As a member of the Department of Systematic Theology, Father Porter teaches courses
that treat of such core dogmatic themes as Christology (the person and work of Jesus),
Ecclesiology (the Church's origin and nature) and Christian Anthropology (the
Christian perspective on human being, its origin, nature and destiny). He also offers
from time to time elective courses in The History and Theology of the Reformation and The
History and Theology of Priesthood. Father Porter's work is characterized by the
dual emphasis in his education on history and theology. More precisely, he received his
grounding in Thomistic theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and
a broader ecumenical sensitivity from his studies at the non-denominational Oberlin
School of Divinity at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he majored in
the History of Christian Thought. This broad theological background is one of the reasons
he served for many years on the Archdiocese of Newark's Ecumenical Commission. His
background in the arts (a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Comparative
Literature and as a student of both the violin and voice) enables him to offer from time
to time an elective called Christ and Culture: Christian Themes in Art, Music, Literature
and Film. Father Porter has traveled extensively to visit historic sites of Judaism and
Christianity. In addition to observing first-hand the religious heritage of Italy and the
Vatican, he has traveled to Israel (Jerusalem, Galilee and Judea); in France, he has
chanted with the monks of Solesmes, climbed Mont Saint-Michel, gazed at the windows of
the cathedral at Chartres and enjoyed a dinner in Paris at Chef Alain Passard's
L'Arpège (where the servings surely rivaled the faire Zacchaeus set forth when he
hosted the famous Preacher from Nazareth); in England, he venerated Becket at Canterbury,
traced the final steps of Thomas More and sat before the pulpit from which Newman
preached at Oxford; at Dublin's Glasneven, he prayed at the graves of Irish
patriots; in Zurich's Fraümunster, he witnessed the effects of the Reformation; in
Turkey, he followed the footsteps of Saint Paul and stood before the pulpit from which
Chrysostom preached in Sancta Sophia; in China, he traced the steps of the Jesuit
missionary Matteo Ricci; in Mexico, he prayed at Guadalupe; and in Spain's Escorial,
he sat in contemplative silence. At St. Petersburg, Russia, he prayed before the icon of
the Virgin of Kazan. In Copenhagen, he walked the streets once trod by that other
"melancholy Dane," Søren Kierkegaard. At this time, Father Porter serves as an
assessor and examiner for the U.S. Bishops Conference's Pastoral Provision. He was
appointed Director of the Seminary Library on July 1, 2004. 


Ph.D., M.A., Vanderbilt University 

S.T.L., S.T.B., Pontifical Faculty of the Dominican House of Studies 

M.A., Brown University 

B.A., Providence College 






New Oxford Review, New Oxford Review (2002)