The Institute for Saint Anselm Studies is an academic research center conducted by Saint Anselm College and established to promote and encourage the study of the life, thought, and spirituality of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, the patron of the college.

By means of its resources, facilities, and programs, the institute offers to the college's faculty and students and to the larger scholarly community the opportunity and means to bring Saint Anselm into living contact with the culture of the twenty-first century.

While the philosophical, theological, and ecclesiological accomplishments of Saint Anselm have historical value that the institute seeks to explore and articulate, it is a further goal of the institute to uncover their perennial value for the nourishing of Christian wisdom, the stimulating of reflection on critical issues, and the deepening of personal spirituality.


From Idea to Reality

In the spring of 1999, a small group of faculty got together to discuss informally what the college might do to celebrate the millennium. The result of this discussion was to host a conference on the college's patron, Saint Anselm of Canterbury. The theme of the conference, which was held in spring 2000, was Saint Anselm, his origins and influence.

The original faculty group became the conference committee, which included Fr. John Fortin, O.S.B. (philosophy), chair; Joseph Constance (library); Kevin Staley (philosophy and humanities); Kevin McMahon (theology); James O'Rourke (philosophy); Sylvia Shannon (history). The conference was a great success, attended by some 40 Anselm scholars from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain who presented findings from their research.

Following the conference, Fr. John Fortin, O.S.B. developed a proposal to create an institute that would carry on the work of the conference as well as the sponsorship of a variety of other programs related to Saint Anselm, his life, teaching, and spirituality. His proposal was submitted to the executive vice-president and dean of the college in May 2000.

Over the course of the fall and winter of 2000-2001, an ad hoc committee was appointed by the dean to review the institute proposal and a report was presented to the board of trustees, who approved the proposal and work began by the college administration to structure organizational and management details.

In June 2001, Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president of the college, announced the creation of the Institute for Saint Anselm Studies and that Fr. John Fortin, O.S.B. would serve as its first director.

In the fall of 2001, an advisory committee was established to assist the director with various aspects of institute, including James O'Rourke (philosophy), chair; Elona Lucas (English), secretary; Duane Bruce (assistant); Joseph Constance (library); Fr. Augustine Kelly, O.S.B. (dean); Kevin McMahon (theology); Kevin Staley (philosophy and humanities).


Programs & Events


Dr. Christopher Tollefsen, Professor of Philosophy at University of South Carolina, will give the annual Fides et Ratio Lecture on Monday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m. in McCready Event Space, Roger and Francine Jean Student Center. The title of his lecture is, “How to Suffer.” All are welcome to attend.

Saint Anselm and the Teaching of Nicea
April 11-13, 2024

The eighth Saint Anselm Conference is dedicated to the foundational teaching of Nicea, the first of the great ecumenical councils, in anticipation of its 700th anniversary in June, 2025. Papers are invited on the treatment of the divine substance, as well as its relevance to Christology, in the work of Anselm, his predecessors and his successors. Further, in view of his defense of the filioque clause at the Council of Bari, papers are welcome that focus on this point in Anselm, and on the Holy Spirit in the patristic and medieval tradition. Finally, papers on other aspects of Anselm’s thought are also of interest. 

Please send an abstract of 100-200 words to by January 15, 2024. Proposals for panels with up to three papers are also welcome. The plenary lecture will be on Friday evening. Panel sessions will be on Friday and Saturday. Selected papers will be published in The Saint Anselm Journal, or possibly in a volume of proceedings.


Dr. Christian H. Gobel, Professor of Philosophy from Assumption University, will give the annual Saint Anselm Lecture on Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Dana 1D. The title of his lecture is, “God, Salvation and Freedom: Reconsidering Anselm’s Theological Program.” All are welcome to attend.

The God of Creation
June 14-15, 2023

The Institute for Saint Anselm Studies invites papers for a conference on the Catholic doctrine of creation. Philosophically, of particular interest will be papers in metaphysics or ontology that consider the difference it makes to refer to God as creator or to the world as having been created. Theologically, special attention will be paid to the role attributed, since the writings of St. Paul, to Christ in the event of creation.

Plenary talks will be given by Kevin Clarke, Dean of the Institute for Lay Ministry, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and by Joshua Canzona, Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Selected papers will be published in The Saint Anselm Journal.

Please send an abstract of 100-200 words to by February 1, 2023.


The Institute for Saint Anselm Studies is accepting applications for the 2024 John and Judy Paul Summer Research Grant, which is offered to doctoral candidates and those who recently completed doctoral studies (within last four years) working on some area of Anselm studies. The Institute provides the recipient with an opportunity to do research for a week in the extensive O’Rourke Saint Anselm Collection at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The exact period of the grant is to be decided by the recipient but will fall between the dates of May 27 and June 30. Travel reimbursement will be covered up to $1000, and housing for six nights will be provided with $50 per diem reimbursement for food. The recipient will have library privileges for the week. Special access will be arranged for times when the library is normally closed.

The application should include your name, academic affiliation, research topic with a brief explanation of the project (300-400 words), a current CV, and a letter of reference from someone familiar with your work. A report on the research of 3-4 pages will be expected as well as a citation in the dissertation or article if published. A copy of the dissertation or the article for the Collection would also be expected.

For more information on the O’Rourke Saint Anselm Collection, go to

Please apply through email or regular mail by April 5, 2024 to:
Prof. Montague Brown
Director, Institute for Saint Anselm Studies
Saint Anselm College
Manchester, NH 03102


Phone: (603) 641-7063