B.A., religion, La Salle University, 2012; M.A., systematic theology, Christendom Graduate School, 2013; Ph.D., theology, Ave Maria University, 2018; Lecturer in Theology, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, 2019-2020; Assistant Professor, St. John Vianney College Seminary, 2020-2022; Tutor, Thomas Aquinas College, 2022-present.
Despite attending a nominally Catholic college on the East Coast, Dr. Ryan Brady (’07) experienced a deepening of faith in his first years out of high school. Indeed, as his faith increased, so did his dissatisfaction with his college’s deviations from magisterial teaching, prompting him to leave just shy of his graduation. While away, he encountered Rev. Robert Nortz, S.T.L. — a Maronite monk who spoke enthusiastically about an altogether different Catholic school which took the Faith more seriously: Thomas Aquinas College.
“Fr. Nortz appreciated the way that the College approaches the pursuit of truth in an integral and ordered manner,” he says. When the priest described TAC, Dr. Brady was “captivated by how beautiful it sounded.” He soon applied, was accepted, and enrolled as a member of the Class of 2007.
Providence, however, had other plans: After three semesters, Dr. Brady felt the stirrings of a religious vocation. He sought the advice of the College’s founding president, Dr. Ronald P. McArthur. “He thought that I should go discern that vocation while I had the desire,” Dr. Brady remarks. Heeding that advice, he moved nearly 3,000 miles to join Fr. Nortz’s community, the Maronite Monks of Adoration in Petersham, Massachusetts, “a contemplative monastery with a great love of St. Thomas Aquinas.”
The monastery, in fact, modeled its formation on the College’s curriculum, and also hosted Dr. Duane Berquist, brother of College founder Mark Berquist, on a weekly basis for extensive discussions of St. Thomas’s philosophy and theology. Dr. Brady savored the rich spiritual and intellectual formation he was receiving and thus stayed for a number of years. Nevertheless, he came to realize that his desire to “share the fruits of contemplation” with others was not compatible with a strictly contemplative way of life, and he opted against taking permanent vows.
With only a semester of credits remaining at his original college, Dr. Brady finished his B.A. there in 2012. The love of wisdom born at TAC and nurtured by his time with the monks, however, led him to pursue advanced studies in theology. Dr. Brady completed an M.A. at the Christendom Graduate School in 2013 and earned his Ph.D. from Ave Maria University in 2018.
While at Ave Maria, Dr. Brady met his wife, Rebecca, a fellow theology student. “We were friends for a year before our engagement, but we had a very short courtship,” he says. “We had a sense that we were good for each other. One of the first things she asked me after we had been dating for a few weeks was, ‘Will you get me to heaven?’” He laughs. “I responded, ‘Well, I can’t get you to heaven, but I could help you!’” The couple wed in 2016 and has been blessed with four children.
For the next few years, Dr. Brady taught at St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami, Florida, before he was offered a position on the TAC-California teaching faculty. “It’s been my dream for many years to teach here,” he says. “When the offer came, the only answer I could come up with was, ‘Yes!’ I’m very excited to be here, and to work with these students, who have such a great zeal for the truth.”
- Conforming to Right Reason, On the Ends of the Moral Virtues and the Roles of Prudence and Synderesis. Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Academic (Date of Publication: Fall, 2021).
- “Aquinas the Voluntarist? An analysis of the thought of James Keenan, S.J.” Nova et Vetera (Summer, 2020: Issue 18.3).
- “A Defense of Aquinas’s Reading of Aristotle Regarding God’s Efficient Causality.” Angelicum 93 (2016, fasc. 1): 1-20.