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School of Arts and Sciences | Religious Studies Faculty

Sister Lisa Marie Belz, OSU, Ph.D.

Chair of Religious Studies and Assistant Professor, Religious Studies/Graduate Ministry

B.A.,  Ursuline College

M.A., Boston College

M.T.S., University of Notre Dame (South Bend)

Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago


Office: 440 684 6030

Courses taught: Hebrew Scriptures, Christian Scriptures, Spirituality for Ministry, Christology

Sister Lisa Marie Belz is the Chair of Religious Studies and Assistant Professor for Religious Studies and Graduate Ministry.  A popular speaker and lecturer, Sister Lisa Marie gives talks, conferences, and retreats in both Spanish and English, locally, nationally, and internationally, on topics related to Scripture, Women in Early Christianity, Women in Scripture, Christian Spirituality, Christian Mysticism, and Social Justice. Sister Lisa Marie’s research interests include the Historical Jesus, Pauline and Deutero-Pauline literature, Second Temple Judaism, Hellenistic Judaism, women in early Christianity, early Christian families, biblical interpretation, and women in the Dead Sea Scrolls; Sister Lisa Marie has presented her research at scholarly conferences both nationally and regionally. In addition to her experience as an educator, Sister Lisa Marie served on the Cleveland Latin American Mission Team in El Salvador for a number of years. She brings her experience of the developing world to her work as a scholar, teacher, writer, and speaker. 

Linda Martin, Ph.D.

Director, Co-Director of Theological and Pastoral Studies Program

Associate Professor of Theological and Pastoral Studies 

B.A., Grove City College

M.Div., Vanderbilt Divinity School

M.Phil., Drew University

Ph.D., Drew University

Office: 440 646 8191


Courses taught: Foundations of Theology, Social Justice, Final Practicum, Ecumenism, Church History, Christian Anthropology

Dr. Linda Martin is Associate Professor and Co- Director of the Graduate Program in Theological and Pastoral Studies at Ursuline College.  She specializes in the areas of Church History, American Religion and Culture, Anthropology and Sociology of Religion, and Women in Christianity.  She has written, spoken and taught broadly at academic conferences and in the community on topics ranging from Christian Fundamentalism and Women in the Salvation Army to the Power of Forgiveness, Social Justice and Human Agency, and Reconciliation.  Dr. Martin has been honored with the Teaching Excellence Award and is a deeply committed educator who is passionate about working with broadly diverse students, both in the classroom and as an adviser. She has served actively in her parish and in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, having held positions on the parish vestry, the Christian Formation Committee, the Commission on Ministry, the Deacon Formation Committee, the Bishop’s Advisory Committee for Applicants to the Ministry, and Diocesan Council.

George S. Matejka, Ph.D.

Professor, Philosophy

B.A., The Catholic University of America

M.A., The Catholic University of America

S.T.B., The Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

S.T.L., The Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

Ph.D., Duquesne University


Office: 440 646 8393

Courses taught: Philosophical Ethics

Dr. George Matejka is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Ursuline College.  He holds the Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duquesne University and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a Specialization in Biblical Studies from the Gregorian University, Rome, Italy.  Because of his expertise in Bioethics, Dr. Matejka has been  appointed to and currently serves on the Ethics Committees of both St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and Jennings Center for Older Adults.  

Dr. Matejka also has a strong interest in the ethical dimension of human relationships with animals and has lectured at the National Animal Rights Conference several times.  He has published reviews of several books in the field of Animals and Ethics.  Dr. Matejka has lectured at conferences at Oxford University, England, as well as at Yale University and Michigan State University.  Dr. Matejka has served as a Board member of the Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies for several years and presently serves as the Board President.

Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

B.A., Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

M.B.A., University of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio

M.A., John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio

Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California


Office: 440 684 6034

Courses Taught: Foundations of Theology, Feminist Theology

Dr. Gina Messina-Dysert is Assistant Professor and Co-founder and Co-Director of Feminism and Religion.  She has authored multiple articles, the book Rape Culture and Spiritual Violence (Acumen, 2014), and is co-editor (with Rosemary Radford Ruether) of Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014). Dr. Messina-Dysert is a widely sought after speaker and has presented across the US at universities, organizations, conferences, and in the national news circuit about matters impacting women around the world. Her research interests are theologically and ethically driven, involve a feminist and interdisciplinary approach, and are influenced by her activist roots and experience working with survivors of rape and domestic violence.  Dr. Messina-Dysert can be followed on Twitter @FemTheologian and her website can be accessed at http://ginamessinadysert.com

Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ph.D.

Professor of Religious Studies

B.A., John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio

M.A., Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California

Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois


Office: 440 684 6007

Dr. Natalie Kertes Weaver is Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of Theology and Pastoral Studies at Ursuline College. Dr. Weaver’s academic books includeMarriage and Family: A Christian Theological Foundation (Anselm, 2009)Christian Thought and Practice: A Primer (Anselm, 2012); and The Theology of Suffering and Death: An Introduction for Caregivers (Routledge, 2013); and Christian Thought and Practice: A Primer - Revised Edition (Anselm, 2015). Dr. Weaver is currently writing Made in the Image of God: Intersex and the Revisioning of Theological Anthropology (Wipf & Stock, 2017).  Dr. Weaver has also authored two art books: Interior Design: Rooms of a Half-Life and Baby’s First Latin.  Dr. Weaver’s areas of interest and expertise include: feminist theology; theology of suffering; theology of the family; religion and violence; and (inter)sex and theology.