Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF a Rochester, Minnesota Franciscan, joined the CTU faculty in 1999. In 2017 she received the Franciscan Federation’s “Inspiration for the 21st Century Award” for her contribution to Franciscan theological education. She also was honored among twenty-five eco-theologians in the U.S. Heartland by The National Council of Churches of Christ Ecojustice Programs as a leading Catholic environmental ethicist, (2012).

She holds The Erica & Harry John Family Chair in Catholic Ethics, with the mandate to promote the Roman Catholic Consistent Ethic of Life, advanced by Cardinal Bernardin. Her research and teaching thus, addresses a variety of issues especially environmental ethics, ethics of power and racial jus­tice, and fundamental moral theology. However, her primary focus is environmental ethics through the lens of Franciscan theology, especially the effects of today’s climate emergency on poor people.  

Of equal concern is the religion/science dialogue. She was a Project Leader for AAAS-DoSER Grant that enabled the CTU Faculty to integrate the science/religion dialogue in theology and ethics cours­es. She was invited to serve as grant proposal evaluator for The Climate Science in Theological Education initiative with AAAS-DoSER, a program that offers support for theol­ogy schools, enabling them to include the science/ reli­gion dialogue in their curriculum. Since 2015, she has been a consultant for the Laudato Si’ Encyclical Working Group of the Office of Human Dignity of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Dr. Nothwehr served on the National Board of the Catholic Theology Society of America, a Convener of its Moral Theology section, and Co-Convener of its Women’s Consultation in Constructive Theology, and as a Co-Convener of the Environmental Ethics and Theology section of the Society of Christian Ethics. Dr. Nothwehr contributed to the New Theology Review, CTU’s peer reviewed journal, as Editorial Board Member, Editor, and Co-Editor. She has also directed CTU’s M. Div. and MAPS Degree Programs and the Certificate in Healthcare Mission Leadership Program.

Her most recent book is Franciscan Writings: Hope amid Ecological Sin and Climate Emergency (London: Bloomsbury, 2023).

Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF


See Also
  • Ecological Footprints: An Essential Guide to Sustainable Living. (Liturgical Press, 2012)
  • That They May Be One: Catholic Social Teaching on Racism, Tribalism, and Xenophobia. (Orbis Books, 2008)Catholic Press Association Award, Educational Books, 2009.
  • A Franciscan View of the Human Person: Some Central Elements. Vol. III, Franciscan Intellectual Tradition Series. (The Franciscan Institute, 2005)
  • Struggles for Environmental Justice and Health in Chicago: An African American Perspective. (DePaul University-John J. Eagan Urban Center, 2004)
  • “Kenan B. Osborne’s Postmodern Critique of “Sacramentality:” A Resource for Catholic Liturgical Pedagogy and Environmental Ethics.” In Liturgy and Catholic Social Teaching. (Liturgy Training Publications, 2018)
  • “The Influence of Leonardo Boff’s Franciscan Liberation Ecological Theology on “Integral Ecology” in Laudato Si’,” In All Creation Is Connected: Voices in Response to Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Ecology. (Anselm Academic, 2018)
  • “Human Dignity within a Context of Integral Ecology. In Dignity in Conflict: Interfaith Dialogue on the Value and Vulnerability of Human Life. (University of Notre Dame, 2018).
  • “Bonaventure of Bagnoregio’s imatatio Christi as an Agapistic Virtue Ethics.” In On Earth as It Is in Heaven. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2016)
  • “The Church’s Mission of Ecojustice: A Prophetic Dialogue Approach.” In Mission on the Road to Emmaus: Constants, Context and Prophetic Dialogue. (SMC Press, 2015 / Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2015)
  • “The Quest for Interconnectedness: Cosmic Mutuality.” In Plural Spiritualities: North American Experiences. Christian Philosophical Studies, XIV.(Council for Research in Values and Philosophy of CUA, 2015).
  • “God’s Creation: A Course on Theology and the Environment” (NowYouKnowMedia, 2016)
  • “The Earth is the Lord’s: Catholic Theology of Creation, Ecology, and the Environment” (NowYouKnowMedia, 2010)