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About the Center

Villanova University's Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy builds upon the Law School’s Augustinian Catholic mission to create opportunities for conferences and lectures, research, and student programs in the areas of law, religion, and public policy. The McCullen Center was launched in 2017 and builds upon Villanova University’s goal of creating centers of excellence that support the entire Villanova community in its academic and research initiatives. The McCullen Center is directed by Michael Moreland, who was named University Professor of Law and Religion at Villanova University in the summer of 2017. The subjects on which the Center focuses are constitutional liberty (particularly the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion) and the place of religion in civil society. The Center will oversee the design of innovative new courses and academic opportunities, offer concentration programs, bring leading policymakers and scholars to Villanova, conduct conferences and seminars on emerging issues, sponsor interdisciplinary research and collaboration, and serve as a resource for the media and external audiences on topics at the intersection of law, religion, and public policy.


Curricular Innovation

New academic programming will be introduced under the auspices of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy, including innovative coursework, a visiting scholars program, and conferences and seminars on emerging issues in these fields. The Center, which will serve as a resource for the entire University community, will sponsor interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Additional initiatives being explored for inclusion as part of the Center include clinical opportunities and a concentration program in law and religion.




Religious Freedom: A Global Conversation

February 10, 2020

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy and the Villanova Political Theology Project welcome Michael D. McNally, John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies at Carleton College, Emilia Justyna Powell, Associate Professor of Political Science and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, and Jolyon Thomas, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at The University of Pennsylvania. These scholars will discuss their new books exploring religious freedom and the intersection of law and religion in the global context. More...

Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech

November 12, 2019

The McCullen Center welcomed Keith Whittington, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University. This lecture focused on his book Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech, which won the PROSE Award for best book in education and the Heterodox Academy Award for Exceptional Scholarship. The book examines the debate around free speech on campuses and argues that free speech is the lifeblood of universities, and posits that universities must make room for free speech from all sides of the political spectrum.

The Irony of Modern Catholic History

November 4, 2019

The McCullen Center welcomed George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies of the Ethics & Public Policy Center to discuss his new book, The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform. An account of two centuries of profound change in the Catholic Church and the world, the book reveals how Catholicism offers 21st Century essential truths for society’s survival and flourishing.

Weigel is a Catholic theologian and one of America’s leading public intellectuals. He is the author of more than 20 books, and is perhaps best known for his widely translated and internationally acclaimed two-volume biography of Pope St. John Paul II, The New York Times bestseller, Witness to Hope (1999), and its sequel, The End and the Beginning (2010). In 2017, Weigel published a memoir of the experiences that led to his papal biography, Lessons in Hope — My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II. His essays, op-ed columns and reviews appear regularly in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to 85 newspapers and magazines in seven countries.

The Art and Science of Judging in a Constitutional Republic

October 28, 2019

The McCullen Center welcomed The Honorable Thomas Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Hardiman was nominated by President George W. Bush to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on January 9, 2007 and was confirmed by the Senate (95-0) on March 15, 2007. Prior to becoming an appellate judge, he served as a trial judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania as of November 1, 2003. Before entering judicial service, Judge Hardiman handled a wide variety of litigation matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts as a partner at Reed Smith LLP (1999-2003), a partner at Titus & McConomy LLP (1996-1999), and as an associate with its predecessor firm, Cindrich & Titus (1992-1996). A graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1987) and Georgetown University Law Center (1990), Judge Hardiman began his legal career as an associate in the Washington D.C. office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (1990-1992). His chambers are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A Christian Idea of Our Society

September 27, 2019

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy and the Fondazione de Gasperi sponsored a seminar in Rome at the Palazzo Giustiniani on September 27, 2019. The seminar brought together scholars from across the world to discuss “A Christian Idea of Our Society.” Panelists included McCullen Center Director and University Professor of Law and Religion, Michael P. Moreland, JD, PhD.


Law and the Augustinian Tradition Lecture Series

September 5, 2019

Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan, Jr. Emeritus Professor at University of Virginia, presented the 2019 Law and the Augustinian Tradition Lecture on "Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom."

