Associates & Staff

Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B

Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, is a spiritual director and theologian who serves as Director of Counseling at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. 

Father Acklin is the author of The Passion of the Lamb: God’s Love Poured Out in Jesus (Servant, 2006), and The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood (Emmaus Road, 2006). Father Acklin earned his S.T.D. degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, writing his dissertation on Religious Symbolic Transformations of Desire: A Psychoanalytic and Theological Study of Desire in Religion. He earned his Ph.D. in the Psychology of Religion from the Catholic University of Louvain.

Significant Dates

Born: January 6, 1950 - Sewickley, Pennsylvania

Monastic Profession: July 10, 1976 - Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA

Ordination to the Priesthood: April 12, 1980 - Saint Vincent Archabbey  


STD, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (1983) Systematic Theology. Dissertation topic: Religious Symbolic Transformations of Desire: A Psychoanalytic and Theological Study of Desire in Religion

PhD, Catholic University of Louvain (1980-1982) Religious Studies, Psychology of Religion

STL, Catholic University of Louvain (1978-1980) Systematic Theology. Thesis topic: Religious Desire in the Thought of Antoine Vergote

MDiv, Saint Vincent Seminary (1976-1978) Theology

MA, Duquesne University (1971-1975) Philosophy. Thesis topic: Kierkegaard’s Concept of the Self

Saint Mary Seminary and University (1971-1973)

BA, Duquesne University (1967-1971) Philosophy

Belgian School of Psychoanalysis, 1980-1982, psychoanalytic training

Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, 1982-1985, diploma in psychoanalytic psychotherapy

The American Board for Accreditation and Certification in Psychoanalysis, November 1985, certification in psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute, 1985-1994, April, 1994, diploma for the program in the theory and practice of the psychoanalysis of adults


Professional Experience

Fall 2002-present: Director of Counseling, Saint Vincent Seminary; Latrobe, PA

Spring 2002: Director of Spiritual Life, Saint Vincent Seminary

1990-1999: Psychotherapist,  Latrobe Psychotherapy Associates

1982-1991: Psychotherapist, Saint Vincent Counseling Center

1982-1985: Psychotherapist, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center

1995-present: Faculty, Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Foundation and Institute

1993-present: Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology

1989-2001: Rector, President, Saint Vincent Seminary

1987-1988: Acting Rector, Saint Vincent Seminary

1987-1993: Associate Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology,

1983-1987: Director of Formation for Junior-professed monks, Saint Vincent Archabbey

1982-1987: Assistant Professor, Saint Vincent College and Seminary; departments of theology, religious studies, philosophy and psychology

1980-1982: Research Assistant, Catholic University of Louvain; Leuven, Belgium

1976-1978: Assistant, Office of Self Study and Institutional Research, Saint Vincent College

1976-1978: Lecturer, Saint Vincent College; departments of religious studies and philosophy

1974-1975: Teacher, Saint Mary of the Mount High School; Pittsburgh, PA

1972-1974: Teacher, Seton High School; Baltimore MD

Broadcasting Experience

1991-1999: Co-host of magazine format television program, Real To Reel, WTAE TV; Pittsburgh, PA

1988-present: Radio program, Insights: Religion From A Psychological Perspective, WEDO AM; McKeesport, PA

1973-1974: Radio announcing and engineering, WBJC-FM, WITH AM & FM; Baltimore, MD

Professional Memberships

American Psychoanalytic Association, (member)

National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (member)

Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Society (member)

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (member)

International Psychoanalytical Association (member)


The Passion of the Lamb, (Servant Publications, 2006)

The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood (Emmaus Road, 2006)


“Mystical Desire: An Imaginary Solution or a Symbolic Transformation”, Louvain Studies, ix, Spring, 1982, 61-80.

“The Imaginative Interplay of the Self Image and the Image of God”, New Catholic World, 1350, Nov-Dec, 1982, 249-252.

“The Resonance in Religious Language of the Word Summoning Human Desire to Symbolic Transformation” Bijdragen Tijdschrift Voor Filosophie and Theologie, Spring,1984, 183-205.

“Exodus: Passage In Relationship”, Keeping The Day: A Festschrift Honoring Robert Vogelsang, W. Stubbs, ed., Allison Park: Pickwick, 1985, 31-32.

“The Other Of Desire”, Psychoanalyse, Journal of the Belgian School of Psychoanalysis, no 4, Spring, 1986, 72-79

“The Metaxy Of Desire”. Over De Grens, A Festschrift Honoring Antoine Vergote, Leuven: Louvain University Press, 1987

“Saint Vincent Seminary”. Saint Vincent, A Benedicine Place, Campion P. Gavaler, ed., 1995, 37-40

Book Reviews

W. M. Meissner and C. Slauch, ed., Psyche and Spirit, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, forthcoming 2006

E. Persons, ed., Freud’s Group Psychology, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. 72, no 2, April, 2003

A.M. Rizzuto, Why Did Freud Reject God, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, July 2002

Herbert Thomas, The Shame Response to Rejection, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

Paul Vitz, Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious, International Review of Psychoanalysis, vol. 16, no. 4, 1989, 510-511

Antoine Vergote, Guilt and Desire: Religious Attitudes and Their Pathological Derivations, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, vol. 38, no. 3, 381-386

Antoine Vergote, The Parental Figures and the Representation of God, Louvain Studies,vol. 9, no. 1, Spring, 1982

A.M. Rizzuto, The Birth of the Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study, Louvain Studies, vol. 8, no 2, Fall 1980

Hans Kung, Freud and the Problem of God, Louvain Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, Fall 1979

Antoine Vergote, Dette Desir, Deux Axes Chreteins et la Derive Pathologique, Louvain Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, Spring, 1979


The Psychohistory Review, vols 18-23, 1990-1995, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vols. 60-67, 1991-1998.

American Imago, vols. 50-52, 1993-1995, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, vols. 64-68, 1995, 1997, 1999

Associates & Staff

Dr. Scott Hahn
Founder and President and Chairman of the Board
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Episcopal Advisor
Senior Fellows Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B Dr. Joseph C. Atkinson Dr. Christopher Baglow Dr. William Bales Dr. Michael Barber Father Robert Barron Dr. John Bergsma Dr. Richard Bulzacchelli Dr. Matthew Bunson Dr. Aaron Canty Dr. Sebastian Carnazzo Father John S. Custer Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio Dr. Vincent DeMeo Father Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. Dr. David Fagerberg Dr. Lawrence Feingold Father Pablo Gadenz Father Michael Giesler Dr. Gregory Yuri Glazov Dr. Timothy Gray Dr. Mary Healy Dr. Stephen Hildebrand Dr. Jeremy Holmes Dr. Kenneth Howell Dr. Leroy Huizenga Dr. Andrew Jones Dr. Daniel A. Keating Father William Kurz, S.J. Father Thomas Lane Dr. Taylor Marshall Dr. Timothy Milinovich Dr. Robert P. Miller Dr. Jeffrey Morrow Dr. Ian Murphy Monsignor A. Robert Nusca Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. Dr. James L. Papandrea Dr. Brant Pitre Fr. Jospeh Poggemeyer Dr. Thomas Scheck Dr. Nathanael E. Schmiedicke Dr. James Shelton Dr. Daniel G. Van Slyke Dr. Steven C. Smith Dr. Edward Sri Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD Father Kris Stubna Dr. Andrew Swafford Dr. Michel Therrien Dr. Andre Villeneuve Dr. Benjamin Wiker Dr. Peter Williamson Dr. Carol Younger