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An open book in class

Nicholas Rademacher, PhD

Chair and Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Coordinator of the Social Justice Minor

Nicholas Rademacher, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He has presented widely across the United States and has published articles on Catholic social thought and practice, interfaith dialogue, and educating for peace and justice, among other topics.

In his courses, Rademacher and his students collaborate with community partners and participate in discussions and activities around faith, justice, and the common good. In 2012, this collaboration with the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center (CHOC) of Norristown and the Norristown Community House was awarded the “Recovery and Resiliency Award” from the Montgomery County Department of Health.

Rademacher’s students also participate in the Catholic Relief Services Global Solidarity Network to explore humanitarian responses to human trafficking, migration, refugee crises, gender, violence, and peacebuilding.

In 2007, Rademacher worked with Darryl Mace, PhD (History), and Nancy Watterson, PhD (Social Justice), to develop the Voices of Justice Living and Learning Community, a first-year experience designed to provide an interdisciplinary learning experience to engage students in dialogue-across-difference and to promote civic engagement. The trio co-authors and co-presents on civic engagement and engaged pedagogy.

Rademacher is associate editor for American Catholic Studies and serves on the Board of Managers for the American Catholic Historical Society and on the Board of Directors for the College Theology Society.

He earned master’s and doctorate degrees in religion and culture from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Areas of Expertise

American Catholic studies; Catholic social thought and practice; relationship between the church and the world; interfaith dialogue; development and diversity of radical Catholic movements in North America; educating for peace and justice; collaboration among students, faculty across disciplines, and community partners


  • Co-editing a forthcoming volume from Orbis Press, “A Realist’s Church: Essays in Honor of Joseph A. Komonchak” and an article, “Religious Diversity, Civic Engagement and Community-Engaged Pedagogy: Forging Bonds of Solidarity through Interfaith Dialogue.”
  • “‘To Relate the Eucharist to Real Living’: Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day at the Forty-First International Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”
  • “‘Allow me to disappear … in the fetid slums’: Catherine de Hueck, Catholic Action, and the Growing End of Catholic Radicalism.”
  • “Teaching for change; developing student leaders who can dialogue across difference”
  • “Common Ground Through Dialogue: Creating Civic Dispositions.”


Awards and Recognition

  • One of only 25 professors in the nation selected to participate in a faculty seminar on teaching interfaith understanding. The seminar is offered by the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), with support from the Henry Luce Foundation.
  • Collaboration between his students and the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center (CHOC) of Norristown and the Norristown Community House was awarded the “Recovery and Resiliency Award” from the Montgomery County Department of Health. (2012)


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