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


The Eighth Saint Anselm Conference: Saint Anselm and the Teaching of Nicea

April 3-5, 2025
Saint Anselm College
Manchester, New Hampshire

Plenary Speaker: Thomas J. McKenna, Concord University

The Eighth Saint Anselm Conference is dedicated to the foundational teaching of Nicea, the first of the great ecumenical councils, in anticipation of its 1700th 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, 2025. 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.


Metaphysics Conference: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

June 12-13, 2024
Saint Anselm College
Manchester, New Hampshire

The Institute for Saint Anselm Studies invites papers for a conference on the Catholic Eucharistic Liturgy.

Keynote Speaker, Rev. Kurt Belsole, OSB, Coordinator of Liturgical Formation at the Pontifical North American College, Vatican City State, Rome.

The Eucharistic liturgy is both the summit of the Church’s prayer and the sacramental event that makes present and brings forth the body of Christ.

Papers are welcomed on topics ranging from the nature and history of the liturgy to the metaphysics of the Eucharistic change.

Selected papers will be published in The Saint Anselm Journal.
Please send an abstract of 100-200 words to by March 4, 2024.


Phone:(603) 641-7063