Teacher Bio, Dr. Seifried, 4th-5th grade Religious and Philosophical Studies

Dr. Seifried tries to always bring a kid’s heart and powers of imagination to the pursuit of academic excellence.  Whether he is teaching religion and philosophy, or coaching kids in Drama Club, Latin, or Soccer, he always tries to push kids to the limits of their abilities in a way that is imaginative and therefore engaging, formative, and sometimes just plain fun!


While this is Dr. Seifried’s first year on the faculty at St. Mary’s, where he teaches Religion and Philosophical Studies to grades 4-6, he has been active at the school in the past as the Drama Club adviser and assistant coach to the 1st and 2nd grade soccer team.  Furthermore, while formally teaching the Catholic faith is new for Dr. Seifried this year, teaching philosophy and Catholic intellectual history at the grade school level is not.  As a graduate student in philosophy at Columbia University in the City of New York, he co-founded a club dedicated to bringing graduate students into grade school and high school classrooms as guest teachers.  In this capacity, he taught such topics as the philosophy of biology, ethics, Latin and ancient Greek philosophical concepts, philosophy and literature, and the theology, philosophy, and intellectual history of the Middle Ages.  Through this program, he had the pleasure to teach students in New York, Mississippi, Ohio, and Michigan, which offered him a rich range of experiences to draw upon in crafting his courses this year. 


In addition to drawing upon these travels, Dr. Seifried also draws upon his time studying abroad in England, Austria, and Germany, where he had the delight of seeing many interesting academic traditions and beautiful expressions of the Catholic faith.  By using what he experienced during these travels, he tries to make his teaching more interesting to the students.  For instance, he has chanted medieval music to open prayer, taught students about church art and architecture from famous European cathedrals and organized a medieval-themed celebration and academic exercise in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas’s feast day.


While spiritual formation and catechesis are always his main focus, Dr. Seifried’s past work teaching college has made him keenly aware of the long-term benefits received by all students (Catholic and otherwise) who are given access to a curriculum structured around a deep, conceptual understanding of its content … even when that content is outside of the student’s own faith tradition.


In his spare time, Dr. Seifried enjoys playing make believe with his kids, reading, concerts, soccer, museums, gardening, and attending Mass at historic churches (including our own St. Mary’s Church!). 


Dr. Seifried is also a proud parent of a St. Mary’s student and Boy Scout as well as Vice President of SSO. 


In a word, in an age of academic fads, Dr. Seifried does all he can to support Catholic education because it offers an alternative that is ageless in its academic, spiritual and moral formation of all children.