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Paige Hochschild Appointed Chair of Theology Department

Paige Hochschild, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, accepted the position as chair of the Theology Department at Mount. St. Mary's University earlier this year.

p-hochschild-thumbnail.jpg“I knew from the moment that we hired Dr. Paige Hochschild that she would have the potential to become the future chair of the department," said Rev. James Donahue, professor in and former chair of the Theology Department. "From the outset, she demonstrated an expertise in her discipline, good organizational skills and the important ability to work with different personalities in order to accomplish our mission of helping students and faculty to appreciate God’s plan for us to be united with God.”

Hochschild completed her Ph.D. in theology from Durham University in the United Kingdom in 2007 with highest distinction. She joined the Mount Theology Department in 2011. Prior to that, she was an adjunct professor at Mount St. Mary's Seminary. Professor Hochschild teaches a variety of dynamic theology courses at the university and at the seminary including natural theology, philosophical anthropology, Christology and history of Christian thought. Her areas of specialization are St. Augustine, Latin patristics, historical and systematic theology and ancient and medieval intellectual history.

p-hochschild-4_-yale.jpgHochschild is currently researching and writing on ecclesiological topics. “I’m interested in understanding virtue as it applies to the history of and contemporary issues regarding the Church,” said Hochschild. She is putting the finishing touches on an article titled, “St. Augustine on the Church as Sacrifice,” to be featured in the forthcoming Pro Ecclesia Series, Vol. 8, The Emerging Christian Minority. Hochschild has also been active on the lecture circuit, speaking at Yale University and Fribourg University in Switzerland this fall. Her lecture at Yale about Tolkein, sponsored by The Thomistic Institute, is available online.

Hochschild’s vision for the future of the Theology Department includes staying student-focused. This will “sometimes requires us to step outside of our own background and experiences to see the students’ needs from their perspective,” said Hochschild. Anne O’Neill, C’17, affirmed Hochschild's skill in seeing students' needs. "Dr. Hochschild was my advisor and teacher. Over the four years I spent at the Mount, she brought joy and passion into our classroom learning and encouraged me to pursue my interests," O'Neill said. "She inspired me from the very first class I had with her.”

Professor Hochschild also thinks it is important to assist our students to discern their vocations and to view their individual ministries as a part of the work of the Church. To this end, she is encouraged by the team of theology professors in the department. “Our theology faculty share a sense of the ecclesial dimension of theology; they see their profession as not just academic, but as an opportunity to promote the gospel and the mission of the Church.” Along with this strong ecclesial dimension, Professor Hochschild added, “We hope that the theology program will challenge our students with academic rigor.” In helping him with his senior honors project, Thomas Baker, C’18, reflected, “It was an absolute blessing. Dr. Hochschild not only challenged me in making the project the best it could be, but she also cared about my well being throughout the project. She is an intellectual powerhouse when it comes to theology, and she practices the love of God by caring for each of her students.”  

What Hochschild loves most about the Mount is the goodness of the people, especially of the students. She recalled one occasion when there was a medical emergency in class. “The students didn’t hesitate. They immediately responded to their fellow student’s first-aid needs, comforted and prayed for the student. It was an amazing display of authentically kind hearts,” she recalled.

Professor Hochschild lives locally with her four children and her husband Joshua, who teaches in the Mount’s Philosophy Department. She enjoys road-biking the beautiful Frederick County countryside, traveling to visit family in Canada and playing soccer and frisbee with her children.