Seminary's new institute honors memory of noted biblical scholar Jerome Quinn

Seminary's new institute honors memory of noted biblical scholar Jerome Quinn

An institute that honors the memory of biblical scholar Monsignor Jerome Quinn while strengthening academic excellence in the field of biblical studies has been established at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas.

The Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies will bring renowned scholars to the seminary to teach, mentor faculty, give public lectures and produce scholarly work for the broader academic and church communities.

"Monsignor Quinn is perhaps the most renowned scholar that has ever come out of this institution," said Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, rector.

Monsignor Jerome Quinn

During his lifetime, Quinn participated in the Second Vatican Council, served on the Pontifical Biblical Commission, was president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, published scholarly articles and devoted his life to the study of the Epistles, all in addition to teaching at the seminary.

After Quinn's death in 1988, his family wanted to memorialize his scholarship in a way that would continue the work he had begun, according to Tom Ryan, the seminary's vice president for institutional advancement.

"Although it took a number of years to raise the $1 million required to establish a permanent fund to sustain the institute, we couldn't have planned the timing any better," Ryan said. In October 2008, a synod of bishops in Rome reaffirmed the need for biblical training in seminaries.

In response to the synod's call, the first event sponsored by the Quinn institute will be a June 11-13 conference, "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church: Integrating Biblical Studies and Theology in the Formation of Priests." The conference will be held at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul.

Father Scott Carl, director of the institute, said the conference will bring together scholars to discuss the directives of the synod and how best to impart a love and learning of the Scriptures. Scholars with expertise in Scripture and seminary education will gather in St. Paul from a Canadian and various U.S. seminaries; the keynote address will be given by Father James Swetnam, S.J., professor emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

"The summer conference is a manifestation of what the institute does and will do," Carl said.  "It is an opportunity for scholars to pursue the needs of the church."

"The conference is exactly what we imagined might happen as a result of the Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute for Biblical Studies. We could not be more pleased," said Sheila Ham, Quinn's sister.

"The institute will allow broader, more profound pursuits that the seminary normally could not underwrite," Callaghan added. "It greatly strengthens our identity and capacity to meet an important need in the church."