Loyola University Chicago

Arrupe College

Andy Alexis-Baker


Title: Theology, Lecturer
Degrees: PhD, Theology, Marquette University 2015
Courses taught: ACTHE 101 Introduction to Christian Theology; ACTHE 107 Introduction to Religious Studies


What attracted you to Arrupe College?

The mission of the college to provide a relatively debt-free education to people who otherwise might not have a chance to attend a college, providing numerous supports to ensure that our students will graduate with degrees and be in a good position to transfer to a four-year institution. I went into education for this type of job. Arrupe’s mission is holistic and about the character of the people we accept and graduate. That is a mission I find unique and it is bucking the trend in higher education at the moment.

Talk a little about the classes you teach.

The courses I teach are introductory courses to Christian theology and religious studies. These give students a general overview of the field. While they are introductory, I bring the most up-to-date views into the class. A large part of my emphasis in Christian theology is in showing the primacy of peace and justice in Christian life and doctrine. Within the religious studies courses I try to show how the methods and emphases of academics help us understand key questions that most religions are trying to answer.

What’s your favorite part about teaching? And the biggest challenge?

The students in my classes work hard but we have a lot of fun. While we are dealing with serious questions in these classes we do so without losing a sense of humor. I find that making theology and religious studies fun helps students learn the subject, so I try to bring in the joy and gift quality of theological reflection. Content and method match in my courses.

I have seen students who have never been confronted with the stories and questions we ask in my classes make dramatic changes in their own lives and begin to think and see the world a little differently. As teacher that is very gratifying. But I also enjoy simply being part of educating students on important subjects within theology and religious studies so that they can be intelligently conversant in a world that is far too often not theologically literate at all.