Dr. Alan Schreck has been a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1978. During this time he has served as director of Graduate Theology for eight years between 1981 and 1989, as chair of the Departments of Theology and Philosophy from 1988-1992, and as chair of the Department of Theology from 1994-1995, 1999-2008, and 2012-present. Enrollment in the theology program has grown from 20 to 30 students when Dr. Schreck began teaching to over 550 students in both undergraduate and graduate theology programs in 2009. Dr. Schreck was awarded the Faculty Campus Leadership and Teaching Award at Franciscan University in 2000.
As a theology professor, Dr. Schreck has taught classes on the teachings of Vatican II, Church Renewal, Historical Foundations, and Theology of the Holy Spirit at the graduate level, and Theology of the Church, Theology of Christ, Early Christian Life and Thought, Christian Life and Thought in Modern Times, Foundations of Catholicism, and other theology electives at the undergraduate level.
Dr. Schreck is well-respected for his expertise in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and their impact on the Catholic Church today. Through his classes and writings he works to tell the truth about what Vatican II really teaches, believing, like Pope John Paul II, that the council was “a great gift of God to the Church in the 20th century.” He has written a column on the documents of Vatican II and the encyclical letters of Pope John Paul II for The Sower, an international journal for Catholic catechetics.
Dr. Schreck also specializes in Catholic Church history, Catholic Church doctrine, Church Renewal and the theology of the Church. He wrote a best-selling book on Catholic apologetics, Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs, which was reprinted in 2004 after selling a third of a million copies. Dr. Schreck co-hosts each summer with Dr. Scott Hahn an apologetics conference at Franciscan University, the Defending the Faith Conference, which draws over 1,200 attendees each year.
In the summer of 2008, Dr. Schreck traveled to Italy to participate in a six-week seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities on St. Francis in the 13th century, studying art and literature in Rome, Siena, and Assisi. Led by Franciscan scholars, Schreck and 15 other college and university professors did intensive research at the Franciscan library in the Capuchin Generalate outside of Rome, viewed Franciscan art in churches, art galleries and other collections, and participated in seminar discussions on early Franciscan texts.
Dr. Schreck has written many books, including his most recent The Legacy of Pope John Paul II (2012), Jesus: What Catholics Believe (2012), and The Gift: The Catholic Understanding of the Holy Spirit (Spring 2013). He co-wrote Epic: A Journey Through Church History with Steve Weidenkopf in 2009, and a foreword for The Action of the Holy Spirit: The Lord and Giver of Life by Frank J. Sheed in 2006.
Dr. Schreck received his Doctorate in Theology from University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario, in 1979. His dissertation was “Ronald Knox’s Theory of Enthusiasm and its Application to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.” He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Theology from University of St. Michael’s College and a Bachelor of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude in Theology and English from University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Schreck is a speaker at numerous Catholic conferences for the laity as well as for academic, diocesan, catechetical, and parish renewal events. His television series, “The Catholic Challenge: Vatican II and You” aired on EWTN, and he has made appearances on several EWTN shows, including Mother Angelica Live and Franciscan University Presents.
Dr. Schreck and his wife, Nancy, teach Pre-Cana marriage preparation classes on the spirituality of marriage together at a local Catholic deanery.
Dr. Schreck enjoys running and working with youth, so he volunteers as a track coach for the Steuben Striders, a summer youth track program. An Eagle Scout, he serves as the assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 401 and enjoys backpacking and camping. He is also an assistant coach for Franciscan University’s NCAA Div. III Track and Field team.
Alan and Nancy Schreck live in Steubenville, where they raised their children: Paul, Jeanne, Mark, Sr. Agnes, and Peter. He is a member of Triumph of the Cross parish and the Community of God’s Love, a Catholic charismatic covenant community.