Senior Fellows

Dr. Mark J. Zia

Dr. Mark J. Zia is Associate Professor of Theology and Director for Academic Enrichment Programs at Benedictine College. Originally from Southern New Jersey, he began teaching for Benedictine in the Summer of 2005, after having taught theology for Franciscan University of Steubenville and Ave Maria.  In addition to his post at B.C, he is also an adjunct professor for the Bishop Helmsing Institute of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and is engaged in the instruction of candidates for the permanent deaconate. He lives in Atchison with his wife, Julia, and they have six children.

Curriculum Vitae


Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D), Dogmatic Theology, The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome, 2005.  Dissertation:  The Doctrine of Biblical Inspiration in Contemporary Anglo-American Scholarship.  Director:  Rev. Michelangelo Tábet

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L), Marriage and Family, The International Theological Institute, Gaming (Austria), 2001.

Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry (M.A.), Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, 1998.

Bachelor of Arts in Theology with Honor’s Scholar Distinction (4 year Great Books Honors Program), Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, 1997.



Director, Academic Enrichment Programs, 2010-present.     Responsibilities:

Curricular development, assessment, and ongoing administration of the intellectual component for the diocesan Permanent Diaconate Program for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas;
Recruitment, retention, and evaluation of faculty to teach in this program;
Management and oversight of the program budget;
Other duties as assigned by the VPAA

Appointed, Acting Chair of the Department of Theology, Summer and Fall of 2007, while the permanent chair was on sabbatical.  Responsibilities:

Course creation and revision, scheduling, syllabi approval, and departmental assessment;
Conducting faculty evaluations and chairing regular meetings with the department; 
Audits of graduating senior transcripts within the major and minor; handling special course substitution requests; evaluating transfer courses;
Meeting weekly with prospective new students and their parents.

Elected Member, Student Affairs Committee, and Chair of the Committee 2006-2009.

Advocated new academic policies and procedures and encouraged revision of existing policies for the best interests of both students and faculty.  In each instance our committee recommendation was discussed, voted upon, and approved by the full faculty.

Elected Member, Advisory to the President Committee, 2007-2009, and 2012-2013.

Represented the faculty in bringing matters of interest or concern to the College president, as well as explained the president’s positions to the faculty.

Selected Member, North Central Accreditation Subcommittee on Mission, 2007-2009.

Chosen as a member of the internal accreditation team to conduct assessment on our institution’s Catholic mission and identity, and to probe its relationship to all areas of college life and practice.

Elected Member, Assessment Committee, 2007 – 2008; 2010.

Conducted ongoing course and program assessment of the dozens of majors offered at the College to ascertain how well they imparted to the student the skills, approaches, perspectives, and foundations that were identified as course/program outcomes.

Invited Department Reviewer, theology department at Belmont Abbey College (NC). Spring, 2014.

Conducted a site visit and met individually with all theology professors, selected students, the VPAA, and the president of the College pertaining to the various dimensions of the college’s theology department and its assessment plan.
 Submitted a formal report with appropriate recommendations to the college’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ann Carson Daly.

Appointed to the Graduate Studies Committee, 2008 – present.

Member of the committee which approves new adjunct hires for the college’s graduate programs, as well as all curricular additions, eliminations, or changes at the graduate level.

Appointed to several Search Committees, 2005 – present

Member of various committees which recommend to the Dean new full-time faculty hires in the various fields represented by the college. 



Benedictine College, Atchison Kansas, 2005 – present.  Current rank:  Tenured, Associate Professor of Theology, and Director of Academic Enrichment Programs.  Eligible to apply for promotion to Full Professor in December of 2015.

Description: As an associate professor of theology, I have taught almost two dozen different theology courses at the undergraduate level. As Director of Academic Enrichment Programs at the College, I laid the foundation for the new, college-wide Honors Program.  I am also in charge of the staffing, curriculum development and assessment for the intellectual formation component of our Archdiocese’s Office of Permanent Diaconate, including oversight of the annual budget for such purposes.

I was also appointed Acting Chairman of the department of theology during the Summer and Fall of 2007 while the Chair was teaching abroad.  My duties as chair included budgeting, curriculum revision, course scheduling, facilitating regular meetings with the Department; accreditation; faculty evaluations and syllabi approval; audit of graduating senior transcripts within the major and minor; handling special course substitution requests; evaluating transfer courses; and meeting regularly with prospective new students and their parents.  From 2007 through the present, I am the departmental representative for meeting with prospective students intending to major in theology or catechesis/evangelization while they make their on-campus visit.


Benedictine College Institute of Religious Studies, 2006 – present. 

Description: I instruct teachers and principals in the Catholic Archdiocesan school system for their mandatory 12 hour summer continuing education / teacher recertification requirements as established by the Archdiocese.  I teach courses related to the Creed and Scripture, and help the participants to bridge content with ministerial expression.


Bishop Helmsing Institute for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, 2006 – present.

Description:  I teach four to six week courses (length is determined by the topic) to adult students who voluntarily enroll in a multi-year program designed at gaining a greater understanding of the Catholic faith.  I teach courses in Biblical Interpretation; the Gospels; the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and Vatican II, stressing both an orthodox understanding of the material as well as concrete ways in which by which what is learned can be actualized through life experience.