One of the leading historians of Christianity, Professor Wilken is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and past president of the American Academy of Religion, the North American Patristics Society, and the Academy of Catholic Theology. He is chairman of the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, the publisher of First Things. Professor Wilken’s most recent book is Liberty in the Things of God: The Christian Origins of Religious Freedom (Yale University Press, 2019)Among his other books are The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (2013), The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (2005), The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (2004), The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (2003), John Chrysostom and the Jews (1983), and Remembering the Christian Past (1995).  He has taught at the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Fordham University, the University of Notre Dame, the Institutum Patristicum (Augustinianum) in Rome, the Gregorian University (also in Rome), and Providence College. Professor Wilken received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Promoting a Responsible and Free Conscience in Today's Society

June 14-15, 2019

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy co-sponsored a workshop on "Promoting a Reponsible and Free Conscience in Today's Society" at Blackfriars, Oxford in June 2019. Barroness Nuala O'Loan, Member of the House of Lords, delivered the keynote address. Other event sponsors included Las Casas Institute; the Aquinas Institute; the Anscombe Centre, Oxford; and the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham.


The Honorable Amy Coney Barrett on Constitutional Originalism and Continuity

February 25, 2019

The Honorable Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in November 2017. Before joining the bench, she served on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she continues to teach. A video of the lecture can be viewed here.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Keynotes Conference on “The Value of Tradition in the Global Context” Co-Sponsored by Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy

December 2018

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law co-sponsored a gathering of international jurists and scholars at the Rome campus of Università LUMSA in December 2018 for “The Value of Tradition in the Global Context.” The event featured a keynote address by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Read more

Law and the Augustinian Tradition Inaugural Lecture Series

August 28, 2018

Beginning in August 2018, The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy will be hosting a lecture series on "Law and the Augustinian Tradition.”

John Witte, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, McDonald Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University School of Law, will deliver the inaugural lecture “From Gospel to Law: Martin Luther’s Reformation of Law, Politics, and Society.”

The Annual Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture

April 24, 2018

Anthony T. Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School, presented at the 2018 Donald A. Giannella Memorial Lecture.

Called “The Sage of Yale Law” by The New Yorker, Anthony T. Kronman is the former Dean of Yale Law School and current Sterling Professor of Law. He has served on the Yale faculty for nearly four decades and teaches in the areas of contracts, bankruptcy, jurisprudence, social theory and professional responsibility. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and a JD from Yale University.

Professor Kronman has written several books on law, legal ethics, higher education and philosophy including Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life (2008) and The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession (1995). His most recent book, Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan (2016), was the subject of a column by David Brooks in The New York Times.

The 2018 Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law

April 10, 2018

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy welcomed Ross Douthat, Columnist, The New York Times, to speak on "Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism." Ross Douthat is an opinion columnist for The New York Times, covering politics, religion, moral values and higher education. He joined The New York Times in 2009 as an Op-Ed columnist. Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for

Douthat is also the author of To Change the Church (2018), Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (2012), and Privilege: Harvard and Education of the Ruling Class (2005), and a co-author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008). He is also the film critic for National Review.

The 2017 Joseph T. McCullen Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law

This annual symposium takes place on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Laurence E. Hirsch '71 Classroom (Room 101) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova, PA). 

Click here for more information.  



New Constitutional Studies Initiative to Examine the First Amendment Guarantees of Freedom of Speech and Religion

New initiative is part of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at the Charles Widger School of Law

October 10, 2019

VILLANOVA, Pa.— Students and scholars will explore the significance of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and religion, as well as the relationship between economic freedom and civil society, through a new Constitutional Studies Initiative. The initiative—which will operate under the auspices of the Charles Widger School of Law’s Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy—is funded by a $1.69 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. More...

Villanova University Appoints Michael P. Moreland, JD, PhD, as University Professor of Law and Religion

June 22, 2017

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. More...

