The Catholic University of America

David Cloutier, Ph.D.
– Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics


 Dr. David Cloutier is associate professor of theology, and joined the STRS faculty in 2016 after spending ten years at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD, where he held the Knott Professorship of Catholic Theology. He teaches moral theology, with particular interests in economic ethics, sexual ethics, and the environment. He is the author of four books, including the award-winning The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age, which received an honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards for academic press and a third place in the 2016 Catholic Press Association awards. His previous book, Walking God’s Earth: The Environment and Catholic Faith, took second place in the 2015 CPA awards for Best Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith. He is particularly interested in grounding Catholic moral theology in conversation with the best research about human behavior from the social sciences, and received a $40,000 grant from The Happiness and Well-Being Project at Saint Louis University to collaborate on publications on the ethics of virtue and human agency with psychologist Anthony Ahrens of American University. Dr. Cloutier is active in traditional and web-based media, having been published in Commonweal, the Washington Post, U.S. Catholic, and other publications, as well as serving as editor for the group blog,

He received his B.A. with a double major in chemistry and religion from Carleton College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in religion (theology & ethics) from Duke University. A native of Chicago (the city, not the suburbs), Dr. Cloutier attribute some of his capacity for hope to growing up a Cub fan. He is also active in Catholic music ministry and has served for six years as the President of the Board of Directors of the Common Market, a consumer food cooperative in Frederick, Maryland.


Abela teaching


Contact Information


Areas of Expertise

  • Economic Ethics

  • Sexual Ethics

  • Enviroment

Latest Publications


Reading, Praying, Living Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, in press, 2015)

 The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015).


Journal and major media articles

“Catholic Moral Traditions and Energy Ethics for the Twenty-First Century,” with Erin Lothes Biviano, Christiana Peppard, Jame Schafer, and Elaine Padilla, Journal of Moral Theology 5 (2016), 1-36.

 “Pope Francis and American Economics,” Theological Roundtable with Charles Clark, Mary Hirschfield and Matthew Shadle, Horizons: the Journal of the College Theology Society 42 (June 2015), 122-155.

 “Pope Francis’s Encyclical: A Summons to a Decision,” Baltimore Sun (Sunday op-ed), June 21, 2015

 “Expert Witness: Choose Life: The Environmental Edition,” multi-page featured interview, US Catholic 80, no. 6 (June 2015) 





Curriculum Vitae