Alumni Stories: Dr. Jason Morgan

Alumni Stories: Dr. Jason Morgan

Dr. Jason Morgan

Graduation Year: 2021
MA Philosophy (Christian Wisdom)

Holy Apostles has given me a completely new perspective on my life and the world around me. The MA program at HACS was my first experience studying philosophy in a structured setting, and being able to see how the different strands of ideas I had been picking up here and there before fit together into a much bigger whole was such a grace.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Born in southern Louisiana, grew up there and in Tennessee. I first went to Japan as an undergrad at UT-Chattanooga and from there have focused on Asian studies. Attended universities in China, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Nagoya (Japan), and then did a Fulbright doctoral year at Waseda University in Tokyo. Finished the Ph.D. in Japanese history at the University of Wisconsin and then came straight to Japan to start working. Have lived in Japan for probably around ten years in all, and have also lived in China and South Korea.

I am married to my best friend. We both love animals, and when we have time we also like to take drives down to the Pacific Ocean and around the back roads of rural Japan.

What are you doing now?

I may possibly have the distinction—not sure, but I must be a contender—of being the most remote student in HACS history. I did the whole program (MA Philosophy—Christian Wisdom) from Japan, where I live and work.

I teach at a small Japanese college and research and write about Japanese history as my day job. My main areas of focus are Japanese law, history, and politics. My recent books are Law and Society in Imperial Japan: Suehiro Izutaro and the Search for Equity (Cambria, 2020). I’ve also published scholarly essays at Dao, Studia Gilsoniana, the Michigan Historical Review, the Proceedings of the Historical Awareness Research Committee, Logos, Reitaku Review, and a few other journals. A book chapter on religious philosophy in the writings of Confucius is due out soon in an edited volume put together by the legendary HACS professor, Peter Redpath.

I am very blessed to be able to contribute writings to the Seirondan opinion page of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper in Tokyo, the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies journal, New Oxford Review, The Remnant, the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals journal, The Imaginative Conservative, Abbeville Institute, Crisis, Japan Forward, Kokutai Bunka, Asia Times, the University Bookman, and some other outlets.

I hope to go back to HACS for a Post-Master’s in the history of philosophy, and would also like to study Indian philosophy formally.

Why did you decide to study at Holy Apostles?

I came to Holy Apostles by the grace of God. I had just finished a Ph.D. program in Japanese history and was ready to do some serious studying—which is how I was led to Holy Apostles.

Ph.D. programs at secular universities are mainly ideological, and students are coached to mimic “successful” professors in order to say the right things to get the best jobs and publishing contracts. It’s a tremendously sterile, anti-intellectual milieu.

Holy Apostles was a huge gust of fresh air! I started off with Prof. Redpath’s course on The One and the Many and was floored. It was probably one of the best classes I ever took in my life, perhaps THE best. The rest of my time at HACS was just like that, one amazing discovery of eternal truth after another. I wouldn’t trade my three-and-a-half years at Holy Apostles for anything in the world.

What was your favorite course you took while at Holy Apostles?

Probably Philosophical Anthropology, with Prof. Randall Colton, Dante, with Prof. Ferri, and The True, the False, the Lie, and the Fake, with Prof. Curtis Hancock

How has your education helped you in your life?

HACS has given me a completely new perspective on my life and the world around me. The MA program at HACS was my first experience studying philosophy in a structured setting, and being able to see how the different strands of ideas I had been picking up here and there before fit together into a much bigger whole was such a grace. I never thought of myself as a philosopher, and I still don’t claim the title, but HACS taught me that even I can think things through philosophically.

Since graduating from Holy Apostles, what has been your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?

My scholarly work continues–I am set to contribute to some book projects over the next few months, will take part in some legal history and Asian history conferences, and am working on several new chapters and essays, as well as a handful of new books. A colleague and I are starting a new book series on East Asian History, and I am now putting together proposals for the first round of books and just finished translating a long essay by a Japanese legal scholar on legal fictions for that series.

