Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology

Arts and Sciences Building 356


Professor Clem teaches courses in theology and the Valpo Core program. He joins the VU faculty as Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology, having previously taught several courses in philosophy and theology departments. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame, Duke University, and Oklahoma State University.

Professor Clem’s primary research is in the area of moral theology, and his historical interests include the thought of Thomas Aquinas and other scholastic theologians, as well as theologians of the early modern period, such as Richard Hooker, Francisco Suárez, and Joseph Butler. His interests in contemporary ethics lie at the intersection of virtue theory, law, and public policy. When not writing about these topics, he writes on problems in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and moral philosophy, and he is especially interested in the thought of two of the most seminal figures in the Western philosophical tradition: Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.  

He has several projects currently in progress, including a monograph tentatively titled, Truth as a Virtue: A Thomistic Framework for the Ethics of Lying and Truthtelling. He is also developing a project on the ethics of free speech that traces its philosophical foundations to the early modern period and offers a theological analysis of public discourse in pluralistic contexts. His articles have appeared in Religious Studies, New Blackfriars, Philosophia, and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. Professor Clem is a fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation and previously held fellowships from the John Templeton Foundation and the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund.

Ordained to the priesthood in 2013, he serves as assisting priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mishawaka, Indiana. He is a regular contributor to Covenant, the weblog of The Living Church, and he frequently preaches and teaches throughout the Diocese of Northern Indiana.


PhD, 2018 University of Notre Dame
MDiv, 2013 Duke University Divinity School
MA, 2008 Oklahoma State University
BA, 2005 Oklahoma State University

2013 Ordained to the Priesthood, The Episcopal Church, Diocese of Oklahoma


“The Passions of Christ in the Moral Theology of Thomas Aquinas: An Integrative Account,” New Blackfriars, Vol. 99, Issue 1082 (July 2018): 458-480

“Dropping the Debt: A New Conundrum in Kant’s Rational Religion,” Religious Studies, Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 2018): 131-145

“Post-Truth and Vices Opposed to Truth,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Fall / Winter 2017): 97-116

“The Epistemic Relevance of the Virtue of Justice,” Philosophia, Vol. 41, No. 2(June 2013): 301-311

“Speaking Truthfully: A Thomistic Perspective on the Peculiar Origins of Human Language,” in The Evolution of Wisdom, Ed. Celia Deane-Drummond and Agustín Fuentes (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017), 109-126

A Macat Analysis of Aristotle’s De Anima (On the Soul), The Macat Library (forthcoming)

“Questioning the Centrality of ‘the Self’ for Augustine: The Art of Lying as Case Study,” American Academy of Religion annual meeting 2018

“Biological Death and Death of the Human Person: A Thomistic Analysis,” Society for the Study of Christian Ethics annual conference 2018

“Sins of Speech in a Post-Truth Age,” American Academy of Religion annual meeting 2017

“Sacrifice and the Virtue of Religion: A Thomistic Engagement with René Girard,” American Academy of Religion annual meeting 2017


  • Moral Theology & Christian Ethics
  • Thought of Thomas Aquinas
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Natural Law Tradition
  • Medieval and Early Modern Theology
  • Law, Religion, and Public Policy
  • Scripture and Ethics
  • Bioethics and Medical Ethics

Courses Taught

  • THEO 200: The Christian Tradition
  • CORE 110: The Human Experience
  • Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • Philosophy of Film
  • Logic & Critical Thinking
  • Philosophies of Life


  • American Academy of Religion
  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Society of Christian Philosophers
  • Society for the Study of Christian Ethics
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