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Angela Zukowski

Professor; Director of Institute for Pastoral Initiatives

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Religious Studies


Email: Angela Zukowski
Phone: 937-229-3126


  • D.Min., United Theological Seminary, 1988
  • M.A., 1978
  • B.A., University of Dayton, 1974


Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH, D.Min., is the Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (1978- present) and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Dayton (a Catholic/Marianist University). She is a Marianist Education Associate (MEA) and has been teaching at UD for over 35 years.

She is a member of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart (Towson, Md.) and in June 2008 finished eight years on her Community’s Leadership Board, Councilor/Vice President. She has served as visiting professor at Crec Avex (Lyon, France) for 12 years. She is co-director of the Caribbean School of Catholic Communications founded in 1994 (Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad/Tobago, West Indies). She served as the UNDA USA President (1987-93), UNDA North American President (1990-94) and the UNDA World President (International Catholic Association for Radio and Television) from 1994-2002.  She served as Chairperson for the UNDA/OCIC Planning Committee for the World Congresses in Prague, Czech Republic (1994), Montreal, Canada (1998) and Rome, Italy (2001). She was a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican) 1994-2002.

Zukowski has been involved with distance education for over 40 years. She began with Cable television in 1971 and continued to advance into radio, satellite communication, multimedia, computer technologies and now the Internet and digital technologies. Her current work in this area is the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) online courses in English and Spanish. The VLCFF was initiated in 1999 with one diocese and two courses. Today there are over 55 VLCFF Diocesan Partners, e-courses are offered in 40 plus countries. Over 112 e-courses and seven online certificate programs are available in seven cycles with approximately 4500-5000 e-students per year (2012). She has also spearheaded the UD’s Virtual Conference Center with expanding interactive innovations underway.


Within the Department of Religious Studies, Zukowski teaches M.A. courses in Pastoral Planning, Adult Faith Formation and Leadership and Ministry. On the undergraduate level she coordinates the FORUM for Young Catechetical Leaders, a two year catechetical formation program for UD students, as well as courses in Religion and Film and Vocation and the Arts. She is an adjunct professor in the School of Education (UD) associated with their online Master’s Degree in Catholic Educational Leadership.

Professional activities and achievements

Zukowski serves on several boards related to Catholic Education, the Catholic Leadership Academy Planning Committee (the United States), Board of Governors of CREDI (Catholic Religious Education Development Initiative) – Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies and animator for Mary Queen of Peace (five schools/parishes which merged) as a consultant for cultivating a Beatitude Culture within the school, families and local neighborhood communities.

As a past member of the Catholic Education Collaborative Board of Trustees and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, she explored and continues to explore new ways for revitalizing the Catholic Urban Community with particular focus on Catholic Education and faith formation.

Zukowski received the 1993 Lackner Award given by the University of Dayton for Catholic Identity and Marianist Values. In 1997, she was recognized as one of the influential Catholic Educators in the 20th century (during NCEA Convention) to influence new initiatives in teaching and learning through the media. In the same year, Zukowski received the President's Medallion for Lifetime Achievement in Communications awarded in 1997 by the National Catholic Association of Communicators. In 2001, she received the NCCL Technology Award for her contribution toward the advancement technology and catechesis.

In 2001, she received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal from Pope John Paul II in Rome. In 2004, she received the Distinguished Communicators Award for 2004 from the Salesian Guild. In 2005, she received the Honorary Prize of Julian Kulenty presented during the National Catholic Film Association Conference held in Warsaw, Poland. In 2009, received the NCEA National Catholic Schools Board Award for her contribution for working with Catholic School Boards in the U.S. During the 2010 NCEA Convention in St. Paul, Minn., (4/10) Zukowski received the Emmaus Award from the NPCD Association for her international and national work with Catholic education, faith formation and innovative online learning. On May 9, 2012, the NCCL (National Conference of Catechetical Leaders) presented Zukowski with their highest honor of the NCCL Life Time Achievement Award for excellence in adult faith formation via distance learning.  Nov. 9, 2012, she will receive the National Catholic Lay Leadership Award in Philadelphia.

Research interests

Zukowski’s current research is in designing prototypes for interactive e-learning for Catholic education, adult faith, lay ecclesial leadership and catechist formation through the VLCFF and the University of Dayton’s online graduate programs. She is particularly interested in the influence, or impact that the digital culture is having on new ways of being human in the 21st century. A special  research interest is building on the work of Fr. Pierre Babin, OMI (with whom she was associated for twelve years in Lyon, France) for re-imagining his Symbolic Way in the light of the digital culture.

Selected publications and presentations

Her most recent publication (2007) is  Communicatio Socialis: The Challenge of Theology and Ministry in the Church published by Kassel University (Germany). Other publications include: Medias, chance pour l’ evangeile written with Pierre Babin published in Paris (2000) and translated/published into English by Loyola Press entitled The Gospel and The Internet (2002). Her book Voices of Courage: An International Profile of Women in Catholic Communications (2001) has been translated into Slovakian and other languages (2003). She writes a regular column, "Trends in Technology" in MOMENTUM Journal (NCEA Publication) and is the Executive Editor of the University of Dayton Catechist Formation Series published by Peter Li, Inc.  The program is now into its twentieth year (2012). Her recent publication is a chapter in The Praeger Handbook of Faith-Based Schools in the United States, K-12  (2 vols.) ABC-Clio. August 2012. The chapter is entitled “The Threshold of New Catholic and Faith Based Learning Environments: the Advance of the Digital Culture. She continues to write numerous articles for international publications.

Zukowski gives workshops, seminars and lectures around the world. She serves as an international consultant on the application of new digital media resources for ministry and leadership. Her workshops range from designing new digital methodologies for learning, transformational leadership, nurturing dialogue skills and spiritual formation in a digital era. In September 2012 she will be addressing the Asian Bishop in Communications and Seminary Rectors in Bangkok. In January she will be speaking at a Clergy Symposium and a Catechetical Conference in Dubai (Arabia).