Dr. Thomas de Nocker is professor for general business studies, especially strategic management and sustainability at the FOM University of Applied Sciences for Economics and Management. The FOM University of Applied Sciences is Germany’s biggest private university of applied sciences with about 35,000 students and has its headquarter in Essen.

He did his doctorate in Pastoral Theology at the Catholic-Theological Department of the University of Münster in 2011. The thesis on the cooperation of strategic consultancies and Catholic Dioceses was graded “summa cum laude” and awarded with the Paul-Nordhues-Caritas-Award. He also works as consultant on organisational matters with emphasis on church and charitable institutions.

Thomas lives in the German city of Essen with his wife and his three wonderful children.

Father Stephen Joseph Fichter, pastor of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey, is also an adviser for Villanova University’s Center for Church Management and a research associate at The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

Father Stephen obtained a Ph.L. and an S.T.B. from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, an M.S.W. from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University.

Following in the footsteps of his well-known granduncle, the Jesuit scholar Father Joseph Fichter, Stephen’s research interests cover all issues related to the sociology of religion, especially those that focus on clergy and parish life. His social work thesis, which described gender differences in stress among Protestant ministers, was published in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (RSSSR 2005).

His doctoral dissertation and now his second published book, From Catholic Priest to Married Protestant Minister: Shepherding in Greener Pastures (Lexington Books 2015), examines the causes and consequences of the dual transition of celibate Catholic priests into married Protestant ministry. A summary of his findings can be found online at America magazine.

His experience before joining CARA in 2008 includes serving as the parochial vicar of Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church in Saddle River, New Jersey, and teaching undergraduate courses in Philosophy and World Religions at Bergen Community College. More recently, he taught for several years a graduate course in Vatican II Theology for the STEPS (Seminary’s Theological Education for Parish Services) Program at Seton Hall University as well as a Ministry of Leadership course for fourth year seminarians.

While studying in Europe for almost twelve years, he learned to speak Spanish and Italian fluently and held various administrative posts including chief financial officer and vice rector of two seminaries. He also taught Latin and Spanish to first-year seminarians.

At CARA, Father Stephen has continued to specialize in clergy research, placing his sociological skills at the service of the Roman Catholic Church. In coordination with the National Organization for Continuing Education for Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC), he has worked on several Cultivating Unity projects for dioceses throughout the United States. Father Stephen is also the co-author of the book, Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood since Vatican II (Liturgical Press 2012), in which 900 men discuss their priestly lives and ministry in the United States.

Father Stephen’s latest book is Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium (Oxford University Press 2019) is based on a nationwide comprehensive study on Catholic bishops in America. His co authors are Father Thomas Gaunt, SJ, Sister Catherine Hoegeman, and Dr. Paul Perl.

Finally, Father Stephen is the co-developer of the PeaceQuest iTunes app, which is a 3D immersive experience based on the Jesuit “composition of place” style of prayer.

Dr. Marti R. Jewell has served as an associate professor of pastoral theology in the Neuhoff School of Ministry at the University of Dallas and was named the University’s 2017 Michael A. Haggar Scholar. Previously, she served as the Director of the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project, a national research initiative studying excellence in parish leadership. Her books include Navigating Pastoral Transitions: A Parish Leaders’ Guide, The Changing Face of Church, and The Next Generation of Pastoral Leaders. Dr. Jewell holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Catholic University of America.

Senior Research Associate
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate

Mary L. Gautier is a senior research associate at CARA. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from Louisiana State University. Before coming to CARA in 1998, Mary taught sociology at Louisiana State University and at Texas Christian University and served as a lay pastoral associate at St. George Parish in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for six years.

At CARA, Mary specializes in Catholic demographic trends in the United States, manages CARA databases on Church information, and conducts demographic projects and computer-aided mapping. She also edits The CARA Report, a quarterly research publication, and other CARA publications. She is co-author of Catholicism USA (2000), Global Catholicism (2003), American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church (2007), Best Practices of Catholic Pastoral and Finance Councils (2010), Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood Since Vatican II (2012), American Catholics in Transition (2013), New Generations of Catholic Sisters (2014), and Bridging the Gap: The Opportunities and Challenges of International Priests Ministering in the United States (2014).

Director of Research
Center for the Study of Theological Education
Auburn Seminary

Endowed Chair for Social Scientific Study of Religion Emerita
St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

Director, Institute for Religion Research
Hartford Seminary