2021 Hildebrand Residency

2021 Summer Residency

The Hildebrand Project is pleased to announce our third annual summer residency program to support MA and PhD students, postdocs, and scholars working on Dietrich von Hildebrand or in conversation with some aspect of his thought.

Participants will have the chance to work with a faculty deeply versed in the totality of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s oeuvre, to present drafts of an MA thesis, dissertation chapter, or scholarly article, and to do so in the company of peers. The daily schedule will be a blend of group discussions of work-in-progress, private consultations with faculty, and time for reading and writing.

While a focus on Hildebrand is the key condition for eligibility, the Hildebrand Project invites work that brings his thought into conversation with:

  • Philosophical traditions like analytic philosophy or phenomenology
  • Specific contemporary issues in emotion theory, virtue ethics, aesthetics, etc.
  • The intersection of faith and reason and the rehabilitation of reason in the sense of Wojtyla and Ratzinger
  • The broader Catholic intellectual tradition, especially efforts to locate Hildebrand within this tradition
  • Jewish, Protestant, and Orthodox philosophical and theological thought

We also welcome applicants working on other philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, John Henry Newman, Edmund Husserl, Adolf Reinach, Max Scheler, Edith Stein, Karol Wojtyla, Romano Guardini, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Jacques Maritain, Joseph Ratzinger, Norris Clarke SJ, Emmanuel Levinas, Joseph Soloveitchik, Dallas Willard, et alia, provided their work is in substantive dialogue with Hildebrand.

Exceptions may be made for work in which Hildebrand’s thought is not central provided it is focused on close kindred spirits (e.g. Karol Wojtyla or Max Scheler) or on the intellectual tradition he represents. Please contact us before applying to find out if your work would fit our guidelines.

In-Person Faculty

John F. Crosby is professor and director of the MA Program in Philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has published extensively on the philosophy of the human person. He was a student and friend of Dietrich von Hildebrand, and during his ten years teaching at John Paul II's Pontifical Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome was deeply formed through personal and philosophical encounters with the Holy Father. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hildebrand Project, which he co-founded. His latest books are The Personalism of John Henry Newman and The Personalism of John Paul II.

Michael J. Healy served as Dean of the Faculty (chief academic officer) under Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR (President) at Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1986-2000. During the 2002-2003 academic year, he served as interim president of Ave Maria College while on leave of absence from Franciscan University. He then returned to Franciscan to resume his position as full professor of philosophy, where he specializes in philosophy of the person, ethics, existentialism, and philosophy of religion. He has a special love for Kierkegaard, von Hildebrand, and Wojtyla interpreted in light of and in dialogue with the philosophia perennis. His favorite author in the Thomistic tradition is Josef Pieper. His favorite course is The Nature of Love, wherein he uses the works of all four of the above.

Rob McNamara was educated at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Maynooth (NUIM), where he studied physics and applied science, and philosophy and theological studies, respectively, at the International Theological Institute (ITI), Austria, where he completed a master's degree in the theology of marriage and family, and at Liverpool Hope University (LHU), United Kingdom, where he completed a doctorate in philosophy with a dissertation in philosophical anthropology detailing Edith Stein’s engagement with the thought of Thomas Aquinas in her mature philosophy of the human person. Robert is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, an associate member of faculty at Maryvale Institute (MI), United Kingdom, and the Priory Institute (PI), Ireland, and a founding member of the Aquinas Institute of Ireland, for which he currently holds the position of secretary, and at whose annual summer schools he tutors. Robert is originally from Galway, Ireland.

Virtual Faculty

Josef Seifert received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Salzburg in 1969 and, under Professor Robert Spaemann, his habilitation from the University of Munich (Privatdozent) in 1975. He studied chiefly under Balduin Schwarz, the most distinguished German former student of Dietrich von Hildebrand, at the University of Salzburg, and under Gabriel Marcel in Paris. Since his childhood (from age 3 on) he knew Hildebrand personally, because Seifert’s mother had been a student of Hildebrand in Munich and both of his parents were Hildebrand’s friends. He is the author of many books, and Europe’s leading student and teacher of Hildebrand’s philosophy.

Rocco Buttiglione is a philosopher, statesman, and leading European public intellectual. He was a beloved friend and trusted collaborator of Pope St. John Paul II, and is an authority on his philosophical anthropology. His book Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man who became Pope John Paul II is a fundamental work on the pope’s early philosophy. A member of the Italian Parliament for over two decades, he serves on the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and holds the John Paul II Chair for Philosophy and History of European Institutions at the Lateran University in Rome. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Hildebrand Project.

Mark K. Spencer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. He earned his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, and his M.A. and B.A. from Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he first encountered the work of Dietrich von Hildebrand. In his research, he focuses on topics like the human person, beauty, and God's relations to us. In over thirty articles, he has brought together many approaches to these topics, including Thomism, Scotism, phenomenology, personalism, and Greek patristics. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Susanna, and their four children.

In-Person Event

We could not be more delighted to return our 2021 residency to an in person format! Presentations, group discussions, and faculty consultations will be conducted in-person at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Animated by a spirit of charity toward each other, we will expect all participants to adhere to a clear set of COVID protocols. Participants will be required to offer either (1) proof of vaccination for COVID or (2) a negative COVID test within 48 hours of arriving in Steubenville. Masks and social distancing will also be required. We will meet in spacious rooms and, weather permitting, outside. The purpose of our COVID protocols is not to heighten anxieties but to put all participants at ease.

Residency Format

Attendees will submit an outline and chapter of a thesis, dissertation, or writing project (limited to 20 pages, double-spaced) for prior review by residency faculty and fellow participants. Submissions will be due June 12.

Upon acceptance, attendees agree to read in advance the papers of fellow participants and to be prepared to offer questions and feedback.

Attendees will have access to the Franciscan University library, which boast a substantial phenomenology collection, gym, grounds, and nearby restaurants.

Hildebrand Project events are intellectual and convivial. The days are devoted to formal sessions, while the evenings are free—and often devoted to wine, music, and conversation.

Meals will be held in common, with an opening dinner on Sunday, June 27.

Daily Schedule

10:00-10:55 AM EDT (Student Presentations)
11:00-11:55 AM EDT (Student Presentations)
12:00-12:55 PM EDT (Student Presentations)
Afternoon/Evening Various Times (time for reading, use of the Franciscan library, one-on-one meetings with faculty, social gatherings)

Detailed schedule to come. Check back soon.

Room, Board, and Travel

The seminar will be held on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where participants will be lodged in university housing with private bathrooms.

Participants will have access to the university library, internet, and other basic amenities.

Attendees will receive full room and board. Travel to and from Pittsburgh International Airport will be provided. Parking will be available on campus for those who drive. Attendees are responsible for their own travel costs.

How to Apply

The seminar is open to MA and PhD students, postdocs, philosophers, and individuals otherwise engaged in advanced intellectual writing. The application process is based on interest but subject to space limitations. The application window ends May 20, 2021. The application is available online here.

Fees and Scholarships

Applicants who are accepted to the residency will receive a full scholarship covering all fees, room and board. Participants are invited to make a tax-deductible donation, if they are able, to help defray our costs (e.g., honoraria of faculty presenters) and continue our programming.


June 27 – July 2, 2021


Franciscan University of Steubenville

To Attend

Apply Online
Deadline: May 20, 2021


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