UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School alumnus Martin Connell has been named rector at the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University. Fr. Connell will begin his new role this summer.
Fr. Connell expressed his excitement about his new mission: “I completed my degree at JST 25 years ago, and I’m grateful for the preparation I received to minister in the Church as a Jesuit priest. Pope Francis has repeatedly underscored the importance of discernment for ministers in the Church. JST played an important role in forming me in spiritual discernment, and my time there was marked by supportive friendships with lay students and members of other religious congregations. I look forward to returning to ‘Holy Hill’.”
After finishing theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology, Fr. Connell was ordained in 1994 and began serving as assistant principal for academic affairs at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. For the next several years, he served as principal at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy before earning a Ph.D. in teaching and learning from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara. In the Department of Education he worked with advisors Jenny Cook-Gumperz and Jason Duque.
From 2005–2009, Fr. Connell taught in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and then moved to Dodoma, Tanzania, where he helped co-found a coeducational Jesuit boarding school, St. Peter Claver High School. Fr. Connell returned to the U.S. in 2013 to serve as rector of the Jesuits in Cleveland and currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Education and School Psychology at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.