Loyola Marymount University President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., today announced the selection of John T. Sebastian, Ph.D., as the next vice president for mission and ministry.
Sebastian, who currently serves as vice president for mission and ministry at Loyola University New Orleans, will succeed Vice President Robert Caro, S.J., on June 12, 2017.
As the chief mission officer at Loyola New Orleans, Sebastian developed and executed their mission and ministry strategic plan, served on the President’s Cabinet and other leadership committees, participated in an effort to build a Jesuit center, introduced an Ignatian Faculty Fellows Program, and worked collaboratively with the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He also served as inaugural director of the Common Curriculum, director of their Medieval Studies Program, and deputy director of Honors. He began his academic career at Loyola New Orleans in 2004 as a member of their English Department.
“I am honored to join LMU and lead its mission and ministry programs, which play a vital role in articulating and advancing a deeper understanding of the university’s Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity,” Sebastian said. “LMU’s values resonate within the community, and the university produces engaged alumni committed to lives of meaning and purpose. I embrace the opportunity to promote LMU’s distinctive character and look forward to supporting the university’s mission and its vision for global imagination.”
In an announcement, Snyder thanked the LMU community for taking part in a rigorous and comprehensive selection process that included open forums, interviewing panels, and recommendations from the search committee. He expressed confidence and optimism in naming Sebastian to the critical leadership post.
“Dr. Sebastian is a champion of Jesuit education,” Snyder said. “His distinguished career as an educator, administrator, and mission officer positions him to lead and support effectively LMU as a Catholic university defined by our sponsoring religious orders and mission. His collaborative style inspires creativity as we educate with purpose and seek transformative social change on a global scale. I welcome him as our newest LMU Lion and look forward to our collaborations.”
Sebastian earned his Ph.D. in medieval studies from Cornell University. He has a master’s degree in medieval studies from Cornell and an M.A. in English from Georgetown University, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in English and medieval studies. He is an expert on Middle English literature, especially religious drama, devotional poetry, and mystical writing. He has written about and taught courses on Anglo-Saxon England and Old English literature, Chaucer, Ignatian pedagogy and education, medieval women writers, and Old Norse literature and the Vikings.
Sebastian grew up in Nutley, New Jersey. He met his wife, Heather Mack, on a silent Ignatian retreat.