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. Recent publications include: “David Novak and Jewish Natural Law: How a Theistic Believer Engages a Pluralistic and Secular Milieu” (2021), “Virtuous Obedience Amidst Competing Loyalties:  Navigating the Ecclesial Landscape” (2021), “Catholic Voting: How Ecclesial Authority, Moral Principles, and Prudential Judgment Intersect” (2020), “Restoring our Christ-Centered Vision:  The Seminary as Contemporary Bethsaida” (2020), “Pilate’s Question in a Post-Truth Context” (2019), “Ethics and the Need for God” (2018), “Continuity, Pope Francis, and Amoris Laetitia” (2018), and “Doctrine and Praxis in Pope Francis’s Approach to Evangelization” (2018). 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 Chicago Studies editorial board.  Member of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Academy of Catholic Theology, and the Catholic Theological Society of America.


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