Personally, my greatest accomplishment since leaving HACS is that I am trying to learn to see God’s love in the world around me. This is not really an accomplishment, but a requirement of being a human being, something that HACS taught me should be at the very center of what I do.

How has your education help you serve in your community or family?

Prof. Mahfood always stressed community in his Dante lectures, and this has helped me to see myself as part of a much bigger world than just myself. Speaking the truth forthrightly and with love is what we should all be doing in and for the world. Listening to others is also indispensable to that mission. Holy Apostles was the place where I saw all of these various aspects of communal living come together into one coherent piece.

Were you inspired by any particular person at Holy Apostles?

All of them! Prof. Redpath, Prof. Curtis, Prof. Colton, Prof. Ferri–these and my other professors all showed me things that I never would have discovered on my own. Dr. Elizabeth Rex also deserves special mention. I attended one of her talks on embryos from a pro-life position and was overwhelmed by the quality of the discussion and her loving approach to life issues.

I’d also like to express my appreciation for Prof. Timothy Smith and Prof. Philippe Yates. They teach subjects that I personally find challenging, but their calm presentation and lucid explication made the difference. I thought it would be logically impossible for me to pass a logic class–Prof. Yates showed me that I was wrong, and also why it was illogical of me to think that logic wasn’t for me!

Other Information You Feel Like Sharing:

I could never have done the HACS program without the support of my wife and family.

Flexible Learning – The Holy Apostles Difference

Holy Apostles Students of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Putting the Knowledge They’ve Gained to Good Use

In 1957, the founder of the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles the Very Rev. Eusebe Menard–hailing from Canada–established a Roman Catholic seminary in Cromwell, CT. His intention was to foster and form “late” vocations to the priesthood. 

Fast-forward – Holy Apostles 2022

Chapel interior from choir loftFast-forward fifty-five years later, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary continues to stand proud. Its campus stretches gracefully across Cromwell’s beautiful, rolling hills. It continues to serve people of all ages, and from all walks of life, in their individual quests for wisdom and holiness in their vocations. Both in its traditional on-campus setting and through its pioneering, affordable, 100% online programs, Holy Apostles serves as an academic home to seminarians, laity, clergy, and consecrated religious from around the country and even around the globe.

Flexible Learning – the Holy Apostles Difference

The diversity of students is made possible by the asynchronous nature of Holy Apostles’ classes. This freedom has “made all the difference” for Ben of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is currently earning his Master of Arts in Theology at Holy Apostles. “I can study anywhere and anytime,” he says, “scheduling my coursework around other activities.” Jessica, also of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles says, “the flexibility that Holy Apostles offered provided an excellent opportunity for me to acquire my masters while taking time off to be a mother and tend to the needs of our autistic son.” She graduated from Holy Apostles in 2020 with her Master of Arts in Theology degree. “I am grateful.”

Ben can attest that “Holy Apostles is 100% faithful to the authentic doctrine and magisterium of the Church.” Students at Holy Apostles not only learn the Catholic faith in its fullness and truth, but are also prepared to thrive in their vocations and to excel at fulfilling careers. According to Fr. Raymond Marquez, also of the Los Angeles Archdiocese,

“Studying at Holy Apostles has refreshed my memory of certain ways that the Church articulates articles of the faith and at times made things more understandable to me, especially putting them in the context of experiences after several years of priestly ministry. Taking these courses has helped me develop new insights when I give homilies, when doing pastoral counseling, or in everyday conversations with people who want to understand the faith better.”

Jessica adds, “the orthodoxy of the teaching at Holy Apostles is its crowning achievement and they should be applauded for insisting on this feature in their classes and among their professors. It has aided in increasing my own faith, and as a result has given me the skills to better educate others.”

Those who are interested in joining the joyfully and faithfully Catholic community that is Holy Apostles, whether on-campus or online, are warmly welcomed to visit www.HolyApostles.edu to learn more and begin their application.

