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Sandra Yocum

Associate Professor; University Professor of Faith and Culture

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Religious Studies


Email: Sandra Yocum
Phone: 937-229-4321
AL 223
Website: Visit Site


Dr. Yocum graduated with a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma with a special interdisciplinary degree in Catholic studies. She then attended Marquette University where she completed a doctorate in theology with a research specialization in the theological dimensions of U.S. Catholic life and thought in the 19th and 20th century. Prior to coming to the University of Dayton in the fall of 1992, she was an assistant professor at Loyola College of Maryland and Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Ind. She has published articles in encyclopedias and several journals including Theological Studies, Horizons, Church History, U.S. Catholic Historian. She co-edited American Catholic Traditions: Resources for Renewal with William Portier. She is frequently asked to give public lectures; most recently for the convocation for Saint Thomas Aquinas Day at Ohio Dominican University (2003). She has served on the boards of the American Catholic Historical Association and the College Theology Society. She currently serves as president of the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry and is a member of the board of the American Society of Church History. For the past few years, she has been the Director of Graduate Studies in Religious Studies and is chair of the Department of Religious Studies. She received the 2003 Lackner Award in recognition of her contribution to the Catholic and Marianist character of the University of Dayton.

Faculty perspective

"I have come to appreciate the unique community of learners that is fostered here at the University of Dayton. The commitment to providing an opportunity for students to join with faculty members in the learning process begins in the first year undergraduate work and continues through graduate work. I am deeply committed to the interconnected nature of learning as it relates to theological studies. My own work with undergraduates and graduate students as well as with faculty members within my department and from other departments from history to civil engineering has enhanced my own work as a historical theologian. My own research in areas of U.S. Catholicism has been transformed through my work with cultural and social historians, sociologists, and artists as well as with various people whose work takes them out into the community beyond the University. I recognize this emphasis upon the interconnected dimensions of learning to be deeply influenced by the Marianist and Catholic commitments of the University of Dayton. I feel very fortunate to be invited into this work."

Research interests

  • A history of the first 50 years of the College Theology Society (1954-2004), an opportunity to trace the changing conceptions of theology and the teaching of theology on a college level within the U.S. Catholic context
  • A history of the U.S. Catholic women's entrance into the formal study of theology in the twentieth century currently titled A Strange Impulse: Roman Catholic Women Enter the Court of the Queen of Science

Selected publications

"Report on the Spring Meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 28-30, 2000." The Catholic Historical Review LXXXVI (October 2000): 721-727.

"Twentieth Century Witnesses to Christ's Radical Love," United States Catholic History Catechist Formation program in Catechist (2000).

"Response," Negotiating Identity: Catholic Higher Education Since 1960, Symposium: The College of New Rochelle (Sept. 16, 2000). [Published and distributed by the College of New Rochelle].

"We are Still Pacifists," Dorothy Day's Pacifism during World War II in Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement: Centenary Essays, ed. by William Thorn, Phillip Runkel, and Susan Mountin, in Marquette Studies in Theology, No. 32, Andrew Tallon, series ed. (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2001): 465-473.