College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Catholic Studies > Faculty > Michael Budde

Michael Budde

  • Professor
  • ​PhD, Northwestern University​​

  • Catholic Studies; Political Science
  • Faculty
  • Religion and politics; international relations; political ethics and theory
  • 773.325.1974
  • ​​​SAC ​​570C


In 1993, I joined DePaul’s faculty in the Department of Political Science. In 2010, I accepted an appointment in the new Department of Catholic Studies, drawing its scholars from various disciplines, interests, and areas of expertise committed to exploring the diversity, paradoxes, and significance of Catholic Christianity. I helped organize CWCIT (see below) and have served as chair of both the Political Science and Catholic Studies Departments. I also served as director of DePaul’s Center for Church-State Studies during its time as a joint venture between the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Law. Outside of DePaul, I was one of the founders and the first coordinator of The Ekklesia Project, created in 1999 as an ecumenical network of scholars, pastors, and lay church leaders. My training includes a PhD in political science, specializing in political economy, political theory, and religion, from Northwestern University; an MA in politics from the Catholic University of America; and a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.​

Most of my scholarly work has focused on the intersections of political economy, ecclesiology (a branch of theology focused on the meaning of “church”), and Christianity as a worldwide religious movement and community. I have published on the church and capitalism; Catholicism and popular culture; Christianity and political allegiances; questions of war; political and cultural socialization; and the church as a transnational actor. Much of my contemporary research flows from the work of DePaul’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, a research center focusing on Catholicism in the so-called global South and as a worldwide religious community. I serve the Center as a senior research professor, and with my colleagues we host visiting scholars from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere in exploring important questions in theology, politics, history, and culture.

My teaching interests range widely, drawing from political theory, political economy, and contemporary and historical Christian experience. Among my favorite courses is a core course in the Catholic Studies program entitled “Theories of the Church: Concepts and Controversies,” which focuses on the many (and often contested) meanings of “the church,” past and present; this course cross-lists with the Department of Political Science, and the varied interests of students from multiple programs regularly makes for stimulating and worthwhile discussions. I also teach courses on Catholicism and race/multiculturalism; on Christianity and nationalism; and courses that focus on contemporary Christianity and culture. I welcome independent study courses for students with specialized interests, or for those wanting to explore new areas of interest to them that don’t easily fit within existing course offerings. I appreciate the individual attention that our department offers to students, no matter their previous level of familiarity with Catholicism or their disposition toward it (committed, skeptical, searching).