William Headley

William Headley
Phone: (619) 260-7918
Office: Kroc Inst for Peace & Justice 128


  • PhD, Sociology, New York University
  • MEd, Counseling, University of South Carolina
  • BD, Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary
  • BA, Philosophy, St. Mary’s Seminary

William R. Headley, CSSp, PhD, is a sociologist, counselor, educator, and Catholic priest. He is the founding dean of the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, and as a professor now teaches courses related to religion and peacebuilding. He holds a part-time appointment as a professor of practice and field service officer for the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, based at the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Headley has a broad background in Catholic Church leadership, justice, peace, and international aid, and has worked in over 80 countries. Prior to the Kroc School, he was deputy executive director of policy and strategic issues for Catholic Relief Services; established the graduate program in conflict resolution and peace studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn.; started the Spiritans’ (his Holy Spirit Community) first International Peace and Justice Office in Rome, Italy; was the first president of the Africa Faith and Justice Network/USA; and was instrumental in starting the Washington Office on Haiti. He also served as the major superior of the USA-Eastern Province of the Spiritans as well as on the Executive Committee of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

Headley has an honorary doctorate in ministry from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Ill., and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash.

Professional Experience

  • Assessor of social cohesion and interreligious peacebuilding models and case studies of worldwide peacebuilding initiatives of Catholic Relief Services (October 2015).
  • Consultant in the establishment of the Higher Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, Catholic University of Bukavu, a joint initiative of the Catholic bishops of the Great Lakes Region, East/Central Africa (May 2014 – present)
  • Initiator and service provider for the creation of a series of consultancies, trainings, and planning sessions for the Mexican Catholic Church to contribute to its country’s national peace effort (September 2011 – present).
  • Member of the Justice and Peace Committee, Congregation of the Holy Spirit, USA Province (September 2015 – present)

Areas of Interest

  • Religion and Peace
  • Inter-religious Dialogue and Peacebuilding
  • Qualitative Field Research
  • Counseling and Advisement
  • Peace Studies Programs: Their Organization and Management