The Catholic University of America

William C. Mattison III, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Moral Theology
Interim Dean, School of Theology and Religious Studies





Dr. Mattison was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Long Island. After earning degrees at Georgetown University and Weston Jesuit School of Theology - and spending two years as a Catholic elementary school teacher - he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. During these years he was fortunate enough to study Thomistic moral theology under Dr. Jean Porter, and spend a year on a Fulbright Fellowship in Fribourg, Switzerland doing dissertation research under the guidance of Fr. Servais Pincakers, O.P. After obtaining his degree, he spent two years teaching at Notre Dame, and another two at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD before his appointment at the Catholic University of America’s School of Theology & Religious Studies (TRS).

Dr. Mattison has served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies from 2012 until 2015. In this role he oversaw the theology curriculum for the University and all undergraduate teaching in TRS. In the last two years the B.A. in Theology & Religious Studies, the minor program, and even the university-wide TRS requirement have all been revamped. Dr. Mattison is also currently serving on a University wide Curriculum sub-committee to implement a new general curriculum at CUA. More recently he has begun to write and speak on Catholic higher education. He was a participant in the 2013-2014 Boston College Roundtable on Catholic Higher Education.

Dr. Mattison researches and teaches in the area of fundamental moral theology, with a focus on virtue and the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is the author of Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues (Brazos Press, 2008). He has edited or co-edited four additional books, including: In Search of a Universal Ethic: A New Look at Natural Law (Eerdmans, 2014); Journal of Moral Theology 1.1: Method in American Catholic Moral Theology (2012); and New Wine, New Wineskins: A Next Generation Reflects on Key Issues in Moral Theology (Sheed & Ward, 2005). He has articles in several peer-reviewed journals (including The Thomist, Theological Studies, Nova et Vetera, and The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics) and the chapters in several books.

Dr. Mattison is currently completing a book on virtue ethics and the Sermon on the Mount entitled Virtue, Happiness, and the Sermon on the Mount.

Besides having served in leadership roles in the Ethics and Catholic Theology Group and Moral Theology Groups at the Society of Christian Ethics and Catholic Theological Society of America, respectively, Dr. Mattison co-founded and served as Executive Director of the New Wine, New Wineskins symposium for pre-tenure Catholic moral theologians held annually at the University of Notre Dame. he currently serves as Interim Dean at the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America.



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Contact Information

Phone: 202-319-5684
Fax: 202-319-5704

Areas of Expertise

  • Catholic Moral Theology - in particular, the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas

  • Virtue Ethics

  • Fundamental Moral Theology

  • Marriage / sex / family

Latest Publications

In Search of a Universal Ethic:  a New Look at Natural Law(Eerdman's 2014); Journal of Moral Theology III.1:  Virtue (2014)


TRS 230 - Character, Choice, and Community

TRS 333 - Biomedical and Health Care Issues

TRS 352 - Christian Marriage and the Family

TRS 630A - Foundations of Christian Moral Life

TRS 631 - Christian Marriage and the Family

TRS 731 - The Moral Theology of the Sermon on the Mount

TRS 737B - The Virtues

TRS 737D - Twentieth Century Theological Ethics

TRS834 - Morality and Emotion

TRS 835 - The Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas



Course Descriptions

Curriculum Vitae