Marc Lavallee, PhD

Marc Lavallee, PhD

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Director of the Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Ministry


Dr. Marc Lavallee is assistant professor of practical theology at Barry University where he serves as director of the Master of Arts in Practical Theology and Ministry. He received his BA in Theology from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Montana before receiving his MA in Religion from Yale University Divinity School. He holds a PhD in Practical Theology from Boston University; his dissertation is entitled, "Discernment, Practical Wisdom, and Christian Spirituality: A Study in Practical Theological Method."

Dr. Lavallee's scholarly interests and publications cover a wide range of topics in public and practical theology and Christian spirituality, including theological hermeneutics, practical theological methodology, contextual theology, Christian discernment, religious education, ecclesiology, theological ethnography, and wisdom traditions. He is a member of many theological societies, including the American Academy of Religion, the Association of Practical Theology, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the College Theology Society. A former Benedictine monk, Dr. Lavallee's writing and teaching focuses on Christian spirituality, faith practices and religious communities, covering historical and contemporary practices of lived Christian faith across the globe.



  • “"A Little Rule for Beginners": Benedictine Spirituality and the "New Monasticism" Movement.” in God Has Begun a Great Work in Us: Embodied Love in Consecrated Life and Ecclesial Movements. Annual Publications of the College Theology Society, eds. Shannon Schrein and Jason King, vol. 60 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2015), 203-212.

Book Reviews

  • Finding the Monk Within: Great Monastic Values for Today, by Edward Sellner, Spiritus 10, no. 1 (March 1, 2010): 121-123.

Papers, Public Lectures, and Panels

  • “Spiritual Discernment and Practical Theological Hermeneutics,” paper presented at American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, (November 21-25, 2014).
  • “"A Little Rule for Beginners": Benedictine Spirituality and the "New Monasticism" Movement,” paper presented at College Theology Society Annual Convention, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA, (May 29-June 1, 2014).
  • “New Pope, New Public: Reforming the Catholic Church"s Public Voice in the U.S.,” paper presented at Association of Practical Theology Biennial Conference, “Practicing Public Theology,” Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, TN, (March 28-30, 2014).
  • “Practical Theology: Disciplinary Concerns and Research,” invited lecture presented at Florida Theological Library Association Conference, Boynton Beach, FL, (March 27, 2013).
  • “Love and Discernment: Studying and Teaching Christian Spirituality,” paper presented at Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality Pedagogical Session, AAR Annual Conference, Chicago, (November 16-20, 2012).
  • “Sacred Texts and the Desert: Lessons for a Practical-Theological Hermeneutic,” paper presented at APT Biennial Conference, “Practical Theology and Sacred Texts,” Princeton Theological Seminary, (April 13-15, 2012).
  • “Forming Wise Practitioners: Educating for Discernment in Theological Studies,” paper presented at Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, “Educating for Wisdom in the 21st Century University,” Baylor University, (October 27-29, 2011).

Current Research

Books and Articles

  • Author (article), “Practical Theology from the Perspective of Catholic Spirituality: A Hermeneutic of Discernment”
    [One of the centerpieces of understanding the movement from description to analysis to revised praxis in practical theological method is the ways in which interpretive communities understand the connections between divine reality and human reality. The article explores what spiritual discernment might have to offer practical theological hermeneutics, particularly within the Roman Catholic Tradition. The article explores connections between practical wisdom and habitus, and connections among ethnography, practical wisdom, and theological interpretation.]
  • Author (article), “Dominici Schola Servitii: Benedict, Spiritual Formation, and Practical Theology”
    [The article explores the connection between spiritual formation and wisdom within monastic life based on the Rule of Saint Benedict and the formative goals of practical theological reflection. The article presents monasticism as a kind of “laboratory” for practical theology and discusses how Catholic higher education, particularly at Benedictine colleges and universities, can make use of such a laboratory in its theological curriculum.]