St. Meinrad School of Theology’s Permanent Diaconate Formation Program, 2007-present.

Description: I actively teach in various permanent diaconate formation programs throughout the United States (and abroad) and have taught courses to candidates in the following dioceses/archdioceses:  Kansas City, Kansas; Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri; Alexandria, Louisiana; Owensboro, Kentucky; New Ulm, Minnesota; Casper, Wyoming; Belleville, Illinois; Nassau, Bahamas; Springfield, Illinois; Wilmington, Delaware; Memphis, Tennessee & Jackson, Mississippi. The courses I teach include Introduction to Scripture; Pentateuch; Synoptic Gospels; Theological Foundations; the Gospel of John; Christology; Mariology; and Sources & Methods of Theology.  In each of these courses I focus upon the direct relevance of the subject matter to the threefold ministry of the deacon: word, liturgy, and charity.


Regan Catechetical Institute for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, 2007, 2008, 2013, & 2014.

Description: I present ten hour workshops on the Catholic faith to school teachers as part of their required recertification in theology in areas of biblical hermeneutics and dogmatic theology.  


Ave Maria College, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 2004-2005.

Description:  My first full-time collegiate teaching position, which lasted only an academic year because of the forced closure of the Ypsilanti campus. 


Franciscan University of Steubenville, Austrian Campus, 2001-2002.

Description:  I was the first instructor to teach a Scripture course (Introduction to Scripture) on the Gaming campus, which subsequently became a standard offering.


St. Thomas More Academy, Raleigh, NC 2002-2003

Description: High School teacher and chairman of the newly formed theology department.  My duties were to create the theology curriculum for the Academy and to teach the majority of courses within the established curriculum. 


St. Luke’s Parish, Raleigh NC 2002-2003

Description: Volunteer Adult Faith Formation Coordinator.  Each Sunday morning between the Masses I made a catechetical presentation to the attendees and gradually trained the attendees to themselves make subsequent presentations under my oversight, thereby empowering them to “own” their faith as they gain a greater understanding of it.


Miscellaneous Talks, Conferences, Retreats, & Workshops

Description: I have given dozens of theological talks, conferences and retreats over the past several years, including several key note presentations. 



The Enduring Faith and Timeless Truths of Fulton Sheen.  Servant Press, anticipated August 7,  2015.  Imprimatur/Nihil Obstat granted by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. 

The Faith Understood: An Introduction to the Catholic Faith.  Published June 14, 2013 by Emmaus Road Press.  Imprimatur/Nihil Obstat granted by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. 

What are they Saying about Biblical Inspiration? Published by Paulist Press, May 2, 2011;

“Words to Live By: The Pontificate of John Paul II and the Knights of Columbus” in Columbia Magazine, April, 2007;

“The ABC’s of Biblical Inerrancy” in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, March, 2007;

“Marriage as a Specific Vocation to Holiness” in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, July, 2006;

“The Second Vatican Council and the Inerrancy of Scripture” in the Journal of Faith and Reason, Summer, 2006.



Retreat Master, Marriage Retreat for the St. Ignatius Catholic Parish of Fort Leavenworth Military Base, Leavenworth, Kansas to be held on February 8, 2014.   Theme:  The Family as the Domestic Church

Keynote Speaker, Annual Convocation of Parish Ministries for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, October 30, 2013.  Theme: Faith: Proclaim It in Spirit, Word, & Deed!

Retreat Master for the Diaconate Retreat for the permanent deacon candidates of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, June 6 – 9, 2013.  Theme:  The Corporal Works of Mercy as Illustrations of Our Faith in Charity and Justice

Presenter for the Bishop Helmsing Institute’s Conference on Vatican II on April 27, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Talk: Revelation, Inspiration and the Eucharist

Conducted a three-day mission for the Cathedral Parish of the Archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas, on the theme What it Means to be Church. April 18-20, 2013.


Presenter for the Bishop Helming Institute’s Conference on Dei verbum, February 23, 2013, in Kansas City, Missouri.  Talk:  The Bible: the Word of God in the Words of Men

Keynote speaker for the Annual Apologetics Conference for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, on March 31, 2012.  Talk:  Biblical Truthfulness

Retreat Master, Marriage Retreat for the St. Ignatius Catholic Parish of Fort Leavenworth Military Base, Leavenworth, Kansas.  February 11, 2012.  Theme:  Marriage and the Mysteries of March

Keynote speaker for the Annual Apologetics Conference for the Diocese of Kansas City-St.

Joseph, Missouri, on October 1, 2011.  Talk:  Biblical Inspiration



Perpetual Member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars



Formally recognized on a yearly basis as an excellent educator, based on IDEA results

Recognized as an excellent professor in “Choosing a Catholic College” by the Cardinal Newman Society.

Interview about biblical theology on EWTN’s Catholicism on Campus series, to air in 2016.

Interview about biblical theology on Catholic Radio (multiple)



Completed the VIRTUS training (protecting God’s children / safe environment training) with ongoing monthly continuing education modules; 

I have been granted the mandatum by Archbishop Joseph Naumann

Member of the Knights of Columbus.