Rev. Gerard J. Olinger, C.S.C., serves as Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, a role he began in August of 2018. In this position, Fr. Olinger stewards and deepens Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission and is the University’s liaison to the Congregation of Holy Cross, the U.S. Bishops, the USCCB and its affiliates, and the Holy See. He also oversees the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason in Dublin, and the Grotto Network.
Previously, Fr. Olinger served as Vice President for University Relations, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon. He was also a Concurrent Assistant Professor of Political Science in the University of Portland’s College of Arts and Sciences.
A native of Springfield, Pennsylvania, Fr. Olinger graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in history and government. He also earned two post-graduate degrees from Notre Dame: a juris doctor cum laude in 2004 and a master of divinity in 2009. While in law school, he served as Executive Notes Editor for the Journal of Legislation and was a member of the Student Bar Association. After law school, Fr. Olinger entered formation with the Congregation of Holy Cross, made his final vows in August of 2009, and was ordained a priest in April of 2010.
Fr. Olinger ministers as an in-residence priest in Alumni Hall. Before taking on the position of Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs, he served on Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees; currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors for King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the state bar in Indiana and Pennsylvania.