Faculty & Staff Directory

Melanie Barrett, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Chairperson and Professor in the Department of Moral Theology. 


(847) 837-4523

B.A. (Political Science and International Studies), Northwestern University. M.A. (Divinity) and Ph.D. (Religious Ethics), University of Chicago Divinity School. S.T.L. (Dogmatic Theology), University of St. Mary of the Lake. S.T.D. (Moral Theology), University of Fribourg. Author of “Continuity, Pope Francis, and Amoris Laetitia,” in Vatican Insider. Author of “Doctrine and Praxis in Pope Francis’s Approach to Evangelization,” in Pope Francis and the Event of Encounter. Author of “Co-Creating With the Creator: A Virtue-Based Approach,” in Science, Faith, & Human Fertility: The Third Conference on Ethical Fertility Health Management. Author of two articles in Chicago Studies: “Ethics and the Need for God” (2018) and “Five Building Blocks for a Sound Moral Theology” (2012). Author of Love’s Beauty at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life: The Ethics of Catholic Theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. Currently completing a second book on suffering and the moral life in the work of Thomas Aquinas. Member of editorial board, Chicago Studies. Member of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Academy of Catholic Theology, the American Academy of Religion, and the Catholic Women’s Forum for the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


Pope Francis and the Event of Encounter (Global Perspectives on the New Evangelization)

Edited by John C. Cavadini and Donald Wallenfang

Dr. Barrett contributed chapter 7.

Pickwick Publications, 2018. 279 pages

Science, Faith and Human Fertility

Science, Faith and Human Fertility: Third Conference on Ethical Fertility Health Management

Edited by Richard Fehring and Theresa Notare

Dr. Barrett contributed the chapter, Co-Creating with the Creator: a Virtue Ethics Based Approach

Marquette University Press, 2012, 421 pages

Love’s Beauty at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life

Love’s Beauty at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life develops the ethical theory implicit in the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a prominent 20th century Swiss Catholic theologian, attempting to retrieve the concept of beauty for Christian theology and yielding important ethical insights, culminating in an aesthetic and dramatic theory of ethics: one in which the perception of the beauty of God’s love in Christ becomes a foundational experience for moral formation and ongoing ethical discernment.

Edwin Mellen Press, 2009, 317 pages