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Names the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy in Recognition of Gifts Totaling $5 Million

March 15, 2017

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law announced today that its Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy will be named in honor of Eleanor H. McCullen, recognizing recent gifts totaling $5 million from her husband, Joseph T. McCullen Jr. ’57 CLAS. Mr. McCullen has supported the University and the Law School for many years, including the establishment in 2007 of The Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law. More...

About Joseph and Eleanor McCullen

Joseph McCullen is the Chairman of McCullen Capital, LLC (MCAP), a Boston-based family office formed in 2000 to manage and invest the assets of the McCullen family.  MCAP also provides administrative support to the McCullen family’s 501(c)(3) charitable foundation known as the Flame of Love Foundation, which was established to provide assistance to distressed and poor individuals.

Mr. McCullen’s business career includes 25 highly successful years as an early-stage venture capitalist, focusing on high technology companies. Mr. McCullen was a board member and the founding investor in numerous private companies, several of which attained valuations in excess of a billion dollars upon sale or IPO. He served as a Managing Director of J.H. Whitney & Co. and OneLiberty Ventures (now called Flagship Ventures).

Mr. McCullen devoted 12 years to government service, four of them in the military as a young man, and later as a Special Assistant to the President of the United States (1971-1973). He went on to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Acting Secretary of the Navy (1973-1977).  Mr. McCullen also was an Associate Director of Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Transition Team. During his service to the country, he was the recipient of two Distinguished Public Service Medals. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University in 1957 and received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater in 1976.  .

The McCullens, particularly Eleanor, have a long history of supporting legal issues related to religious freedom. Mrs. McCullen, a lifelong Catholic and pro-life activist, was lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case McCullen v. Coakley. In that case, which was adjudicated in June 2014, the Supreme Court made a unanimous decision that struck down a Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone statute on First Amendment grounds. 

Mrs. McCullen is a lay Franciscan who previously was the Vice Minister of the Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunkport, Maine. She has devoted much of her life to counseling pregnant women considering abortions; she has provided spiritual guidance, financial assistance, food, material items and has helped secure employment for mothers and fathers. In addition, Mrs. McCullen counsels prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk, Massachusetts. With her encouragement, several inmates have received college degrees, authored books and produced poetry and works of art. She has assisted former prisoners when they returned to society.

Frequently featured on the national public speaker circuit, Mrs. McCullen has been profiled in publications such as The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and National Review. She has studied at St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania and received an honorary PhD of Humane Letters from Holy Apostles College in Connecticut.

About McCullen v. Coakley

In 2014, the United States Supreme Court considered whether a Massachusetts statute that criminalized knowingly entering or remaining within a 35-foot radius of a health care facility that performs abortions violated the First Amendment.

Eleanor McCullen, the lead plaintiff, regularly stood outside of a Boston abortion clinic offering counseling to women who were seeking an abortion. Mrs. McCullen believed that protesting abortion with shouting or violence was counterproductive, and she believed that approaching people with an open demeanor, surrounding women with love, and offering counseling was a better method of speaking to women considering abortion. 

The Massachusetts statute made Mrs. McCullen’s counseling much more difficult, resulting in her mistaking passersby with women who were about to receive an abortion, having to raise her voice, or having to stop counseling a woman once she approached the painted buffer zone. All of this, Mrs. McCullen believed, hampered her ability to effectively counsel women about abortion alternatives. 

Mrs. McCullen and the other plaintiffs raised two arguments: (1) the Massachusetts statute violated the First Amendment because it impermissibly discriminated against speech on the basis of content by restricting only speech against abortion, and (2) the Massachusetts statute burdened more speech than necessary to further a legitimate government purpose.

The Supreme Court decided unanimously that the Massachusetts statute violated the First Amendment. The majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts rejected the first argument because it held that the Massachusetts buffer zone did not discriminate based on content or viewpoint. But even as a content-neutral regulation of speech, the Chief Justice noted that the statute must be “narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest.” As the Chief Justice wrote:

The tailoring requirement does not simply guard against an impermissible desire to censor. The government may attempt to suppress speech not only because it disagrees with the message being expressed, but also for mere convenience. Where certain speech is associated with particular problems, silencing the speech is sometimes the path of least resistance. But by demanding a close fit between ends and means, the tailoring requirement prevents the government from too readily “sacrific[ing] speech for efficiency.”

