University of Portland

Carol Dempsey OP, PhD

Theology, Professor

Carol Dempsey OP, PhD



Buckley Center 446

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Professor Carol J. Dempsey, OP is an internationally recognized and award-winning scholar who teaches courses in Biblical Studies, specifically in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. With particular expertise in the Prophets, Professor Dempsey’s interests lie in a feminist and liberation approach to biblical texts, gender studies, biblical theology, literary and rhetorical criticism, and environmental/ecological studies. She teaches an introductory course in Bible as well as courses in the Prophets, Wisdom, Gender, Biblical Spirituality. As part of the Theology Department’s Theological Perspectives offerings, she team teaches a course entitled “Heat, Hunger, and Hurricanes: Biblical, Theological, Scientific, and Philosophical Perspectives on Climate Change.” She is a seasoned teacher, having taught on the grade school, high school, college, university, and graduate levels. She delights in the life of the mind and in educating the whole person. She holds a BA in English and Religious Studies with minors in History and Education from Caldwell University; a Certificate for Advanced Studies in Scripture and Theology from the Institute for Religious Formation in Biblical and Theological Studies, Seton Hall University/Caldwell University; New Jersey State Certification in Teaching (English K-12); an MA in English with a minor in Theology from St. Louis University; and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America.

Prof. Dempsey is the author of eight books and the editor/co-editor of 12 books. The former Vice-President of the National College Theology Society, she serves on the editorial board of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly and Old Testament Abstracts. She is active in several professional societies and has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally. She is currently working on two commentaries on Isaiah among other contracted research projects.

Prof. Dempsey originally hails from New Jersey and is a member of the worldwide Order of Preachers (Dominicans). She enjoys swimming, cycling, reading, gathering with friends and family for a good meal and conversation, doing jigsaw puzzles, playing a 12-string guitar, and taking time for leisurely walks and days of retreat. Her two feathered parrotlet friends, Kelli Mae and Kristi Belle, bring her boundless joy with their sweet peeps, mischievous antics, and delightful personalities. Prof. Dempsey’s favorite quote is one she adapted from George Bernard Shaw: “I see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I also dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’” She is a realistic and practical dreamer who treasures curiosity, wonder, imagination, and roads not taken.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
  • Research Fellow, Yale University
  • Master of Arts, St. Louis University
  • Certificate of Advanced Studies in Scripture and Theology, Seton Hall University/Caldwell University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Caldwell University

Curriculum Vitae