Spirituality Programs

Gillian Ahlgren

Gillian Ahlgren is Professor of Theology at Xavier University and the author of The Tenderness of God: Reclaiming Our Humanity (Fortress). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the History of Christianity, where she studied with Bernard McGinn and Martin Marty.

She is the author of six widely acclaimed books, including The Tenderness of God: Reclaiming Our Humanity (Fortress); Enkindling Love: The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross (Fortress); Entering Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle: A Reader's Companion (Paulist); The Inquisition of Francisca: A Sixteenth-Century Visionary on Trial (University of Chicago Press); and Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity (Cornell University Press).

Dr. Ahlgren’s approach to the mystical tradition uses theological insights to further personal and social transformation in ways that empower people to shape more creatively the world around them. As a university educator, she has taught over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as hundreds of adult learners throughout the city. Her publications, teaching, and workshops allow people today to understand the significance of women's theological and spiritual contributions to the Christian tradition historically, and this empowers them in their own work, whether as teachers, pastoral workers, business professionals, or care providers. She is an active mentor to women engaging academic careers and pastoral work, helping them to set and achieve professional goals and develop their professional voice.