Anselma Dolcich-Ashley

Adjunct Assistant Professional Specialist


  • I joined the Notre Dame family as a grad student in 2003 after a career in campus ministry in Chicago and at Saint Mary's College, and several years as a full-time mom. In 2011 I received my Ph.D. in theology with a dissertation on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. After teaching as a post-doc and adjunct faculty member in the Theology Department here, I'm now excited to be working with Glynn honors students.
  • Like others at ND, I have multiple intellectual interests. I double-majored in bio and theo at Georgetown, taught high school biology for a while, and then moved over to campus ministry and academic theology. The two fields happily met again when I was teaching an undergraduate course on the theology of nature and the environment, and in current research into early Christian interpretations of the natural world.
  • People often ask about my first name. It's a feminine version of "Anselm," the great 11th-century bishop and theologian who coined the nugget definition of theology ('faith seeking understanding; reason illuminated by faith'). My parents are oblates (lay affiliates) of a Benedictine abbey, and decided to name their children after early Benedictine saints. But they found the female saints’ names rather hard going -- Scholastica, Ermenilda, Hildegarde, and so forth. A friend of theirs had taken the name "Anselma" when she became a cloistered nun, and as they liked the name, and knew that St Anselm was himself a Benedictine, it worked.
  • When I'm not on campus, I love to read, spend time with my family, go trail running with my dog, and wrestle my gardens into shape. In recent years I've fulfilled a lifelong love of horses by getting and training my own horse (an Arabian mare named Ellie).
  • A native of Washington, DC, I attended the same parish and parochial school (St Anthony's, in northeast DC) as did ND's President Emeritus Father Monk Malloy.