The Court noted that one-on-one communication is the most effective form of communication for petitioning or advocating for a particular view in a public forum, such as a sidewalk. Therefore, the Court held that the statute imposed a significant burden on speech. Additionally, the Court held that the Massachusetts General Assembly had not legitimately considered other, less intrusive legislation that would still serve legitimate state concerns, such as intimidating employees and women seeking an abortion or destroying property. Because “[t]he buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests,” the statute was held unconstitutional.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia (joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Clarence Thomas) argued that the Massachusetts statute was a content-based restriction on speech and subject to strict scrutiny. Justice Samuel Alito also wrote a concurring opinion and argued that the statute imposed a viewpoint-based restriction on speech.

McCullen v. Coakley represented a significant development in the protection of freedom of speech under the First Amendment. It holds that even content-neutral restrictions on speech must still satisfy certain limitations and that the government may not censor speech purely as a matter of convenience. The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University is proud to bear the name of such a hero for the cause of freedom of speech.

About the Director

Michael Moreland was appointed University Professor of Law and Religion and Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy in 2017. Dr. Moreland joined the Villanova faculty in 2006 and served as Vice Dean from 2012 to 2015. At Villanova, he has taught Torts, Evidence, Bioethics and the Law, Advanced Torts, Constitutional Law II (First Amendment and Equal Protection), Justice and Rights (1L elective), and seminars in law and religion.

As University Professor, 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 position Villanova as a leader at the crossroads of law, religion and public policy. In his role with the McCullen Center, Dr. Moreland will oversee the creation of innovative academic programming, a visiting scholars program and conferences on emerging issues in these fields.

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. 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 the Forbes Visiting Fellow at Princeton University in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions during academic year 2010-11. Dr. Moreland served as the project leader for The Libertas Project, a program from 2013 to 2015 at Villanova sponsored by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation exploring religious and economic freedom in the context of law and religion in American public life.

Dr. Moreland received his BA in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, his MA and PhD in theological ethics from Boston College, and his JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Following law school, Professor Moreland clerked 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, DC, where he represented clients in First Amendment, professional liability, and products liability matters. Before coming to Villanova, he served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights, and liability reform.

Recent Publications:

Michael P. Moreland, Defending the Freedom of the Church, First Things (July 14, 2020), available at

Michael P. Moreland, Justices rightly defend churches' autonomy on who teaches the Faith, Our Sunday Visitor (July 9, 2020), available at

Recent Legal Action:

Joined an amicus brief filed on April 29, 2020 in support of petitioners in Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh (U.S. Supreme Court) (Whether Pittsburgh's abortion clinic buffer-zone ordinance violates the Free Speech Clause.)

Joined an amicus brief filed on February 12, 2020 in support of respondents in Tanzin v. Tanvir (U.S. Supreme Court) (Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act permits suits seeking money damages against federal employees.)

Joined an amicus brief filed on February 10, 2020 in support of petitioners in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru (U.S. Supreme Court) (Whether the First Amendment's religion clauses prevent civil courts from adjudicating employment-discrimination claims brought by an employee against a religious employer, when the employee carried out important religious functions.)

Recent Media Appearances:

Quoted in the Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court religious liberty wins could signal landmark conservative victory in gay adoption case" on July 13, 2020.

Quoted in the Washington Post, "Ruling on LGBTQ rights rattles religious conservatives" on June 15, 2020.

Interviewed for NBC10, "'We Had Tommy Guns': Owners' Stories of Saving Stores Amid Looting" on June 13, 2020.

Interviewed for KYW In Depth, "How much power do local governments have when it comes to curfews?" on June 10, 2020.

Interviewed for KYW, "Curfews, stay-at-home orders, and the broad power of local governments" on June 5, 2020.

Interviewed for NBC10, "Will Social Media Executive Order Help or Hurt President Trump?" on May 28, 2020.

