Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B

Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is a spiritual director and theologian who serves as Director of Counseling at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Father Acklin is the author of The Passion of the Lamb: God’s Love Poured Out in Jesus (Servant, 2006), and The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood (Emmaus Road, 2006). Father Acklin earned his S.T.D. degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, writing his dissertation on Religious Symbolic Transformations of Desire: A Psychoanalytic and Theological Study of Desire in Religion. He earned his Ph.D. in the Psychology of Religion from the Catholic University of Louvain.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Born: January 6, 1950 – Sewickley, Pennsylvania
  • Monastic Profession: July 10, 1976 – Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA
  • Ordination to the Priesthood: April 12, 1980 – Saint Vincent Archabbey


  • STD, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (1983) Systematic Theology. Dissertation topic: Religious Symbolic Transformations of Desire: A Psychoanalytic and Theological Study of Desire in Religion
  • PhD, Catholic University of Louvain (1980-1982) Religious Studies, Psychology of Religion
  • STL, Catholic University of Louvain (1978-1980) Systematic Theology. Thesis topic: Religious Desire in the Thought of Antoine Vergote
  • MDiv, Saint Vincent Seminary (1976-1978) Theology
  • MA, Duquesne University (1971-1975) Philosophy. Thesis topic: Kierkegaard’s Concept of the Self
  • Saint Mary Seminary and University (1971-1973)
  • BA, Duquesne University (1967-1971) Philosophy
  • Belgian School of Psychoanalysis, 1980-1982, psychoanalytic training
  • Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, 1982-1985, diploma in psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • The American Board for Accreditation and Certification in Psychoanalysis, November 1985, certification in psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  • Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute, 1985-1994, April, 1994, diploma for the program in the theory and practice of the psychoanalysis of adults


  • Fall 2002-present: Director of Counseling, Saint Vincent Seminary; Latrobe, PA
  • Spring 2002: Director of Spiritual Life, Saint Vincent Seminary
  • 1990-1999: Psychotherapist,  Latrobe Psychotherapy Associates
  • 1982-1991: Psychotherapist, Saint Vincent Counseling Center
  • 1982-1985: Psychotherapist, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center
  • 1995-present: Faculty, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Foundation and Institute
  • 1993-present: Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology
  • 1989-2001: Rector, President, Saint Vincent Seminary
  • 1987-1988: Acting Rector, Saint Vincent Seminary
  • 1987-1993: Associate Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology,
  • 1983-1987: Director of Formation for Junior-professed monks, Saint Vincent Archabbey
  • 1982-1987: Assistant Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology
  • 1980-1982: Research Assistant, Catholic University of Louvain; Leuven, Belgium
  • 1976-1978: Assistant, Office of Self Study and Institutional Research, Saint Vincent College
  • 1976-1978: Lecturer, Saint Vincent College; departments of religious studies and philosophy
  • 1974-1975: Teacher, Saint Mary of the Mount High School; Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1972-1974: Teacher, Seton High School; Baltimore MD


  • 1991-1999: Co-host of magazine format television program, Real To Reel, WTAE TV; Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1988-present: Radio program, Insights: Religion From A Psychological Perspective, WEDO AM; McKeesport, PA
  • 1973-1974: Radio announcing and engineering, WBJC-FM, WITH AM & FM; Baltimore, MD


  • American Psychoanalytic Association, (member)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (member)
  • Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Society (member)
  • Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (member)
  • International Psychoanalytical Association (member)


  • The Passion of the Lamb, (Servant Publications, 2006)
  • The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood (Emmaus Road, 2006)


  • “Mystical Desire: An Imaginary Solution or a Symbolic Transformation”, Louvain Studies, ix, Spring, 1982, 61-80.
  • “The Imaginative Interplay of the Self Image and the Image of God”, New Catholic World, 1350, Nov-Dec, 1982, 249-252.
  • “The Resonance in Religious Language of the Word Summoning Human Desire to Symbolic Transformation” Bijdragen Tijdschrift Voor Filosophie and Theologie, Spring,1984, 183-205.
  • “Exodus: Passage In Relationship”, Keeping The Day: A Festschrift Honoring Robert Vogelsang, W. Stubbs, ed., Allison Park: Pickwick, 1985, 31-32.
  • “The Other Of Desire”, Psychoanalyse, Journal of the Belgian School of Psychoanalysis, no 4, Spring, 1986, 72-79
  • “The Metaxy Of Desire”. Over De Grens, A Festschrift Honoring Antoine Vergote, Leuven: Louvain University Press, 1987
  • “Saint Vincent Seminary”. Saint Vincent, A Benedicine Place, Campion P. Gavaler, ed., 1995, 37-40


  • W. M. Meissner and C. Slauch, ed., Psyche and Spirit, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, forthcoming 2006
  • E. Persons, ed., Freud’s Group Psychology, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. 72, no 2, April, 2003
  • A.M. Rizzuto, Why Did Freud Reject God, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, July 2002
  • Herbert Thomas, The Shame Response to Rejection, Psychoanalytic Quarterly
  • Paul Vitz, Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious, International Review of Psychoanalysis, vol. 16, no. 4, 1989, 510-511
  • Antoine Vergote, Guilt and Desire: Religious Attitudes and Their Pathological Derivations, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, vol. 38, no. 3, 381-386
  • Antoine Vergote, The Parental Figures and the Representation of God, Louvain Studies,vol. 9, no. 1, Spring, 1982
  • A.M. Rizzuto, The Birth of the Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study, Louvain Studies, vol. 8, no 2, Fall 1980
  • Hans Kung, Freud and the Problem of God, Louvain Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, Fall 1979
  • Antoine Vergote, Dette Desir, Deux Axes Chreteins et la Derive Pathologique, Louvain Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, Spring, 1979


  • The Psychohistory Review, vols 18-23, 1990-1995, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vols. 60-67, 1991-1998.
  • American Imago, vols. 50-52, 1993-1995, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vols. 64-68, 1995, 1997, 1999