Fr. Michael J. Higgins, TOR
After service with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Vietnam and his undergraduate work at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, Michael entered the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis in 1978 in Loretto, PA.
He received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from St. Michael’s College, a Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) from Regis College, both member schools of the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in formative spirituality from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
His ordination to the priesthood in 1985 was followed by service in collegiate education at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, and St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. During this time, he was also involved in religious formation for both friars and secular members of the Franciscan family and served as the Director of Novices for the Third Order Regular friars in the US for eight years.
In 1999 Fr. Mike received a Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.Th.D.) with a specialization in Franciscan spirituality from the Antonianum in Rome. This was later complemented in 2007 by a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration through Capella University.
From 2001 to 2007, Fr. Mike served in Rome as Vicar General of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and as the General Spiritual Assistant for the Secular Franciscan Order. He was elected to a six-year term as Minister General of his Order in 2007.
Upon his return to the United States Fr. Mike was able to enjoy a one-year sabbatical here at the Franciscan School of Theology. In 2014, he served the school as a Special Assistant to the President and Dean and assumed the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2015.
In August of 2016 Fr. Mike was appointed the eighth President of the Franciscan School of Theology.