Faculty & Staff
Having received his bachelor’s degree in 1997 from Thomas Aquinas College, John Mortensen spent the next ten years in Europe where he studied theology and philosophy in Austria, Oxford, and Rome. From 2002 to 2007 he was Assistant Professor at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, teaching courses in logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, fundamental theology, and Trinitarian theology. During these years he also held the positions of Director of Finance and subsequently Vice President of Administration.
He completed a doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in theology. Dr. Mortensen’s research has centered on Aquinas’s doctrine of analogy, especially as it pertains to St. Thomas’s account of the mystery of the Trinity and of the divine causality of human freedom.
Dr. Mortensen has been the director of the Aquinas Institute’s Opera Omnia project from its inception, and is currently working on the similar project for the works of St. Augustine.
Academic Dean, Professor of Theology
Dr. Lasnoski grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before attending the University of Pennsylvania but returned to the Midwest for graduate studies at Marquette University (Milw., WI), where he studied the theology of marriage and sexual ethics, especially in the thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Alphonsus Liguori, John Paul II, and Catholic social teaching. After earning his doctorate in 2011, Dr. Lasnoski taught moral theology as Assistant Professor at Quincy University until his move to Wyoming Catholic College in 2015, where he teaches theology and philosophy, and a practicum on marriage and consecrated life.
Dr. Lasnoski is a founding board member and Associate Editor of the Catholic literary and arts journal Dappled Things, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Moral Theology, and is the Editor of the Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He has published a monograph on marriage and consecrated life (Vocation to Virtue: Christian Marriage as a Consecrated Life), and together with his wife designs and participates in diocesan programs of marriage preparation and formation.
Professor of Humanities
Dr. Baxter has been teaching with our partner university, Wyoming Catholic, for nine years as an associate Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities. His primary research interests include medieval and Renaissance ideas of beauty, the long-lived legacy of the thought of Plato, and the poetry of Dante. He is also interested in medieval mysticism, humanism, and the relationship between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Dr. Baxter teaches Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance humanities courses, as well as art history from antiquity through modernity. Several of his scholarly publications include articles on the Platonic tradition in the Latin West, and writings on Dante.
Director of Admissions
Caroline Beecher is from Chicago, IL and received her bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame. During her undergraduate studies, Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and her experience on the Catholic Worldview Fellowship awakened a desire to impact culture by empowering the rising generation of Catholic leaders through formation, dialogue, and first-hand experience with the roots of their faith. After graduation, she worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital. She subsequently earned a Master in Political and Corporate Communication at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain before joining the Aquinas Institute as Director of Admissions.
Dr. Benjamin Block is a graduate from the first class of Wyoming Catholic College. He received his licentiate and doctorate from The Catholic University of America, where he wrote his dissertation on Thomas’s epistemology. He currently resides in California, where he is a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College.
Professor of Philosophy
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, Dr. Bolin studied philosophy at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, where he received his master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy, concentrating on the philosophy of religion. He wrote his dissertation on the problem of evil considered in light of the divine causality of human actions as developed by St. Thomas. He specializes in the work of Aristotle and Aquinas, especially as it relates to the philosophy of religion; his other areas of interest include metaphysics and the philosophy of science, particularly the relation between the perennial philosophy and modern science. Dr. Bolin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander.
Professor of Theology
Dr. Vincent P. DeMeo is a Associate professor of New Testament and Theology at the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria. He teaches and publishes in the fields of Scripture, patristics, and biblical foundations to marriage and family theology. His published doctoral dissertation is titled Covenantal Kinship in John 13-17: A Historical-Narrative Approach (Vo1. 22; Rome: Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum Publishers, 2012). Among giving lectures and writing several forthcoming articles, he is currently writing a book titled The Common Good in New Testament and Patristic Thought. He has also taught for Ave Maria University, Florida (Austrian program), Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio (Austrian program), Center for the Thought of John Paul II, Poland, and most recently at Thomas Aquinas College, California. Dr. Vincent P. DeMeo is married and the father of four children.
