Christopher Bellitto

Professor of History


Expertise: Papal elections, Catholicism in the US, Greek and Roman history, history of the Vatican Council, history of the papacy

Biography: Dr. Bellitto is a Professor of History at Kean University in Union, NJ. He is also a frequent public speaker and media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism. He has appeared on The History Channel, CNN, MSNBC, PBS' News Hour, NPR, and other local radio and TV stations. Dr. Bellitto is also a member of the Speakers' Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the former chair of Kean's History Department. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in History from Fordham University. His B.A., magna cum laude, is from New York University, where he was a University Scholar with a double major in Journalism and Politics and a double minor in Classics and Religion.

During and immediately after college, Dr. Bellitto worked as a journalist, including a stint at Newsweek magazine. He taught English at his alma mater Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, NY, before entering graduate school at Fordham University, where he held Presidential Scholarships and was a Teaching Fellow while studying for his doctorate. He was then a church history professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) and its Institute of Religious Studies in Yonkers, NY, where he also served as the Institute’s Associate Dean. From 2001 to 2004, he was Academic Editor at Paulist Press in Mahwah, NJ, while teaching at Fordham’s College of Liberal Studies (2002-2004) and serving as a Fellow at Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies (2003-2004). In 2010, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant to develop a course entitled, "Is There Such a Thing as a Just War?"

In the Media:
The Record, Roman synod on family, October 24, 2015
Asbury Park Press, Thoughts on Papal Visit to Americas, September 28, 2015
Wall Street Journal, Papal Visits to US, September 21, 2015 Star-Ledger, Who is Pope Francis? September 20, 2015
Upcoming Public Lectures:
Jerusalem: City of Joy and Sorrow
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, 12 noon, YM-YWHA of Union County
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 7:30pm, St. Joan of Arc Parish, Marlton NJ
Pope Francis: Where is he taking the Catholic church--and will he get there? 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 7pm, St. Helen's Church, Westfield NJ
Wed., April 20, 2016, 1pm, Great Horizons series, Morris Plains NJ
Inquisition: History and Legend
Thurs., March 17, 2016, 10am-12noon, Center for Lifelong Learning, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft NJ
Passover and Easter: A Shared Heritage (with Rabbi Brooks Susman)
Thurs., March 17, 2016, 1-3pm, Center for Lifelong Learning, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft NJ
Pope Joan: The History of a Myth
Thursday, April 7, 2016, 7pm, Pequannock Township Public Library
Reforming a Challenged Church: Six Lessons from Church History
Catholics and Jews: Changing the Conversation (with Rabbi Brooks Susman)
Wed., April 13, 2016, 7pm, Montville Township Public Library
The Past in the Present
Thursdays, 12:30-1:30pm, Montville Township Public Library
April 21, 2016: Rome: City of God(s), City of Man
April 28, 2016: Jerusalem: City of Joy and Sorrow
May 5, 2016: Ancient Greece and Rome meet Colonial NJ
Judaism and Christianity: Sacred Texts (with Rabbi Brooks Susman)
Sunday, May 1, 10:30am, Jewish Heritage Museum, Freehold NJ
Rome: City of God(s), City of Man
Mon., May 9, 2016, 6:15 pm, Ocean County Library Long Beach Island Branch, Surf City NJ
Crusades 101
Center for Lifelong Learning, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft NJ
Aug. 2016- details to follow


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