Michael J. Sheeran, S.J.
The Graduate School & Institute of Pastoral Studies
Michael J. Sheeran, S.J.
President, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1957 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1970. Father Sheeran chose to devote his life to Jesuit education, teaching early in his career at St. Louis University and at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado.
In 1975, Father Sheeran began a more than three-decade tenure at Regis University in Denver, first as an assistant professor of history and political science and then as director of Student Academic Services. Two years later, he was named academic dean of the college, and in 1982 he became academic vice president. While teaching at Regis, Father Sheeran also earned his doctorate in politics from Princeton University, and his dissertation on the Quaker decision-making process—a variant on Jesuit Communal Discernment—became a book that is used by Quakers to teach their method to new members of their community.
After more than a decade as academic vice president at Regis, Father Sheeran was named the 23rd president of the university, officially beginning his term on January 1, 1993.
One of the highlights of Father Sheeran’s presidency came only eight months later, when he hosted at Regis the historic first meeting between Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton on August 12, 1993. The meeting took place during the Pope’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day, and Father Sheeran was called on by Denver’s CBS Channel 4 to serve as an expert commentator on the papal visit. He filled that role for Channel 4 again in 2005 during the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Sheeran served as president of Regis until May 31, 2012. On April 1, 2013, he began his current role as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). He is also a trustee of two other Jesuit institutions: John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, and Saint Louis University. He is a former trustee of the University of San Francisco, Regis Jesuit High School, and St. John Vianney Seminary of the Archdiocese of Denver, and he is a former member of the Executive Committee of the AJCU. In addition, he has served on numerous other boards, including those of Rockhurst University, Creighton University, Loyola University New Orleans, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Father Sheeran holds honorary doctorates from the University of Denver and the University of San Francisco. He currently staffs the national coordinating committee for the Ignatian Mission Reaffirmation Process (“Examen”) of the AJCU.