University of San Diego's Dean William Headley Joins Distinguished Class of Theologians as Honorary

Father William Headley, C.S.Sp., dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, has been chosen to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the United States.

Headley will receive a Ph.D. in ministry from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago during their 2009 commencement on May 14. He will join a distinctive class of practitioners recognized by the school which has educated more than 3,200 graduates from diverse religious backgrounds.

“Scholar, teacher, counselor, and priest in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, William Headley has been traveling the world for many decades, tirelessly promoting commitment for peacebuilding among churches, Episcopal conferences, educational institutions and civil society organizations,” Catholic Theological Union President Rev. Donald Senior, said in the citation awarding the degree. “With a great passion, a deep sense of vocation and unwavering faithfulness, he has dedicated many years of his life for advancing nonviolence, conflict resolution and peacebuilding…”

Headley joined the University of San Diego as the inaugural dean of the School of Peace Studies in 2007. He has a broad background in church leadership, justice, peace and international aid with experience working in more than 70 countries, including Burundi, Kenya, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, El Salvador and Haiti. Headley was the Major Superior of the USA-Eastern Province of his Holy Spirit (Spiritans) community from 1979 to 1985, and has served in his congregation’s general administration. In July 1993, as a professor, he established a graduate program in conflict resolution and peace studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.  In 2000, he was named deputy executive director of policy and strategic issues at Catholic Relief Services.

Headley holds a doctorate in sociology from New York University, advanced degrees in counseling and theology, and has done post-doctoral work at Harvard Divinity School, George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and the Gandhi Peace Institute, New Delhi.

Those also receiving honorary doctorates from the school this year include: M. Shawn Copeland, an associate professor of theology at Boston College who has completed research on social suffering, theological anthropology, political theology, religion, gender and race; and M. Cherif Bassiouni, a distinguished emeritus research professor of law at DePaul University.

About the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies

The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies (KSPS) was formally inaugurated in 2007 at the University of San Diego, the result of a generous endowment bequest from the late Joan Kroc, who believed passionately in not only teaching peace, but in “making peace.”  The school incorporates two institutes, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and the Trans-Border Institute, and includes a new master’s degree program designed to train the next generation of international peacemakers. The KSPS is dedicated to advancing the field of peace studies and a world-view of peace as human development. The school is home to a dialogue and a discipline of scholars and practitioners immersed and educated in peace as philosophy, methodology and creative act.  It is currently the only school of its kind dedicated to this purpose in the United States.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.