More About the Author
Reverend John J. Coughlin, O.F.M., serves as Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Theology. He holds a doctorate (J.C.D) and a license (J.C.L.) in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, a law degree (J.D.) from Harvard University, a master's degree in theology (Th.M.) from Princeton Seminary, a master's degree in psychology (M.A.) from Columbia University, and an undergraduate degree in history (B.A.) from Niagara University.
Fr. Coughlin was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1983. He is a Franciscan friar of the Order of Friars Minor of the Holy Name Province. Following ordination, he ministered as a parish priest in New York City. A member of the New York bar, Fr. Coughlin clerked for the Honorable Francis X. Altimari on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He served as general counsel of St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, from 1990 to 1993. From 1993 to 1996, he served as legal and canonical counsel to the Holy Name Province of Franciscan Friars in New York. Upon appointment by John Cardinal O'Connor of New York, Fr. Coughlin served as Professor of Canon Law and Spiritual Director of St. Joseph's Seminary in New York from 1994 to 2001. He also served the Archdiocese of New York as a judge in the Appeals Tribunal, as vicar of canonical and legal aspects of health care, and as a member of the boards of several Catholic hospitals and educational institutions. During the summer of 1998, Father Coughlin was a member of the delegation of the Holy See to the United Nations treaty conference that established the International Criminal Court. From 1996 to 2003, he taught at St. John's University School of Law where he served as Professor of Law. During the Spring 2009, he served as Visiting Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
The law students at St. John's and Notre Dame have selected Fr. Coughlin as Distinguished Professor of the Year. He teaches in the areas of professional responsibility, canon law, marriage, and legal ethics. His scholarly writing has a comparative focus on the understandings of the human person underpinning canon law and Anglo-American law. He is the author of Canon Law: A Comparative Study with Anglo-American Legal Theory, Oxford University Press, 2010. Another book, Law, Person, and Community, is under contract with Oxford University Press for publication in late 2011.
Additionally, Father Coughlin has given dozens of retreats for priests and religious, spoken at numerous academic conferences, and appeared on national television. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Fidelis Care, a state-wide Medicaid H.M.O. sponsored by the bishops of New York to provide health care for persons in financial need, and as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Church Governance and Canonical Affairs.