
  • “How to Split and Doom Two Kingdoms in Two Easy Lessons: Rehoboam and Jeroboam in 1 Kings 11:45 - 14:31”
  • “Samson as the Anti-Judge: Judges 13-16” 

Very Rev. Robert Barron, M.A., S.T.D.  

  • “The Archetypes of the King in the Old Testament: Reflections on Adam, Moses & David”

Rabbi Michael Balinsky    

  • “But What of the Canaanites? Classical Jewish Commentaries on the Conquest of the Land of Israel”

Rev. Lawrence Hennessey, S.T.L., Ph.D.    (Friday 6/27 Morning)

  •  “Early Christian Exegesis of Old Testament History” 










Attendee Comments

“Summer Scripture Seminar is the perfect combination of erudition, stimulation, relaxation, pastoral sharing, spiritual renewal, and even physical exercise. My time at Mundelein is like an Emmaus trek with Jesus, and my heart burns with joy and insight the rest of the year.  Your hospitality invites, your grounds and buildings enchant, your vision inspires. I thank you each year….” - Fr. John


“I love the conversations at the table and in the living room. The camaraderie is worth the price of admission. The Summer Scripture Seminar presents a week of Biblical experts on a themed topic that year after year exceeds my expectations. It truly gives strength to my faith, food for the soul and a pure and lasting source for my spiritual life.”       - Deacon Bill


“This is an intellectual banquet. The rich ideas are accompanied by the convictions and enthusiasm of the speakers as well."


“An indispensable aid to me in refocusing myself and my ministry in rediscovering my rootedness in the revealed Word of God and in opening new perspectives on Scriptures which I have allowed to become stale.”

Contact Us

Associate Director, Megan Deichl    847.837.4558


Vice President/Director: Rev. Martin Zielinski 847.970.4875


Co-Director, Dr. Elizabeth Nagel    


Rev. John Lodge

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