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)


Areas of Research

Dr. Hoover examines the interplay of religion and culture in the United States, making use of both sociological and theological perspectives.  Recently he has focused on parish research, including a qualitative research project called The Shared Parish Project.  The project, funded by the Lilly Endowment via the Congregational Studies Team, a group of sociologists of religion and practical theologians, looks at shared parishes in Southern California.  Shared parishes are Roman Catholic parishes with multiple cultural groups, each with their own masses and ministries but sharing the parish facilities (and often leadership as well).


Courses Taught

  • In Search of a Way: Spirituality
  • Faith, and Culture
  • Supervised Pastoral Field Education (Contextual Education Seminar)
  • Foundations of Pastoral Theology
  • Theology of the Parish
  • Faith and Culture in Pastoral Ministry


Professional Bio

Dr. Hoover received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, where he also studied sociology at Cal Berkeley and wrote a dissertation based on a yearlong ethnographic study of a culturally diverse Catholic parish in the Midwest.  He taught graduate students in ministry at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.  Through LMU extension, he has 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, the coordinating committee for the 2014 National Symposium on Hispanic Ministry, and the administrative team in practical theology for the Catholic Theological Society of America.    


Selected Publications

  • The Shared Parish: Latino and White Catholics and the Future of U.S. Catholicism (New York: NYU Press, 2014)
  • “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,” National Catholic Educational Association Seminary Journal (2012)
  • 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.
  • Losing Your Religion, Finding Your Faith:  Spirituality for Young Adults (New York:  Paulist Press, 1998)