Theology, catechetics professor shares story

BY HUGH BRIEN

dsc 0171One of the newest professors to the theology and catechetics department at Franciscan University of Steubenville is Prof. Amy Roberts.

Originating from Chattanooga, Tenn., she attended Catholic schools all through her pre-college education. Though her father was not a Catholic, he was very open to having his children embrace it, and came into the Church himself several years ago.

Majoring in English and American literature, and minoring in American history, she earned a full scholarship to the undergraduate program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She then came to Franciscan and completed the master’s program in theology and Christian ministry. So equipped, she sought to teach others how to bring the Catholic Faith to those who were open to it. She said that, though she was raised in a strong Catholic household, she never got much detailed instruction in the faith.

In college when she was challenged about it, she decided that she wanted to learn more about Catholicism and how to express it. After she attained her degree she put it to use and taught at St. John’s Central High School in Bellaire, Ohio, for several years before returning home to Tennessee to teach for 11 years. The return to Franciscan did not happen until the school started looking for professors with high school experience to help in the catechetics department. The school found her and asked her if she would consider coming back to fill the position. She said yes and is now halfway through her second year as a faculty member at Franciscan.

Roberts has jumped in with both feet, taking on responsibilities beyond her professorial purview. She is the faculty advisor to the women’s household Daughters of Jerusalem where she consults with the coordinators, attends commitments and advises the household to maximize the students’ experience. In her time at Franciscan, Roberts said she has many memories from the students and the school.

“As a teacher I am amazed and inspired by the students; inspired by their dedication, inspired by their enthusiasm, their zeal, their commitment to growing in their own virtue,” said Roberts. “To build on that has been a beautiful thing for me as a teacher. As a student, to develop friendships with others who share my love for the Church, sacraments and Christ . . . that was a life changing thing for me to have that. (I am) grateful for the opportunity to help the new generation of students with that.”

 

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