Villanova, Pa. – Villanova University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, today announced the appointment of Michael P. Moreland, JD, PhD, as University Professor of Law and Religion. Among Villanova’s highest academic honors, the University Professor recognizes distinguished faculty whose extraordinary scholarly achievement and accomplishment spans disciplines and crosses traditional college boundaries. Dr. Moreland will also serve as the Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy in the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.
In his new role, Dr. Moreland will promote cross-campus research, programming and collaboration; foster high-visibility academic initiatives at the national and international levels; have the ability to teach across the University; and enhance Villanova’s position as a leader at the crossroads of law, religion and public policy. As Director of the McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy, Dr. Moreland will oversee the creation of innovative academic programming, a visiting scholars program and conferences on emerging issues in these fields.
“The establishment of a University Professorship in Law and Religion recognizes Dr. Moreland’s outstanding scholarly achievements and teaching in those fields. Since joining the Law School faculty, he has fostered strong interdisciplinary ties throughout campus, working collaboratively with colleagues in other colleges and teaching courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Provost Maggitti. “As one of the highest academic honors bestowed upon faculty, Dr. Moreland is the perfect choice for the University Professorship in Law and Religion.”
A renowned scholar of constitutional law, torts, bioethics and religious freedom, Dr. Moreland is frequently sought for commentary at national and international conferences, in the media and before Congress. Uniquely qualified for this new role, he holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, an MA and PhD in Theological Ethics from Boston College and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He has published articles in leading legal, public policy and medical journals, including Notre Dame Law Review, Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy and Law and Contemporary Problems. His chapters on law, ethics and religion have been featured in numerous books, including titles published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.
Most recently, Dr. Moreland was a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and the Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture from 2015 to 2017. He was also the Forbes Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University in 2010-11.
“I am delighted to return to Villanova as University Professor of Law and Religion and Director of the McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy,” said Dr. Moreland. “I look forward to working collaboratively and across disciplines at Villanova to further the study of law and religion and to move the McCullen Center into the forefront of the national dialogue in these important areas.”
Prior to joining Villanova in 2006, Dr. Moreland served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a wide range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights and liability reform. He began his legal career as a clerk for the Honorable Paul J. Kelly Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and was an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C.
The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy was established in 2015 and named in 2017, recognizing gifts from Joseph T. McCullen Jr. ’57 CLAS in honor of his wife, Eleanor. The Center will serve as a resource for the entire University community and will sponsor interdisciplinary research and collaboration. It also will offer new academic programming, including innovative coursework, a visiting scholars program and conferences and seminars on emerging issues in the areas of law, religion and public policy. Additionally, future initiatives will include an adoption clinic and a concentration program in law and religion.
About Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law: Founded in 1953, the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law provides broad-based legal education that is grounded in academic rigor, practical hands-on training and a foundation in business that prepares graduates for diverse and rewarding legal careers. The Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association, offers six in-house clinics and more than 150 externship opportunities that immerse students in the real-world application of their legal skills. Villanova is home to Centers of Excellence—the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy; the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance; the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship; and the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law—which provide students the opportunity to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary legal fields through study, practical experience and mentorship.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.