Participated in webinar on "The Constitution and COVID-19" co-sponsored by the McCullen Center and the Union League Legacy Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 13, 2020.

Interviewed for Voice of America, "Trump's financials argued at Supreme Court" on May 12, 2020.

Quoted in Spotlight PA, "Wolf faces 4 p.m. deadline to comply with subpoena for business waiver records. Here are his options" on May 8, 2020.

Quoted in Deseret News (Salt Lake City), "As states release reopening plans, churches plan for the future with caution" on April 25, 2020.

Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. attorney uses over California's coronavirus ban on religious gatherings" on April 17, 2020.

Interviewed for NBC10, "Who has the authority to close down local businesses?" on April, 15, 2020.

Quoted in Catholic News Service, "Shutdown of religious services in pandemic prompts varied responses" on April 15, 2020.

Quoted in Deseret News (Salt Lake City), "Justice Department speaks out on church closures, condemns religious freedom violations in new statement" on April 14, 2020.

Quoted in Bloomberg News, "Americans Most Likely to Be Infected: The Faithful, Jailed or Old" on April 11, 2020.

Participated in a Federalist Society teleforum on "Religious Freedom in a Pandemic" on April 8, 2020.

Presented (via Zoom) on "Landmark Cases for the Free Exercise Clause," Legal Humanities Fellowship, Collegium Institute, University of Pennsylvania on March 30, 2020.

Quoted in Deseret News (Salt Lake City), "Schools, libraries and gyms are shut down. Why are some churches still open?" on March 27, 2020.

Quoted in Deseret News (Salt Lake City), "Yes, the government can force churches to close. Here's why" on March 21, 2020.

McCullen Center Summer Fellowship Program

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy is pleased to announce its inaugural Summer Fellowship Program. Villanova University law students, graduate students, and undergraduate students are invited to apply. The McCullen Center will sponsor up to 15 student summer fellowships at up to $5000 each.

The Summer Fellowship Program seeks to support student internship placements or research assistantships that reflect and advance the mission of the McCullen Center in the areas of constitutional studies (particularly freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and economic liberty), the role of religion in civil society, and the promotion of human dignity and the common good.

The summer internship program is available to students who are planning to pursue an internship placement in a field related to the mission of the McCullen Center. Likewise, research assistantships are available to students who wish to conduct research projects under faculty supervision on issues related to the intersection of law, religion, and public policy.

The following application materials are required:

-a resume or CV

-a proposal that describes the nature of the internship or research project and its connections to the mission of the McCullen Center (approximately 500-1000 words)

-an itemized budget detailing how funding will be spent with anticipated start and end dates

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and should be submitted through the form available here. For priority consideration, the deadline for applications is February 28, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Moreland, Director of the McCullen Center ( or Melanie Dudley, Assistant Director and Program Manager of the McCullen Center (

Faculty Fellows

Vincent Lloyd is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Villanova University, where he also directs the Villanova Political Theology Project. As a scholar of race, religion, and politics, he uses the tools of critical theory to advance social justice. Lloyd co-edits the journal Political Theology and edits the book series Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion, published by Oxford University Press. His book Black Dignity: A Philosophy is forthcoming from Yale University Press.

Vincent Lloyd received his B.A. from Princeton University, his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of a California, Berkeley, and was an Exchange Scholar at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Lloyd was a visiting faculty fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and an adjunct fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.


Dr. Daniel Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, where he has taught since 2013. He served for four years on the nine-member, bipartisan US Commission on International Religious Freedom, most recently as chairman. He was appointed to the commission by then-Speaker of the House John Boehner in May, 2014, and reappointed in May, 2016, by Speaker Paul Ryan.

At Villanova, Dr. Mark teaches political theory, philosophy of law, American political thought, and politics and religion. He is a faculty associate of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good, and he holds the rank of battalion professor in Villanova’s Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit. He is also on the steering committee for the Villanova Political Theology Project and on the graduate committee of the Department of Political Science. He has served as the faculty adviser to the mock trial team and to the men’s club lacrosse team and as a mentor in the university’s Faith and Learning Scholars Program.

