The Catholic University of America

Michael Root, Ph.D.
– Ordinary Professor of Systematic Theology
–Historical/Systemetic Theology Area Director



Michael Root is a native of Norfolk, Virginia.  He studied at Dartmouth College (BA, summa cum laude) and Yale University (PhD. in theology).  He has taught at Davidson College, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.  For ten years, he was Research Professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. 

Ecumenical dialogues have been at the center of Root’s service.  He was on the drafting team for the Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, and served on the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue both nationally and internationally, the international Lutheran-Anglican dialogue, and the US Lutheran-Methodist dialogue.  He was a staff consultant to the 1993 World Conference on Faith and Order (Spain) and the 1998 Lambeth Conference (England).  He has been the executive director of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology.

Root is the author (With Gabriel Fackre) of Affirmations and Admonitions (1998) and editor of Justification by Faith (with Karl Lehmann and William Rusch, 1997), Baptism and the Unity of the Church (with Risto Saarinen, 1998), and, with James Buckley, Sharper than a Two-Edged Sword: Preaching, Teaching and Living the Bible (2008), The Morally Divided Body: Ethical Disagreement and the Divided Church (2012), and Christian Theology and Islam (2013).  In addition, he is the author of many scholarly articles and an associate editor of the journal Pro Ecclesia.  He can remember when Eddie LeBaron was the Washington quarterback.


Abela teaching


Contact Information

Fax: 202-319-5704

Areas of Expertise

  • Ecumenical theology

  • Eschatology

  • Justification and Grace

Latest Publications

“Indulgences as Ecumenical Barometer: Penitence and Unity in the Christian Life.” In Bulletin of the Centro pro Unione (Rome) 39 (Spring 2011), 3-9.


TRS 364: The Catholic Church and Ecumenism

TRS 663: Christian Eschatology

TRS 763E: The Theology of Grace

TRS 765A: History and Theology of the Ecumenical Movement

TRS 765B: Ecumenical Theology

TRS 866F: Eschatology: Historical and Theological THemes

TRS 866E: Justification and Grace: Debates and Dialogues

TRS 869B: Theology of Martin Luther



Course Descriptions


Curriculum Vitae