Commentary. Insights. Analysis.
The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC is a global research center located at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. IACS works to create dialogue, spark ideas and sustain academic research on Catholic thought, creative imagination and lived experience. The only institute of its kind in the world, IACS is located at — and receives support from — the University of Southern California.
Our team works with journalists across the globe to share the Institute’s unique story and provide independent commentary, insights and analysis on a broad range of important issues and events.
IACS President Richard Wood, Ph.D., is a sociology professor and renowned researcher with experience working in the U.S., Latin America and the Middle East. His current research areas focus on the relationship between the Catholic Church, secular society and other spiritual traditions.
He provides independent analysis, commentary and perspectives on a wide range of issues, including:
The Catholic Church
Religion and politics
Religion and science
Sociology of religion
Threats to democracy
Religion and higher education
Religion and propaganda
- October 24, 2023 The Conversation — Hot-button topics may get public attention at the Vatican synod, but a more fundamental issue for the Catholic Church is at the heart of debate
- February 10, 2023 Religion News Service — Chronicling Los Angeles’ iconic Virgin of Guadalupe street art
- January 2, 2023 Spectrum News 1 — The life and legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
- November 10, 2022 Angelus — The lonely heart and the search for belonging
- November 4, 2022 The Conversation — What is beatification? How the Catholic Church determines the path to sainthood
- October 7, 2022 Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand — Expecting miracles on the journey to sainthood
- August 11, 2022 Angelus — Finding God’s glory on the Lost Coast
- July 29, 2022 The Wall Street Journal — Pope Francis, in Canada, Tries to Distinguish Evangelization From the Pain Caused by Colonialism
- July 16, 2022 Profiles in Catholicism — An Interview with Fr. Dorian Llywelyn, S.J.
- July 12, 2022 Commonweal Magazine — A Circle without a Center: The crisis in Catholic higher education
- July 11, 2022 Angelus — Catholics and higher ed: Where do we go next?
- July 7, 2022 The Conversation — The patriotic Virgin: How Mary’s been marshaled for religious nationalism and military campaigns
- June 11, 2022 The New York Times — In Uvalde, a Bishop Makes an Impassioned Plea: Tighten Gun Laws
- May 18, 2022 Angelus — Where Mary is, so is the Church
- May 6, 2022 Angelus — Can Christianity and patriotism be compatible?
- March 31, 2022 Angelus — On LA’s streets, Guadalupe points to heaven in unexpected places
- March 10, 2022 Angelus — How much faith can Catholics put in technology?
- February 9, 2022 The Conversation— How Lourdes became a byword for hope
- December 17, 2021 USC Dornsife Magazine — A Cosmic Conversation
- November 24, 2021 The Conversation — Prayer apps are flooding the market, but how well do they work?
- November 8, 2021 USC News — The Vatican and COP26: Making the Catholic case for climate change action
- November 3, 2021 National Catholic Reporter — Death row inmates have right to pastor’s touch in execution chamber
- October 29, 2021 The Conversation — A Catholic theologian argues for a death row inmate’s right to have the pastor’s touch in the execution chamber
- October 28, 2021 The Conversation — What’s a ‘miracle’? Here’s how the Catholic Church decides
- August 26, 2021 Commonweal Magazine — Separate Challenges: The bishops, the Eucharist, and abortion
- June 28, 2021 USC Dornsife Magazine — From Survival to Revival: Mapping the Road to a Better Future
- May 12, 2021 Catholic San Francisco — Cathedral jubilee lecture to explore dogma of Mary’s Assumption
- April 30, 2021 EWTN — Conference on the Importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe Begins Saturday
- April 26, 2021 LisaHendey.com — 3 Minutes with Rev. Dorian Llywelyn, S.J.
- April 11, 2021 BBC — New Christ statue in Brazil’s Encantado to be taller than Rio’s
- December 8, 2020 USC Dornsife Magazine — A Welshman finds a new home in the City of Angels
- August 18, 2023 Statement from IACS President Rich Wood on the seizure of Central American University
- June 2, 2023 Richard L. Wood, Ph.D., named IACS president
- December 8, 2022 Kyle Ballarta joins IACS Board of Trustees
- October 8, 2022 IACS hosts celebration of Catholic faith and street art in Orange County
- August 10, 2022 Jason Zenk joins IACS Board of Trustees
- May 19, 2022 IACS announces inaugural Hancock and DePaul Fellows
- April 6, 2022 Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC hosts celebration of Catholic faith and street art