Rev. Thomas J. Burke, O.SS.T.

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology

tburke [at]

Curriculum vitae

A priest of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, Fr. Thomas Burke has taught and served as a faculty mentor and spiritual director for seminarians at St. Mary’s on a full-time or part-time basis for a quarter of a century. He first served at St. Mary’s from 1990 to 2006, including five years as Vice Rector from 1998 to 2003.

In 2003, Fr. Burke was elected Minister Provincial (Major Superior) of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (United States) Province of his religious Order of Trinitarians. From 2006 to 2012 he served as Rector of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD, outside of Washington, DC. While serving in these administrative roles, he continued to teach at St. Mary’s on a part-time basis from 2003 to 2006.

While serving as Minister Provincial, Fr. Burke traveled extensively to houses of the Order across the United States, as well as in England and France, and to houses of the Order in Poland for an international meeting. He also conducted pastoral visitations at newly established houses of formation in Thrissur and Bangalore, India, and at a house of the Order in Cairo, Egypt serving Sudanese refugees. During his time in the Washington, DC area, Fr. Burke also taught on an adjunct basis at the Washington Theological Union and the Catholic University of America.

Fr. Burke returned to St. Mary’s in 2012 on a part-time basis, and in 2013 he returned to full-time service as teacher, mentor, and spiritual director. From 2013 to 2019 he served as both Dean of the School of Theology and Praeses of the Ecclesiastical Theological Faculty. In 2019 he returned to part-time teaching.

Selected Courses Taught

  • Theological Anthropology
  • Christology/Soteriology
  • Theology of the Church
  • Mariology
  • Eschatology
  • Theological Hermeneutics
  • Pneumatology

Service to the Church

  • Guest speaker at parishes, pastoral councils, and churches in the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas
  • Coordinator of, and teacher in, the academic program of the Archdiocese of Baltimore permanent deacon program
  • Former associate-in-residence at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Jessup, MD
  • Weekend assistance at parishes in the Archdioceses of Baltimore and Washington, DC

Selected Publications

  • “Integration and Integrity: The Formative Expression of Systematic Theology,” in Seminary Journal 3/2,(Fall 1997): 24-29
  • “Teaching and Learning about Jesus Christ in Seminary Education,” in Bulletin de Saint-Sulpice 27 (2001): 22-31

Recommended Reading

  • Karl Rahner, On Prayer
  • Frederick Cwiekowski, The Church: Theology in History
  • Robin Ryan, Jesus and Salvation

A Favorite Quotation

The best way out is always through. — Robert Frost