Article written by Cameron Daly, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Commencement – May 2022

Details regarding the Holy Apostles College & Seminary May 2022 Commencement ceremony will be announced as soon as possible. Please check your Holy Apostles student email account regularly for communication regarding Graduation and Commencement. For more information please visit, holyapostles.edu/graduation

Alumni Stories: Mrs. Diana Moyet-Trerotola

Alumni Spotlight:

Mrs. Diana Moyet-Trerotola, 2012

Master of Arts in Theology

“I am fortunate and blessed to have obtained my theological education from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. It has been an experience that continues to be fruitful in my ministry involvement and aspirations. I am proud to serve as an Alumna and highly recommend this institution for your advanced learning objectives.” 

Tell us about yourself

I was involved in many youth ministries as a teenager, serving in various youth leadership positions. As I matured in my faith, I became actively involved in my parishes, serving as Eucharist Minister, Lecturer, and Catechist. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Saint John’s University, Queens, New York, majoring in Rhetoric and Public Address, followed with a Master of Business Administration from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. I entered the FBI as a Special Agent in 1995, retiring in 2015. During my FBI tenure, I continued to volunteer in various Catholic ministries despite the many state-relocation moves due to my career. While still active in law enforcement, I established Women’s Walk of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-profit-based organization, which offers a forum where women of all Christian denominations can assimilate, socialize and educate through shared life experiences. I pursued and earned a theological graduate degree from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in support of my ministry vision, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2012.

What are you doing now?

As Ministry Director and founder for Women’s Walk of Faith Ministries, Inc., I serve as a Lay Person speaker, Conference Coordinator, Bible Study Teacher, and Spiritual Adviser. I continue my ministry work online by writing and sending daily devotions to ministry subscribers, actively sharing the Word of God through social media venues, and establishing a network of women of faith in neighboring communities by hosting Bible studies and gatherings. Following my Chaplain Internship and Residency Program that I completed this August, earning four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at ChristianaCare Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, and teaching hospital, I remained at ChristianaCare Health System as a volunteer hospital Chaplain. I am pending Chaplain Board Certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Why did you decide to study at HA?

I was seeking a Master’s of Theology or equivalent in support of my vision for my Women’s ministry. Additionally, I envisioned pursuing a ministry career/vocation following my law enforcement retirement and felt a theological education would help establish that knowledge and foundation. However, being a federal employee subject to potential relocation, I needed to find an educational institution that offered online learning, which limited my options. After conducting a significant amount of research, I discovered that Holy Apostles College & Seminary offered a Distance Learning program that met my needs. This was also the only program that did not require a hybrid physical attendance requirement, which would have been challenging for me in my line of work. This decision to pursue a distance learning degree program proved prophetic as I relocated out of state twice during my theological studies due to work-related responsibilities.

What was your favorite course you took while at HA?

My favorite course at Holy Apostles College & Seminary was the Vatican II Documents, taught by Doctor Cynthia Toolin-Wilson. The course offered an in-depth and comprehensible historical understanding of the Second Vatican documents and how it transcends into the beliefs of our Catholic tradition. Dr. Toolin-Wilson’s teaching approach facilitated a practical learning experience despite an intensive dogmatic subject. This educational content served beneficial in my recent application for Catholic Chaplain Board Certification in a required theological integrated essay requiring my articulation of the understanding of the Second Vatican Documents as it relates to spiritual pastoral care.

How has your HA education helped you in your life?

