Sara Fairbanks, OP, PhD

Sara Fairbanks, OP, PhD

Associate Professor


Sr. Sara Fairbanks joined the Barry faculty in 1999. She earned a BA degree from Wilson College, an MA in Theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology, and a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto.

Sr. Sara joined the Dominican Sister of Adrian, Michigan in 1985. Her ministerial experiences include: child care worker and development assistant for Covenant House, elementary school teacher, and campus minister at Barry University.

Sr. Sara's field is systematic theology. Her professional interests include Vatican II studies, ecclesiology, theology of ministry, theology of preaching, theology of the laity, prayer and spirituality. Her publications focus particularly around the issues involved in lay liturgical preaching in the Roman Catholic Church.

Recent publications include:

  • “Luke 9:43b-50, Luke 9: 51-62; Luke 10:1-16.” in Feasting on the Gospels—Luke Volume 1: A Feasting on the Word Commentary. Ed. Jarvis, Cynthia, and E. Elisabeth Johnson, Louisvile, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.
  • "Greening the Nicene Creed: Liturgical Grounding for Ecological Ethics and Action" Liturgical Ministry 20 (Spring, 2011): 79-86.
  • "The Dynamics of Faith and Revelation." Theology: Faith, Beliefs, Traditions. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2010.
  • "Theology: Contextual and Practical." Theology: Faith, Beliefs, Traditions. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2010.
  • "Displaced Persons: Lay Liturgical Preachers at the Eucharist," Worship, Vol. 77, No. 5, Sept. 2003.
  • "Liturgical Preaching by Lay Ecclesial Ministers: What Difference Does it Make?" Liturgical Ministry, Vol. 15, Winter 2006.
  • "Lay Ecclesial Ministers: Builder of JustChurch," Liturgical Ministry, Vol. 17, Fall 2006.
  • Sister Sara was the 2007 Pollok Lecturer at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She presented three lectures on "Practical Theology and Ministry in Service of a Just Church."
  • In February 2009 she was a keynote speaker at the NOCERCC Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she presented her paper "The Centrality of Religious Experience in the Proclamation of the Gospel: Ongoing Spiritual Formation for More Effective Preaching."