David Collins Appointed As New Program Director for Catholic Studies

photo of David Collins lecturing

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David J. Collins, S.J., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of History, was recently chosen as the new program director for the Catholic Studies Program. A proud native of Washington, DC, Collins is excited to return from his current research leave in Helsinki “to take the helm of Catholic Studies.”

“Given the strengths of our faculty and the interests of our students, Catholic Studies is the kind of program where the whole can be so much more than the sum of the parts,” Collins says. “I am really looking forward to building on the foundations laid by my predecessors to make a program that contributes substantially to the dialogue — crucial to the Jesuit mission — between the world and the church.”

About Father David Collins

Headshot of Father David Collins on grey background

Collins has twenty years of training as a Jesuit, which has taken him to cities like Philadelphia, Boston, Munich and Chicago. He returned to DC in 2004 to join the history department at Georgetown, where his teaching and research concentrate on the cultural and intellectual history of the late Middle Ages. 

He has published extensively on the cult of the saints, Renaissance humanism and learned magic, especially in Germany. Collins earned his B.A. in history from the University of Virginia, a B.Ph. in philosophy from Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich, a S.T.L. in theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. 

Collins entered the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit Order, in 1987 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1998. 

Soyica Diggs Colbert, interim dean of Georgetown College, notes that “Father David Collins is an accomplished scholar and cultural historian of the medieval and Renaissance periods whose work delves into the complicated overlaps of magic, religion and science, shedding new light on humanism’s development.”  
“Having served as the director of Doctoral Studies in the history department and as chair of the University’s working group on Slavery Memory and Reconciliation, Fr. Collins has now agreed to serve as the director of Catholic Studies,” she continues. “His leadership will allow us to continue to grow Catholic Studies and cultivate new areas of inquiry that will flourish at Georgetown.”