Richard J. Hauser, S.J.

Professor of
Theology, Creighton University

Director: Masters of Arts (MA) in Christian Spirituality

Jesuit Community at Creighton University
Creighton University, Omaha, NE, 68178

Overview: Education

Born June 22, 1937, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Raised in Milwaukee, WI. Eldest of six children. Attended St. Sebastian's Grade School and Marquette University Jesuit High School. Graduated from high school, 1955.
Entered the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, August 8, 1955. Completed novitiate training at Oshkosh, WI, 1957. Completed Juniorate training at Florissant, MO, 1959. Completed philosophy training at St. Louis University, 1962. Taught at Campion Jesuit High School, Prairie du Chien, WI, 1962 to 63. Studied American History at St. Louis University 1963 to 64. Taught at St. Francis Indian Mission, St. Francis, SD, 1964 to 65.

Degrees received from St. Louis University:

B.A., Philosophy, 1961
M.A.(T.), American History, 1964
Ph.L. (Licentiate in Philosophy), 1964
St. L. (Licientiate in Theology), 1969
M.A., Dogmatic-Systematic Theology, 1969.

Degree received from The Catholic University of America

Ph. D., Religion and Religious Education, 1973
Note: studied theology at St. Louis University School of Divinity first at St. Mary's, KS, 1965 67 and then at St. Louis University, 1967 1969. Taught part time in theology department during the years at St. Louis University. Ordained a priest at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, WI, June 4, 1968.
Entered doctoral program at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in Department of Religion and Religious Education in August, 1969. Finished studies for doctorate in July, 1972. Dissertation compared Abraham Maslow and Thomas Merton in their approaches to religious experience. Awarded Ph.D. in Religion and Religious Education in February1973

Timeline: Creighton University

August, 1972: Instructor in Department of Theology
February, 1973: Promoted to assistant professor (after receiving Ph. D.)
March, 1977: Promoted to associate professor and granted tenure
April, 1987: Promoted to professor

1978-1990 and 1996-1999: Chair: Department of Theology
1990-2002: Director (and Founder) of MA Programs in Ministry and in Theology

1993 to present: Director of Masters Program (MA) in Christian Spirituality
1974-1993: Associate Director of Masters Program in Christian Spirituality

February, 1991, Granted Creighton’s Distinguished Faculty-Administrator Award
Chaplain in residence hall 1974-1990.

Absences from University:
Spring, 1980: Academic Leave of Absence: Rome, Italy, Collegio Bellarmino
Spring, 1984: Academic Sabbatical: Berkeley, CA, Jesuit School of Theology (JSTB)
Spring, 1988, Visiting Professor of Spirituality, Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Spring, 1992: Academic Sabbatical: San Francisco, University of San Francisco
Spring, 2000: Academic Sabbatical: San Francisco, University of San Francisco and New York, America House

July, 2001: Appointed rector of Jesuit Community at Creighton University

Overview: Professional Activities


I am currently teaching the following undergraduate and graduate courses; over the years I have taught a wide variety of other courses. Each course focuses on the mystery of God’s presence among us and invites students first to theological reflection and then to personal appropriation of this mystery. Other courses taught over the years are on record in my annual reports submitted to the Arts and Science dean..

Undergraduate Courses:

THL 100: Christianity in Context
THL 335: Jesus Christ: Yesterday and Today
SRP 416: For the Greater Glory: History and Spirituality of the Jesuits
SRP 488: Personal and Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership
THL 561: Finding God in Daily Life: Prayer and Discernment

Graduate Courses:

CSP 776: Discernment of Spirits: Theology and Practice
MAM 780: Christian Prayer and Spirituality
THL 784: Spirituality for Americans: Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Vision


My primary academic interest is contemporary Christian spirituality. Within this field I am especially interested in the following topics: the Holy Spirit, personal prayer, contemplation, Ignatian spirituality, discernment of spirits, the spirituality of suffering, the spirituality of Thomas Merton. Additional interests include: history of spirituality, mysticism, Eastern spirituality, spirituality of the ministerial priesthood.

