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Department of

Theology and Religious Studies

Ronald Pachence

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies

Ron Pachence, PhD, joined the faculty in 1981. He has served as department chair, founding director of the Institute for Christian Ministries, and director of graduate programs in the department. He is active in shared governance, having served on numerous committees and as chair of the University Senate. His teaching expertise is in the areas of Catholic theology and world religions. Pachence is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Turkey) and a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.


Ph.D., Catholic University of America, Roman Catholic Studies and World Religions (1978)
M.A., Catholic University of America, Religious Education (1972)
B.A., Conception Seminary, Philosophy (1967)

As part of his Peace Corps training, Pachence studied TOEFL and Turkish language and culture at the University of Texas (summer, 1967).

Scholarly and Creative Work

Pachence’s scholarly and creative work includes educational television and audio tape production, encyclopedia and dictionary entries, one book, text book consultation, teacher edition and text revision writing, book reviews, scholarly presentations and periodical articles. He wrote, produced and hosted 18 productions for the Catholic Television Network of the Bay Area on the topics of Jesus, Advent and Christmas, Church, Islam and the sacraments (1987-1988).  His audio tapes (1988-1990) explore the areas of Church and ministry. Pachence’s book, Speaking of Sacraments, (1988) was also accompanied by a six tape audio series. His encyclopedia and dictionary entries appeared in the Encyclopedia of Catholicism (1992) and An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies (2007). He was the revision author for the Benziger text book series, We Celebrate, We Praise (1992).  Pachence has been an invited speaker at the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference, the NCEA Convention and several other religious education conferences in California, Arizona and Canada.

Teaching Interests

In the area of world religions, Pachence has taught Introduction to World Religions, Islam and a graduate course for the M.A. program in Peace and Justice Studies, Comparative Religious Ethics. His theological repertoire includes undergraduate and graduate courses in Christology, church, interreligious dialogue, Christian anthropology and ministry. In addition, he is actively involved in the university’s preceptorial program and has taught in the Honors Program. Pachence is a recipient of the department’s Steber Professorship and a University Professorship.  He was twice awarded an Outstanding Faculty Award by the Alcalá Senior Honor Society Chapter of the Mortar Board. Most recently, he received the Drinan Award for Distinguished Service.