Reverend Francis Berna, I.V.D., Ph.D.

Campus Minister

As a native of Philadelphia, Fr. Berna has enjoyed working at La Salle University since 1996. Previously he taught and served as Chair of the Theology Department at St. Bonaventure University.  And, for a short time, he served as the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean at Alvernia College. Fr. Berna has also taught at Manhattan College as an adjunct instructor and at Yarra Theology Union in Melbourne, Australia as a visiting lecturer.  In addition to his academic work, he. Berna serves as a weekend assistant at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Red Bank, New Jersey.

While the focus of his work is with graduate students, he continues to enjoy teaching undergraduate courses. And, his service as adviser to the local chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity keeps him attuned to some of the everyday concerns of young people. He looks forward to the challenges of the Doctor of Theology program as an opportunity to “hand on” the critical work of theology to another generation.

Areas of Expertise

  • Systematic theology—theological foundations, Christology, ecclesiology
  • Theology and documents of Vatican II
  • Spirituality—classical and contemporary


  • Ph.D.–Systematic Theology, Fordham University
  • M.A., M.Div., Aquinas Institute of Theology
  • B.A.–Theology, Education, Marquette University


  • “Catholic Identity: Any Room for the Greeks?” Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education, 26/2 (2007): 221-233.
  • “An Invitation to Adults: Let’s Talk Sports,” Living Light, 39 (2002): 45-53.
  • “Franciscan Higher Education – No Apology Needed,” (revised), The Cord, 46 (1996): 280-286.

Book Reviews

  • Cardinal Martini, Night Conversations, Catholic Books Online, July 2013.
  • Katharine Harmon, And There Were Many Women, Catholic Books Online, May 2013.
  • Brother John of Taizé, Friends in Christ, Catholic Books Online, September 2012.
  • Michael H. Crosby, OFMcap.  Repair My House, Becoming a “Kingdom” Catholic, Catholic Books Online, May 2012.
  • Gabriel Moran, Believing in a Revealing God, Horizons (forthcoming).
  • Eliabeth Rapley, The Lord as Their Portion, Catholic Books Online, November 2011.
  • James Forest, All is Grace, a biography of Dorothy Day, Catholic Books Online, June 2011.
  • K. Beeker and I. Marali (eds.) Catholic Engagement with World Religions, Catholic Books Online, February 2011.
  • C. Kavin Rowe, Early Narrative Christology, the Lord in the Gospel of Luke, Catholic Books Online, June 2009.
  • Raymond Brown, Christ in the Gospels of the Liturgical Year, Catholic Books Online, November 2008.


  • Teaching Introductory Religion as Theology
  • Collaboration in Church Leadership
  • Playing with Spirit—Sports and Spirituality
  • St. Hilary of Poitier and Devotion to the Saints
  • Eucharist: Comforting Presence and Challenge
  • Rituals for the Lifecycle—an Interfaith Dialogue
  • Preparing for Vatican II; Vatican II and the Work to be Done
  • Frequent speaker at Roman Catholic parishes for programs in adult faith formation as well as parent groups for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation