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M. Therese Lysaught, PhD

Title/s:  Professor
Visiting Scholar, Catholic Health Association, 2012-2013

Email: mlysaught@luc.edu


M. Therese Lysaught, PhD, is a tenured Professor at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Care Leadership and the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago, having joined the faculty 2013. For five years, she served as Associate Dean for the Institute of Pastoral Studies, and prior to joining the faculty at Loyola held tenured positions at Marquette University and the University of Dayton, serving terms as Director of Graduate Studies for her respective departments. 

Dr. Lysaught’s scholarly work brings into conversation the fields of theology, medicine, ethics, and bioethics.  She has published on a variety of topics including fundamental investigations in the areas of Catholic moral theology and theological ethics, as well as specific topics such as anointing of the sick, genetics, gene therapy, human embryonic stem cell research, end-of-life, neuroscience, global health, and bioethics and social justice.  She also consults widely with health care systems on issues surrounding mission, theology, and ethics. 

In 2012, Dr. Lysaught was invited to serve as a Visiting Scholar with the Catholic Health Association, overseeing a project on the theological foundations of Catholic identity.  Prior to this appointment, she had served in a variety of advisory capacities with CHA including the Theologian and Ethicist Committee of the Board of Directors (2002-2009) as well as working groups on genetics (2001-2003) and the principle of moral cooperation (2001-2006).

In 2010, Dr. Lysaught was elected to the Board of Directors for the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE), the major professional organization for scholars in theological ethics in the U.S., serving a four-year term.  In 2017, she was invited to join the Editorial Board for the SCE’s Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.  In 2019, she will join the advisory board of Studies in Christian Ethics, the journal of the SCE’s British counterpart, the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics.  She is a founding member of the editorial board of the Journal of Moral Theology (since 2009), currently serves as an editorial advisor to The Other Journal and Cascade Books, and spent eight years on the editorial advisory board for Christian Bioethics

Since Fall 2018, she has served as a content advisor for a Science for Seminaries Grant awarded to Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  In addition, she served on the Advisory Board of AAAS Program of Dialogue Between Science, Religion, and Ethics (1998-2001), the the Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation—U.S., sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2008-2011, and the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago.

In Fall 2018, she piloted, with Emily Anderson, a course in “Global Bioethics.”  Since 2003, her work in global health has taken her to Haiti, El Salvador and Guatemala.  Since Fall 2017, she has served as facilitator and core team member for the project entitled Global Faith-Based Health Systems: Integrating Technology and Empowering Communities, co-sponsored by Georgetown University and the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Trento, Italy.

She spent the year of 1994-1995 as Fellow in the Program in Molecular and Clinical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics and Genetics, College of Medicine, as well as the Program in Biomedical Ethics at the University of Iowa.  The fellowship was funded by the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program of the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She was subsequently invited to serve a three-year term on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), National Institutes of Health (1995-1998), an historic federal committee created in the wake of the Asilomar conferences in the early 1970s that oversaw the development of, first, genetic engineering and, in the 1990s, human gene transfer research (a.k.a., gene therapy).





  • PhD, Religion & Theological Ethics, Duke University
  • MA, Theology, University of Notre Dame

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Catholic Health Association
  • The Ekklesia Project
  • American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH)
  • CHA Ministry Assessment External Reviewer

Courses Taught

  • IPS 553, Christian Ethics and Moral Theology
  • IPS 596, Dying Well
  • BEHL 416, Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice
  • BEHL 432, Global Bioethics
  • BEHL 500, Introduction to Healthcare Mission Leadership
  • BEHL 491, Integrated Doctoral Seminar in Ethics, Theology, and Healthcare: Theological Bioethics


  • 2008 Catholic Press Association, Theology (Third Place Honors) for Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective (Eerdmans, 2007)
  • 2019 Catholic Press Assosciation Award, Catholic Social Thought (Honorable Mention) for Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice: The Praxos of US health Care in a Globalized World (Liturgical Press, 2019)
  • 2022 Universidad Fancisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Expanded Reason Award for Biopolitics After Neuroscience: Morality and the Economy of Virtue

