Brett Hoover

Assistant Professor of Theology
Department of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive, Suite 3700
Los Angeles, CA  90045
Phone:  310/338-1664












Academic Background

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union (2010)
M.A., Washington Theological Union (1997)
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (1989)

Curriculum Vitae:  Brett Hoover


Areas of Research

As a practical theologian, Dr. Hoover’s research focuses on theological interpretations of the everyday practices and “folk paradigms” of different groups of Catholics.  Previous examples include a feminist ecclesiological exploration of the use of social media by Catholics and a study of pilgrimage as a metaphor for theologies of migration.  Much of his recent research has focused on parish life, especially in shared parishes, where multiple cultural, ethnic, or racial groups have distinct masses and ministries but share facilities and administrative leadership.  Dr. Hoover recently completed research on the power dynamics between cultural groups in three such parishes in Los Angeles, reporting on that research at a conference of The American Parish Project (TAPP) at the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Hoover has also been writing about parishes with Hispanic ministry and their interplay with the apostolic movements.  Current projects include the articulation of a theology of the parish rooted in communion ecclesiology and a study of the theology of “open secrets,” where people feel they must conceal parts of their identity in church contexts.  His long-term ambition is an exploration of theologies of ministry for a contemporary North American context characterized by less formal religious commitment and more cultural diversity.


Courses Taught

Graduate courses include:

  • Supervised Pastoral Field Education (Contextual Education Seminar)
  • Foundations of Pastoral Theology
  • Faith and Culture in Pastoral Ministry
  • Theology of the Parish
  • Church and Mission
  • Introduction to Theology
  • Theologies of Cultural Diversity

Undergraduate courses include:

  • American Catholicism
  • Ministry and Pastoral Leadership
  • Search of a Way:  Spirituality, Faith, and Culture
  • Communion Ecclesiology in a Culturally Diverse World
  • Special Studies:  Faith and Culture


Professional Bio

Brett Hoover is a Roman Catholic pastoral (practical) theologian.  At LMU he teaches graduate students in ministry in the pastoral theology degree program as well as undergraduates in courses at the intersection of culture and religious (or spiritual) practice.  Before coming to LMU in 2011, he taught graduate students in ministry at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.  Through LMU extension, he facilitated worships in intercultural ministry training, including cultural orientation for international priests beginning ministry in the United States (COPIM) and the United States Catholic Bishops’ program, Building Intercultural Competency for Ministers (BICM).  He consults with parishes and offers worships for other organizations, and he previously served in parish ministry in culturally diverse parishes in New York City, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area.  He co-founded the Catholic seeker website,, and he currently serves on the board of the Latino/a Theology and Ministry Initiative at LMU.  Dr. Hoover was part of the coordinating committee for the 2014 National Symposium on Hispanic Ministry, and he served a term as coordinator of practical theology topic session for the Catholic Theological Society of America.   

Selected Publications

Co-editor of Hispanic Ministry in the Twenty-First Century: Urgent Issues (Miami: Convivium Press, 2016).

The Shared Parish: Latinos, Anglos, and the Future of U.S. Catholicism (New York: NYU Press, 2014).

“Lost and Found: Immigrant Conversion Stories, the New Evangelization, and Parish Life,” New Theology Review 27, no. 1 (October 2014): 33-39.           

“Faith from Nowhere: The Liquid Catholicism of Busted Halo,” in Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century, ed. Gina Messina-Dysert and Rosemary Radford Rüther (New York: Routledge, 2014).

“Dorothy Day: The Seeker Saint,” in All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints (New York: Paulist, 2014).

“Generations and Culture: The Future of Parish Life in the United States,” in Parish Under Pressure-Quests for Meaning from a Global Perspective: Germany and the USA in Comparison (Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2012).

“When Work Culture and Ministry Collide: Effective Interdependent Ministry in Chicago Parishes,” Seminary Journal 16, no. 3 (Winter 2010):43-52.

“Generations and Cultures: The Future of Parish Life in the United States,” Origins 41, no. 14 (September 8, 2011): 218-222.

Comfort: An Atlas for the Body and Soul (New York: Riverhead Books, 2011).

“Memory and Ministry: Young Adult Nostalgia, Immigrant Amnesia,” New Theology Review 23, no. 1 (February 2010): 58-67.

“Virtual Church for Young Adults,” The Way 45, no. 2 (April 2006): 69-82.