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Patricia Plovanich

Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies

Patricia A. Plovanich has been a member of the faculty since 1990. She is Assistant Professor of Systematic theology. In the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, she offers undergraduate courses in theological topics such as Jesus in Christian Tradition, the Problem of God, and Catholicism in the United States. Her research interests are theology of Cardinal Walter Kasper and the European theologians who pioneered many of the themes of the Second Vatican Council.


Professor Plovanich earned a B.A. degree in piano from Damen College in Buffalo, N.Y. She took her M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Fordham University in New York City. Since 1997, Professor Plovanich has continued post-doctoral research at the University of Tuebingen.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Dr. Plovanich’s research has focused on the theological works of Cardinal Walter Kasper and other twentieth century figures from the Catholic Faculty of Eberhard-Karls University, Tuebingen, Germany. She is currently developing a study of those twentieth century theologians who were the precursors of Vatican II.

Teaching Interests

Professor Plovanich teaches a variety of courses at USD. These include Introduction to Catholic Theology as well as theological courses in the disciplines of Christology and ecclesiology. She also offers courses in the study of U.S. Catholic History and the Culture of U.S. Catholicism.