My advance education at Holy Apostles College & Seminary has been extremely instrumental in my career aspirations. I knew that following my law enforcement retirement, I wanted to pursue a career in ministry, and I hoped my theological studies would help direct me in this vocation. Shortly after I retired, my parish, St. Andrew Catholic Church, Elk River, Minnesota, had an opening for a Director of Religious Education (DRE), requiring a degree in Theology. I was offered this position. When I relocated to Delaware, I was asked to serve as the Interim DRE for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bear, Delaware, after the Priest became aware of my Master’s in Theology. And when God led me to pursue the vocation of Chaplaincy, not only did my theological degree meet the educational requirement, it provided the foundation needed for pastoral and spiritual engagement. This included incorporating a working knowledge of ethical theories as it applies to a clinical setting; providing religious and spiritual resources and practices to care recipients in diverse settings and needs; and facilitating theological/spiritual reflection and dialogue with patients and families encountering a crisis situation. With respect to my women’s ministry, my newly acquired theological knowledge enhanced Biblical concepts in my Bible Studies and speaking engagements, offering a new profound perspective for reflection.

Were you inspired by any particular person at HA (professor, mentor, tutor, staff member), and how?

The instruction by all of my professors fostered an interest to pursue my theological studies beyond a “requirement perspective” to a desire of personal and professional spiritual development. They were always available and engaging, allowing the students to engage with a personal perspective. Our Distance Learning representative, Mr. Robert Mish, was extremely valuable in guiding me on my theological educational journey, always resourceful and available, both during and after completing my Master’s program.

MA Programs Ranked #1

Holy Apostles College and Seminary has been awarded top-ranking status for its affordable tuition for 2021. EDSmart.org’s recently released listing of 2021 Most Affordable Online Masters Programs, ranked Holy Apostles #1 among Catholic institutions and #4 among others institutions.

DigitalJournal.com writes saying, “The Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs ranking allows students to compare accredited programs and find those that best fit their education interests and career goals,” said EDsmart’s spokesperson. “We recommend these programs highly to college applicants and parents seeking schools that are academically top-notch and committed to making their programs affordable. These colleges are also standouts at guiding their students to rewarding futures.”

 

Explore Our Master of Arts Programs

Holy Apostles awarded grant by AAAS and DoSER program

Holy Apostles College & Seminary located in Cromwell, CT, has a history of engaging science in light of our Catholic faith tradition. We are delighted to have recently received a grant, provided by the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), to host a Zoom-based community workshop entitled “Assessing Contemporary Science in the Light of Faith” presented by Dr. Stacy Trasancos, an adjunct faculty member at Holy Apostles and executive director of the St. Philip Institute for Catechesis and Evangelization.

This workshop teaches non-scientist members of our Holy Apostles community how to articulate developments in current research in biological or biochemical fields (with particular emphasis on evolutionary biology, genetics, or neuroscience) by reading scientific papers and reviewing how to classify the conclusions in scientific papers as neutral, contradictory, or consistent with the tenets of our Catholic faith. Workshop topics include Christianity and the Birth of Modern Science, How Scientific Research is Conducted, Methods for Reviewing a Scientific Field of Research, Analyzing Scientific Conclusions in the Light of Faith, Defending Doctrine When Scientific Conclusions Go Beyond Science, and Completing the Scientific Revolution by Reuniting Science with Philosophy and Theology.  

“The DoSER program will provide science resources to assist Holy Apostles as we educate seminarians on the relationship between faith and science.” – Very Rev. Peter S. Kucer, MSA, President-Rector

 

“Thanks to the DoSER program, Holy Apostles will be able to share with its community some concrete methods to strengthen our understanding of the relationship between science and our Catholic faith.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, Vice-President of External Affairs, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Program Director

 

“Seeing science as the study of God’s handiwork changes the way you see the world. Thanks to the DoSER program, Holy Apostles can share this great synthesis of awe and wonder with seminarians.” Dr. Stacy Trasancos, Program Coordinator and Webinar Instructor

All members of the Holy Apostles community (faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters) are encouraged to attend. There is no cost for attending. Those interested may register through https://wcatradio.com/assessingscience/

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving millions of individuals. The nonprofit is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. Building upon its mission, AAAS established the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program in 1995 to facilitate communication between scientific and religious communities. For the latest information and news about AAAS DoSER and the Science for Seminaries Seed Grant initiative, visit AAAS.org/DoSER and ScienceforSeminaries.org.

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