Doctor of Religious Studies, Theology, & Society


Dr. Savage is a Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a student of St. Thomas Aquinas, and a recognized scholar of John Paul II—analyzing faith and contemporary issues.

Dr. Deborah Savage is Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, having joined the faculty in 2021. Previously she was on the faculty at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she taught both philosophy and theology for 13 years, having taught as an adjunct professor for 15 years first in the College of Business and then in the Theology Department. Dr. Savage received her doctorate in Religious Studies from Marquette University in 2005; her degree is in both theology and philosophy. Dr. Savage is the co-founder and acting director of the Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture, an interdisciplinary think tank, organized to respond to John Paul II’s call for a new and explicitly Christian feminism. Dr. Savage is a student of St. Thomas Aquinas with a particular interest in investigating his thought in light of contemporary questions. Her primary academic areas are philosophical and theological anthropology; her recent research has been focused on the development of a robust theology of the nature of man and woman, both their identities and their complementarity. A second research area is the meaning of human action, the significance of human work and of vocation, and the metaphysics of creation as a foundation for both stewardship and economics. She has a particular interest in Catholic Social Thought and the fundamental theological categories that serve as its substructure. She is a scholar of the work of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and has written and presented or published several papers on how his philosophical anthropology informs his body of work as Pope.

Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Dr. Savage worked for over twenty-five years in the business sector, holding a variety of positions primarily in manufacturing organizations. This experience and the questions that arose as a result led her to investigate the theological meaning of work as a locus of personal conversion and sanctificationDr. Savage's writing has appeared in several publications, Nova et Vetera, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, First Things, Humanum, Catholic World Report, and Public Discourse. Some recent publications include “Redeeming Woman: A Catholic Response to the Second Sex Issue,” published in the journal Religions and “The Therapeutic and Pastoral Implications of Pope St. John Paul II’s Account of the Person,” published in The Journal of Christian Bioethics. The most recent iteration of her theory of Man and Woman is a chapter in a volume entitled The Complementarity of Men and Women, edited by Dr. Paul Vitz and published by CUA Press (May 2021). She is currently at work on a book entitled “Woman and Man” for formal consideration by Catholic University of America Press which she hopes to complete this academic year.

Dr. Savage is a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology and the American Catholic Philosophical Association. She served for several years as a member of the Board of Trustees at Franciscan University, resigning earlier in 2021. She lives in Steubenville, Ohio with her husband of thirty-four years, Andrew Percic, and their daughter, Madeline.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Savage delivers thought-provoking discussions on theology and culture.

Dr. Deborah Savage is a frequent guest speaker on various religious, philosophical, and societal topics. These topics include, but are not limited to: the complementarity of man and woman, the masculine genius, the genius of man and woman, faith and human work, the relationship between religion and economics, fatherhood, the war on men, and our spiritual Father. Dr. Savage is available to give presentations to academic conferences, parishes, high schools, diocesan gatherings, professional organizations, retreats, etc. Engage your audience with insights on faith and society. If you would like to schedule Deborah Savage as a guest speaker, please click the button below to submit a speaking request.

The Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture

The Siena Symposium champions a new vision for women, family, and culture, inspired by Pope St. John Paul II. Discover our mission.

Dr. Savage is the co-founder and acting director of the Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture, an interdisciplinary think tank, organized to respond to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for a new and explicitly Christian feminism.

The Siena Symposium began over 25 years ago as a response to Pope St. John Paul II's declaration, found most explicitly in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium vitae, that it is up to women themselves to articulate a new and explicitly Christian feminism. Research and the social changes in the intervening years have led us to see the topic in the broader context of culture and its influence on family life and the life of faith. This vision is reflected in our formal name—the Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture. Our mission, too, has changed as we attempt to pursue a faithful and philosophically robust understanding of the nature and mission of both woman and of man, the genius unique to each, and the complementarity that characterizes their relationship.

© St. Catherine of Siena, Robert Lentz, OFM, Courtesy of Trinity Stores


  • Co-founder and Director, The Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture, an interdisciplinary working group at the University of St. Thomas
  • The Academy of Catholic Theology
  • The American Catholic Philosophical Association
  • Board member, Curatio, since 1999
  • Board of Trustees member, Franciscan University of Steubenville, 2017-2021


  • Finalist: 2008, 2009 Novak Award, given by the Acton Institute for research into the relationship between religion and economics.