My three books are my major publications; each applies the theology of the Holy Spirit to a dimension of contemporary spiritual living. All three books are still in print and sell between 500 and 1000 copies annually.
In His Spirit: A Guide to Today’s Spirituality (Paulist Press, 1982, $9.95), is an orientation to the spiritual life with a focus on the nature and dynamics of personal prayer.
Book was republished in onion skin paper by Pauline Press for an Asian audience.
Moving in the Spirit: Becoming a Contemplative in Action (Paulist Press, 1986, $9.95) is a practical guide for recognizing God’s presence in daily life inspired by the Rules for Discernment of Spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Finding God in Troubled Times (Loyola Press, 1994, $13.95), is a practical approach for dealing with suffering by examining the examples of Jesus and Paul and reflecting on the role of the Holy Spirit. Book was originally published by Paulist Press in 1994 but subsequently taken out of print and then reprinted by Loyola Press in 2002.
Book is translated into Polish and published in a Polish edition.

In addition to my three books I have also published articles on spirituality in the following periodicals:
Review for Religious (10 articles);
The following two articles from Review for Religious were reprinted and published in foreign translations :
-- “Where Is God in our Suffering, “ Review for Religious, Vol. 54, No. 1, (Jan.-Feb., 1995), pp. 113-130, was translated into Polish and published in the Polish journal Zycie Duchowe,
--“Evoking the Spirit: Reflections on How to Prayer,” Review for Religious, Vo. 56, No. 4, (July/August, 1997), was translated into French and published in the French periodical Christus, Number 179, (Juillet, 1998).
America, (4 articles);
The Living Light; Lumen Vitae; Sisters Today;
Pastoral Life, Praying, Harvest;
Priest and People (English periodical),
Creighton University Magazine (5 articles);
also in several other periodicals. Articles are on record in my annual reports submitted to the Arts and Science dean.

Chapters in Books:

“Each Mortal Thing Does One Thing and the Same—Selves: An Approach to Christian Discernment,” from Handbook of Spirituality for Ministers, Volume One, edited by Robert Wicks, (Paulist Press, 1995, $24.95), pp. 207-227.
“The Minister and Personal Prayer: Evoking the Spirit of Jesus,” from Handbook of Spirituality for Ministers, Volume Two, edited by Robert Wicks, (Paulist Press, 2000, $39.95), pp. 375-395.
“Becoming One in the Spirit: An Ecumenical Approach to Spirituality,” from Practical Theology: Perspectives from the Plains, edited by Michael Lawler and Gail Ritsch, (Creighton University Press, 2000) pp. 268-294.

Book Reviews:
I review books for following periodicals: America, Theological Studies. Spiritus, Review for Religious and other periodicals. Each review is on record in my annual reports submitted to the Arts and Science dean.

I am senior consultant on Ignatian spirituality for recent catechetical series published by Loyola Press entitled Finding God. For several years this involved annually five trips to Chicago. I currently consulted by editors and writers of series twice a year. This series is significant because it focuses not only on imparting Catholic doctrine but also on instilling a healthy spirituality flowing from the Ignatian spirituality tradition.



I have served on most major college and university committees.
Highlights of service:

Arts and Science College:
-member of Rank and Tenure committee under four deans (some fifteen years);
-member of Executive Committee of College for some twenty-seven consecutive years)
-chair of theology department: five terms:1978-1990, 1996-1999:
-founded MA in Theology and in Ministry: negotiated Ministry Scholarship (fifty-percent tuition reduction) as well as Sheets Scholarship Endowment from Jesuit Community (currently $350,000).
-facilitated, as member of core revision committee, nine hour core theology requirement (up from six hour and currently strongest theology core in USA).
-established consortium of chairs of Jesuit theology/religious education departments in 1986; consortium meets annually in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion; I have attended each meeting since 1986; it is the only forum available for consultation among chairs of Jesuit theology/religious education departments.
-facilitated composition of Theology Department Mission Statement during final term as chair; Mission Statement has been crucial in maintaining department identity as theology – rather than religious education – department; many Jesuit departments have drifted into the religious education category.