Selected Publications


  • A Prophet to the Peoples: Paul Farmer’s Witness and Theological Ethics. Co-edited with Jennie Weiss Block and Alexandre A. Martins. JMT/CTEWC Book Series OR: Wipf and Stock (February 2023).
  • Biopolitics After Neuroscience: Morality and the Economy of Virtue, with Jeffrey P. Bishop and Andrew A. Michel (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2021)
  • Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice (Liturgical Press, 2018, co-edited with Michael McCarthy)


  • “A Field Hospital for Catholic Bioethics: The Postconciliar Method of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti,” in The Gift of Creation, ed. Mátyás Szalay. Wipf and Stock (in 2023).
  • “Liberating Theological Ethics from the Invisible Hand: Paul Farmer, the World's Poor, and the Quandaries of the Fortunate,” in A Prophet to the Peoples: Paul Farmer’s Witness and Theological Ethics. Co-edited with Jennie Weiss Block and Alexandre A. Martins. JMT/CTEWC Book Series OR: Wipf and Stock (in press, February 2023).
  • Review of Anthony Annett, Cathonomics (Georgetown University Press, 2021), Journal of Moral Theology (in press January 2023).
  • “Jesus is My Coyote: Rev. Ramon Dagoberto Quinones and the Sanctuary Movement,” in People of God Get Ready! Thirteen Misfits, Malcontents and Dreamers for Troubled Times, edited by Charles Marsh, Peter Slade, and Shea Tuttle. Wm B. Eerdmans (in press, 2022).
  • “After COVID-19: Toward a Sacramental Biopolitics,” in Routledge Companion to Christian Ethics, eds. Rebecca Miles and D. Stephen Long. Routledge Press (in press 2022).
  • “Vicious Trauma: Poverty, Race, Bodies and the Confounding of Virtue Ethics,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 42, no. 1 (online first, August 17, 2022), doi: 10.5840/jsce202281660, with Cory D. Mitchell.
  • “Theological Ethics of Life: A New Volume by the Pontifical Academy for Life,” with Roberto Dell’Oro, Journal of Moral Theology, 11, no. 2 (July 2022): 65-77, https://doi.org/10.55476/001c.37088.
  • All Vaccines are Morally Acceptable, commentary, National Catholic Reporter (March 5, 2021).
  • Whose Revolution? Which Future? The Legacy of Alasdair MacIntyre for a Radical Pedagogy in Virtue, with Daniel P. Rhodes, in Explorations: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities 14, no. 1 (2020): 97-125. 
  • Beyond Stewardship: Reordering the Economic Imagination of Catholic Health CareChristian Bioethics 26, no. 1 (April 2020): 31-55.
  • Las Periferias y El Pan: Pope Francis, the Theology of the People, and the Conversion of Catholic Bioethics,  Perspectivas Teológica Bioética  51, n. 3 (2019): 421-442.
  • Equally Strange Fruit: Catholic Health Care and the Appropriation of Residential Segregation, Journal of Moral Theology, with Cory Mitchell (January 2019).
  • "That Jagged Little Pill and the Counter-Politics of the Community of the Expelled: A Sacramental Assessment of Psychiatric Medication," Christian Bioethics (2018).

Chapters in Books

  • "Catholicism in the Neonatal Context: Belief, Practice, Challenge, Hope." In: Religion and Ethics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. R Green, G Little (eds). Oxford University Press, 2019: pp. 37-64.
  • “Catholic Bioethics Meets Catholic Social Thought: A Problem, a Primer, and a Plan,” in Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice, co-edited with Michael P. McCarthy. 1-23. Liturgical Press, 2018.
  • “Outsourcing,” in Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice, co-edited with Michael P. McCarthy. 267-281. Liturgical Press, 2018.
  • "Sr. Mary Stella Simpson," Can I Get a Witness? Stories of Christian Radicals in America, 1900-2014, edited by Charles Marsh, Shea Tuttle, and Daniel Rhodes. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishers, 2019. In conjunction with the Project on Lived Theology/University of Virginia and The Other Journal.