Professor of Theology
Michael P. Foley is a Professor of Patristics in the Great Texts Program at Baylor University. He received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College and specializes in the thought of St. Augustine of Hippo. He is the author of approximately 300 scholarly and popular articles and the editor or author of eleven books, including Frank Sheed’s translation of Augustine’s Confessions, the Cassiciacum Dialogues of Augustine, and, on the lighter side, Drinking with the Saints and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Christianity.
Professor of Theology
Dr. Holmes received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, his masters degree in sacred theology from the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, and his doctoral degree in theology with a specialization in New Testament from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He wrote his dissertation on the use of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Matthew. Subsequently, Dr. Holmes taught graduate and undergraduate Scripture and Thomistic theology at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida. Besides his work in modern biblical exegesis, including a presentation on the Gospel of John at the Catholic Biblical Association, Dr. Holmes has published scholarly articles on the biblical commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, and has published translations of the works of Thomas Aquinas and Guigo the Carthusian. Dr. Holmes is Associate Professor of Theology at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander.
After completing his undergraduate studies at Ave Maria College in Michigan, John obtained master’s and licentiate degrees in theology at the International Theological Institute in Austria, where he wrote theses on Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of the efficacy of Christ’s passion and on papal infallibility. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the distinction between the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. He specializes in fundamental dogmatic theology, especially issues of magisterial authority and infallibility. Other areas of interest include liturgy and sacraments and the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Professor of Theology
Having first received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Notre Dame University, Dr. Beth Mortensen then received her masters and license in Sacred Theology from the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria. She spent a semester in Oxford writing her thesis on Obedience as a Virtue According to Saint Thomas Aquinas. She finished her doctoral course work at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Italy. She also studied at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where she received her doctorate in Sacred Theology, having written and defended her dissertation, The Relation Between the Juridical and the Sacramental in Matrimony according to Thomas Aquinas. During and between these courses of study, Dr. Mortensen also studied Latin under Reginald Foster in Rome, Italy; she taught Latin and French courses; translated numerous books on St. Thomas both of Latin and French origin; and has given lectures and published on the topic of Theology of the family, marriage and the sacraments.
Professor of Theology
Dr. Nathan Schmiedicke was born the fifth of eleven children and raised on a small family farm in Michigan. He attended Catholic school through eighth grade and was home-schooled through High school. He studied at Thomas Aquinas College (CA), where he was chosen by his condiscipuli to deliver the graduating speech in 2000. After graduating with honors from TAC, he married his college sweetheart, Wendy. He began graduate school at Marquette University (Milwaukee). He completed his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology in 2007 and began teaching Theology, Patristics, Scripture, and languages at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA and classics at nearby Villanova University. Since 2010 Dr. Schmiedicke has been teaching Scripture courses for Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, NE. His doctoral dissertation is available under the title: Wrestling God (2011).
Professor of Philosophy
Mr. Terneus has studied at Wyoming Catholic College, the University of California at Berkeley, the Institutum Studiis Latiniis Provehendis at the University of Kentucky, and Marquette University. His research primarily centers on ancient and early medieval conceptions of willing and free will (especially in the Stoics, Plotinus, and Augustine) as well as the Thomistic distinction between essence and existence. You would also be hard pressed to keep him from any conversation concerning aesthetic and literary sublimity, religious terror, phenomenology (especially the work of Heidegger, Bachelard, and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), or the writings of Flannery O’Conner.
Mr. Terneus enjoys teaching courses in Latin and philosophy. He also had the grand opportunity of spending four years as an instructor of backpacking, climbing, and leadership for Catholic Outdoor Renewal, which is headquartered at Wyoming Catholic College. Mr. Terneus’s writings appear in the Imaginative Conservative, St. Austin Review, Journal of the Cardinal Newman Society, VoeglinView, and Integritas. He currently lives near Madison, WI, with his beautiful wife and daughter.