Graduate School:
-associate director (1975-93) and then director (1993 to present) of Christian Spirituality Program. I have been on campus each summer to insure the vitality of the program. Negotiated in 1994 a fifty percent tuition reduction for all CSP courses thereby making the program competitive financially and ensuring its survival.

Member: MAGIS
Member: Cardoner
Member: IPF: as director of CSP, I was instrumental in recruiting IPF to campus and am currently Creighton’s ex officio representative on board.
Member of Executive Committee and Secretary of Board: Creighton Prep

I present some dozen workshops annually to a variety of local and national audiences. These audiences include: bishops: two annual week-long retreats for Region IX bishops; priests: for ten years served as theologian for Emmaus Priest Renewal Program writing two week long retreats, training priest presenters to give retreats, and personally presenting some three retreats annually; deacons: give regular daylong presentations in several dioceses including Omaha, Des Moines, Sioux City; faculty and staff of Catholic elementary and secondary schools; variety of protestant ministers and lay groups;
variety of Catholic lay groups. Formats for presentations revolve around the three workshop/retreat topics described below, each relating to one of my books.


I regularly offer three adult continuing education workshops in the Omaha area and nationally on the topics of Personal Prayer, Discernment of Spirits and Understanding and Dealing with Suffering. Each workshop is oriented around one of my books: Deepening Personal Prayer (In His Spirit); Finding God in Daily Life(Moving in the Spirit), Where Is God in Suffering? (Finding God in Troubled Times). The goal of the workshops is enhancement of participant’s spiritual life through reflection and appropriation of matter.

Service as Jesuit Priest:
-Spring, 1975 established the 10:00 PM Sunday Candlelight Mass currently drawing 300-400 students each Sunday. I have presided at the mass each Sunday since then, except when off campus for sabbaticals.
-Since 1974 I have been coordinator of on campus Jesuit vocation promotion groups for Creighton students. I facilitate some ten group meetings each year as well as advise personally many of the men.
-Served as residence hall chaplain in Swanson Hall for seventeen years from 1974 to 1991.
-Annually preside at mass and represent Jesuit Community at many alumni religious events: weddings, baptisms, home masses, reunions.

Service as Rector of Jesuit Community:

Appointed rector July 1, 2001; term ends July 1, 2007.
As rector I am the apostolic leader of the Jesuit Community. My main job is to facilitate most effective service of community Jesuits to Creighton University. I work closely with the president: I serve on Creighton Board of Directors, chair Jesuit recruitment team of president and academic vice president, meet bi-weekly with President’s Advisory Board, meet bi-weekly with president, serve as ex-officio member of Financial Advisory Committee, attend numerous functions as representative of university and Jesuit community. I established Jesuit Presence Endowment Fund for hiring Jesuits (fund approximately $2,300,000). Currently Fund supports or contributes to support of some five Jesuits, including Visiting Jesuit Scholar Alphonsus D’Sousa from Kohima.


Mythree books in spirituality are available from the following presses: In His Spirit: A Guide to Today's Spirituality, Paulist Press, 1982, $9.95; Moving in the Spirit: Becoming a Contemplative in Action, Paulist Press, 1986, $8.95. Finding God in Troubled Times. Loyola Press, 2002, $13.95. The first is an approach to the Christian spiritual life with the focus on personal prayer; the second a practical handbook for recognizing the Spirit in daily life inspired by Ignatius of Loyola's Rules for the Discernment of Spirits; the third a theological reflection for imitating Jesus in dealing with suffering focusing on the role of the Holy Spirit.

E.mail Fr. Dick Hauser, S.J.

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