"Ambrose did not prepare me for a job, career, or particular ministry. It prepared me for life."
Nurturing SAU professors who genuinely cared about Joe helped pave the way for him to earn graduate degrees in theology and healthcare ethics. He is using his education to serve and guide others as Director of Mission Integration and Regional Ethics, Mercy Dubuque and Mercy Health Network.
At St. Ambrose, we encourage the inquisitive mind. And Joe definitely took advantage of that. "Ambrose was an environment where it was safe to explore ideas, express opinions, enter into dialogue with others – to be challenged."
How did SAU change you?
Joe says the relationships he built with faculty and staff made the biggest impact on his education. "In healthcare, we talk a lot about person-centered care. The persons or patients we serve are the focus of our strategy; care is individualized; we truly care about and revere each person we are privileged to walk with during their health journey. The underlying element of this is building relationships – you're not just the patient in room 3, you're John who has a story and goals and is created in the image and likeness of God. St. Ambrose University is truly relationship centered."
How has SAU allowed you to make a difference?
Joe is responsible for helping to lead and sustain the health network's Catholic identity and ministry formation programs, community benefit initiatives, spiritual care services, and ethics resources. "At St. Ambrose I learned how to work with and be in a relationship with persons who thought differently than I did, who looked different than I do, who spoke, prayed, and were raised in ways that significantly contrasted how I was brought up in this world. I am able to take this broadened worldview – one that embraces difference and diversity from a place of reverence and solidarity - to help our caregivers provide care to our patients holistically: mind, body, and spirit."
Why Choose the Theology Program?
"At St. Ambrose I learned how to relate to others, to develop meaningful relationships, and how to bring people together to support the common good. My courses in theology and philosophy were taught by the best professors who truly cared about me as a student, as a person. My education was personal and relational," he says.