Rev. Stephen C. Rowan, Ph.D.


SMU board committees

Academic Affairs Committee

Educational background

Fairfield University
Bachelor of Arts
University of British Columbia
Doctor of Philosophy


Rev. Stephen Rowan

A passionate educator and advocate, Fr. Rowan is an accomplished member of the northwest community. He has served selflessly for more than forty years in numerous capacities – continually devoting himself to the Church and to the greater community through educational initiatives.

Rowan received his bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of British Columbia. He also holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle in 1968. He has served in various academic positions, both as professor and dean at Seattle University and University of Portland as well as president of Carroll College.

Outside the classroom, Rowan is known for his commitment to Catholic values and work in philanthropy. He is a published author of books and articles on spirituality and Shakespeare. His appointment as vicar for education and superintendent of Catholic schools and later vicar general for the Archdiocese of Seattle underscores the significance of his life-long contributions. In 2001, while serving as the vicar for education and superintendent of Catholic schools, Rowan assisted the Archbishop in establishing the Fulcrum Foundation as a funding source for the K-12 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.

Other notable honors include the reward for service from the College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University, an honorary degree in Humane Letters from Saint Martin’s University, the Burlington Northern Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Leslie G. Brooks Memorial Prize.

He received an honorary degree from SMU and was chosen as the Commencement Speaker in 2009.

Fr. Rowan currently serves as the superintendent of schools for the Seattle Archdiocese.