Wadkins Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

April 17, 2018


BUFFALO, NY - The Canisius College Alumni Association will confer the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award upon Timothy H. Wadkins, PhD, during Spring Honors Convocation on Friday, May 18 at 2 p.m. The award, presented annually, recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.

As a professor of religious studies and theology at Canisius since 1992, Wadkins is highly respected by his peers. An accomplished researcher and scholar, he is well-known for the academic rigor of his in-class courses, his transformative international seminars, and a long list of publications, including his recent book, The Rise of Pentecostalism in Modern El Salvador:  From the Blood of the Martyrs to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Baylor University Press, 2017).

In 2001, Wadkins founded the Institute for the Global Study of Religion (IGSOR), which was created to promote interest in the study of religion within the Canisius College community and the wider community of Western New York.  One continuing product of IGSOR is the Ignatian Seminar Program, a series of international immersion seminars led by Wadkins and various other faculty that expose students to religion in countries outside of the West, such as the Philippines, El Salvador, Argentina, India, Mexico and Tanzania.  Another IGSOR program is the popular lecture series, Conversations in Christ and Culture, which Wadkins created in 2002.  Hosting religious scholars and leaders from all over the world, the Conversations lecture series is designed to foster conversations about important issues involving the relationship between Christianity and culture and to promote cooperation and understanding across religious, gender and ethnic lines. More recently, Wadkins developed another international immersion program for alumni and other adult learners through IGSOR for called the Road Less Traveled Seminar Series.  These international seminars take participants to places such as Central America, Tanzania, Cuba and the El Camino De Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.  This past year, he became the founding director of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) at Canisius, an office whose mandate is to help internationalize the culture of Canisius College and promote global citizenship in its graduates. 

Wadkins holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from San Jose State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a PhD in historical studies from the Graduate Theological Union/University of California at Berkeley. 

He is the past recipient of a John R. Oishei Foundation Teaching Professorship and the Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professorship.  In 2010, Wadkins was presented with the Teacher of the Year Award by the college’s School of Arts and Sciences. 

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.