Dr. Mark is a fellow of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ, and works with the Tikvah Fund in New York. He is an affiliated scholar of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding in Washington, DC, and of the American Bible Society’s Faith and Discovery Learning Center, and he is a senior fellow of the Religious Freedom Institute’s North American Action Team. Dr. Mark is also a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty; of the advisory council of CanaVox; and of the board of advisors of the Blackstone and Burke Center for Law and Liberty at Faulker University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. He has served as an assistant editor of the journal Interpretation and is a contributor to the Arc of the Universe blog.

For the 2017-18 academic year, Dr. Mark was a visiting fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame under the sponsorship of the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry Into Religion and Public Life as well as the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study; the Program on Church, State, and Society; and the Center for Ethics and Culture. In the 2015-16 academic year, he was a visiting fellow in the Department of Politics at Princeton University under the sponsorship of the department’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. In 2013, Dr. Mark taught at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University.

Dr. Mark speaks frequently for a wide variety of groups, including the Acton Institute, the US Military Academy (West Point), the American Enterprise Institute, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Love and Fidelity Network, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Opus Dei, the Agora Institute, and Chabad. In September, 2015, Daniel spoke at the World Meeting of Families, a triennial event organized by the Catholic Church, which drew 20,000 participants to Philadelphia. Other appearances have included speeches at Ave Maria University, Arizona State University, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Colorado Christian University, Eastern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the Mount Academy, the Bruderhof (Anabaptist) high school in upstate New York.

In addition to his academic writing, Dr. Mark has published on topics related to international religious freedom in US News & World Report, Investor’s Business Daily, Foreign Affairs, The Hill, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he has appeared on CNN, Al Jazeera America, CBS radio in Philadelphia, KNUS radio in Denver, and Relevant Radio, among other outlets.

He holds a BA (magna cum laude), MA, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He wrote his dissertation under the direction of Professor Robert P. George on the subject of “Authority and Legal Obligation.”  There, he participated in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Penn-Princeton Bioethics Forum. He was also affiliated with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and served as coordinator of its Undergraduate Fellows Forum.

Before graduate school, Dr. Mark spent four years as a high school teacher in New York City, and he received the New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner’s Distinguished Teacher Candidate Award while earning his teaching certification.

Chaim Saiman is a scholar of Jewish law, insurance law and private law, and has recently published Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law with Princeton University Press. Professor Saiman has served as the Gruss Visiting Professor of Talmudic Law at both Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a visiting fellow at Princeton University and a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, Bar-Ilan, Hebrew University and IDC faculties of law. Saiman serves as a rabbinical court judge (dayyan) with the Beth Din of America and has served an expert witness in insurance law and Jewish law in federal court.

Professor Saiman received his B.S. from Georgia State University, and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. He also studied for a number of years at Yeshivat Har-Etzion (Gush) and Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh in Israel. Prior to joining the faculty at Villanova, he was an Olin Fellow at Harvard Law School a Golieb Fellow at NYU Law School, a law clerk to Judge Michael McConnell on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a corporate associate with the firm Cleary Gottlieb in New York. At Villanova, Professor Saiman teaches Contracts, Insurance Law, Insurance Coverage Disputes, Jewish Law, and Legislation.

Catherine Wilson is Associate Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University, where she chairs the Public Administration Department.  She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Villanova since 2005.  Wilson’s fields of study are nonprofit management, immigration politics, and cultural competency.  She is interested in the role that community and grassroots organizations play in delivering services to minority communities – ethnic, racial, and cultural minorities as well as immigrants – in the United States. 

Catherine Wilson received her B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University, her M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson was a William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life at Princeton University’s James Madison Program.  She is an At-Large Member of the Community and Grassroots Associations Section for the Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and also serves as a member of the Advisory Council for Ciencia, Fe, y Esperanza (Science, Faith, and Hope) for Esperanza, a faith-based organization headquartered in Philadelphia. Wilson also sits on the Board of Directors for Catholic Social Services (CSS) in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as on its Strategic Planning Committee.   In addition, she serves as a Nonresident Visiting Fellow at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania.