The trials of getting the healing ministry established at a Christian university:  Frustration at Fordham University

The trials of getting the healing ministry established at a Christian university:

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Fordham University is a Catholic Jesuit university of considerable fame for the excellence of education. I graduated from Fordham Collage in 1966. The required courses in philosophy and theology at Fordham gave me an understanding of philosophy and theology which has served me well in my writing ministry as I tackled the issues of Christian history and the current culture war. For example, understanding philosophical idealism allowed me to appreciate the importance of quantum physics and its spiritual implications in the Christian healing movement.[1] One theology course at Fordham highlighted the moral and ethical distortions of modern Pharisees. This ultimately led me to a breakthrough understanding of Pharisees as a perennial anti-Holy Spirit presence in Church history which wars against revivals. I described this in detail in my most popular work, Quenching the Spirit.[2]

There was a big “however” to this. In the 1960s the Jesuits were experimenting, trying to modernize Catholic theology away from its dependence on Saint Thomas Aquinas, the genius medieval theologian, into something more modern. This was necessary, but when you experiment you sometimes get things right and sometimes do things wrong – sometimes even blowing up the laboratory.

I had several professors who did a very good job at the modernization of Catholic theology, including introducing me to the first draft of “intelligent design,” while keeping the essential Christian doctrines intact.[3] But some Jesuits fell into the trap of accepting the views of liberal Protestantism, which is a form of modern Deism. Like their Protestant liberal counterparts, they disregarded and ridiculed the miracles of Jesus and the Bible. One even made a disparaging remark about the “so called” resurrection of Jesus.

The liberal theology of the 1960s was called “death of God” theology. It was dependent on the philosophy of Fredrick Nietzsche (1844-1900) and was influential enough to have made the cover of Time Magazine. I call it by its acronym, “DOG theology” because they were “barking up the wrong tree,” and had major demonic influences.[4] DOG theology seriously injured the faith many of my fellow classmates, and because of it I also went through a period of atheism. Why believe in God if the Bible is mythical and Jesus did no miracles? [5] Thankfully, the Lord chased me down through the years of my atheism and I recovered my faith, this time as a charismatic with a gift of healing, and was then able to incorporate the solid philosophical and faith-affirming insights I learned from the non-radical professors.

All of which is to say that when I went to my Fordham Jubilee event in 2016 my attitude towards Fordham was ambiguous, but titling to the positive. I would hasten to say here that Fordham’s “quotient of orthodoxy” is at the middle tier of Catholic universities, with some universities, like Georgetown, totally immersed in radicalism and Wokism. Others are more orthodox than Fordham, as is the University of Steubenville, which is both orthodox and charismatic. Protestant universities run about the same.

The Jubilees at Fordham are designed for alumni to celebrate their 50th year as graduates from Fordham. There are three-day events, from Friday to Sunday, usually during the first week of June. It is marked by excellent food, fellowship, partying, and of course, suggestions to contribute to the Fordham endowment fund. Personally, it was a joy to see some of my college friends again, and to witness to then what the Lord had done in my life and ministry.

The Rev. Doctor Joseph McShane, then president of Fordham, did his usual thing of circulating among the alumnus and attending the various parties and events of the weekend. During his welcome talk to the alumni, he mentioned that Fordham has a group of student volunteers, called the “Pedro Arrupe volunteers,” named after a Jesuit noted for his work among the poor.  These students do various projects to help the poor in the New York metro area. I had a chance to talk with President McShane about doing a healing workshop for the volunteers so that they could add effective healing prayer to their help projects. He thought that was a good idea and pointed to another Jesuit priest who oversaw the group and told me to talk to him. I did so and gave him my brochure on my teachings and the major books I had written. I was never called back.

A year passed and I went to a local Fordham alumni club in Atlanta and chatted with the alumni and some students bound for Fordham. I witnessed to them about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the importance of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. None of them had heard about Catholic charismatics.

I wrote Fr. MacShane and told him of my distress at this, as about 13% of Catholics worldwide are charismatic.[6] I also suggested I do a workshop at the next Jubilee on “Aging gracefully with healing prayer”- I had just published a book on that topic.[7] He accepted that proposal, and at the 2018 Jubilee I did my first Fordham workshop on healing prayer. It was a great success for the alumni, with several major healings occurring. I taught them the revolutionary notion (for them) that every Christian has the ability to heal the sick by the laying on of hands. Two Jesuits attended the workshop and seemed to be positive. But they left before I had a chance to demonstrate healing with the laying on of hands in the Pentecostal manner of leg and arms extension – which produces immediate dramatic results.[8]

In 2119 I was invited to come again to the Jubilee and repeated the workshop, with great success on the alumni, but no teaching staff or Jesuits attending. I had hopes that if some Fordham professors attended, they might understand the value in having a course on healing and deliverance at the university. That year the Fordham graduate school of social services gave an information reception for the alumni. I circulated among the staff who were present and suggested it would be good to incorporate a knowledge of healing prayer in their course work. (Imagine what it would be like if a professional social worker knew healing, intercessory, and deliverance prayer and incorporated that knowledge into their profession ­– that excited me.) One professor said that she would be interested in me doing a zoom class on the topic, but she never contacted me again. Another professor gave a snarky retort, “We are a university not a seminary.”  But another professor was impressed by my brief discussion of inner healing, and how it can be proved it is not merely suggestion because it is effective in healing animals.[9] She indicated she would read about this in my book on Agnus Sanford. But the school of social service went defunct, perhaps an economy measure during covid, and I never heard from any of its staff.

In 2022, the first Jubilee after Covid, there was a “Meet the Jesuits“ event in which the alumni mingle and talk with the Jesuits. I had the opportunity to talk to one older Jesuit was having back problems and I laid hands on him. He seemed to be much better and was very grateful. But several others who watched seem to be quite skeptical even when they saw the positive results. The elderly Jesuit promised he would read my book on Agnes Sanford, but I never heard from him again.

This year (2023) I returned and did the same thing.  At the “meet the Jesuits” I was talking to an alumnus and prayed for another and then I walked over to the to the one of the Jesuits and I invited him to the healing workshop. He said dismissively, “We’ve heard your presentation before, thanks…”

The next day, Saturday, I had the opportunity to do two, one-hour workshops. The first one was at 9:00 o’clock and was especially effective. We had five people healed of serious back problems. Back problems are generally the easiest thing to heal, and I choose back problems as a quick way to demonstrate the power of Christian healing, as they are often instant. If you pray for cancer, or other internal diseases, you may heal them, but you don’t know about it till much later. The second workshop also went well although it was less well attended.

But this year not a single Jesuit or professor from Florida attended. That discouraged me greatly. My grand aim had been to do a workshop for the Pedro Arrupe volunteers and ultimately teach a course on healing and deliverance for the undergraduate and graduate schools of the entire university. But in four years of returning to do the workshops I have seen no progress whatsoever.

It seems that the principalities and powers hovering over Fordham, as they do at practically every Christian university in America (and with even more power over secular universities) work to ensure that the predominant theology is liberal and non-biblical in the sense that they don’t show or teach the integration of the gifts of the Spirit in life and work. Rather theology departments go for trendy theology that is often seriously contaminated by demonic elements, as in the long reign of Liberation theology and the now accommodations with the LGBTQ agenda.

On a more optimistic note, I had a friendly, brief conversation with the new president of Fordham, Dr. Tana Tetlow. She is a lovely lady and past president of Loyola University in New Orleans. I suggested that she consider having me come and teach the Pedro Arrupe group, as I had suggested to Dr. MacShane back in 2016. She was noncommittal but said she’d consider it.That usually means no.  Well, perhaps the Lord could work through her on this but in the natural it does not seem good. Pray for the Lord’s hand to move at Fordham and have it become one more American University in revival. If you are alumnus from some other Christian college or University pray for that institution also.



[1] William De Arteaga, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2015) chapter 10, “Quantum Physics and Christian Spirituality.”

[2] William De Arteaga, Quenching the Spirit (Lake Mary: Creation House, 1992).

[3] Teilhard de Chardin, Phenomenon of Man (New York: harper & Row, 1965).

[4] AS, chapter on seminaries

[5] I document my fall and recovery ferom athism in my work FP

[6]William De Arteaga, Aging Gracefully With the Graces of Healing Prayer (Lexington: Emeth, 2019).

[8] I wrote about this in my blog that was cancelled by Blogger, but later recovered for the blog “Pentecostal Theology.” And then published in my book, Marvels and Signs Lee’s Sumit: Christos, 2022). “The Happy Hunter’s Revolutionary Discoveries on ChristianHealing.”

[9] William De Arteaga, “An Indicator of Inner Healing as Grace:  The Fido Factor,” Journal o of Christian Healing 13, No. 2, (Summer).


William DeArteaga

William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations.


  • Reply June 18, 2023


    Philip Williams another good one by William DeArteaga here
    HEALING is a MUST for miracles Peter Vandever
    what happened with healings in FL Gary Micheal Epping Derek Godfrey
    Jerome Herrick Weymouth reading a NEW book about it?

  • Reply June 18, 2023


    I’m thinking of John Wimber and his signs and wonders class at Fuller. What became of that class?

    • Reply June 18, 2023


      Roscoe Barnes III Fuller went a bit liberal if you ask me
      William DeArteaga has been trying other schools as well

  • Reply July 20, 2023


    Philip Williams John Mushenhouse we brought this post by our fiend William DeArteaga whos been missing from the group in 2023 staying busy with his new program with the new director of Emory University’s Aquinas Center He recently shared on fb the following letter

    Prayers please, sent the following message to the President of Fordham University (where i regularly teach a healing course at the alumni Jubilee.
    Dear Dr. Tetlow:
    A brief note to again thank you for having me at the Fordham Jubilee and facilitating the workshop, “Aging gracefully with healing prayer.” A thought, my schedule for August and September is mostly open, and if you can fly me in from Atlanta, I would love to do a workshop for the Perdo [sic Pedro?] Arrupe volunteers on healing prayer. Imagine what a witness they would be if they added healing prayer to the good works they do among the poor. When I teach healing prayer at an Anglican or Episcopal church it is usually a three hour block if instruction and exercises and skits, as in for instance, how to pray for someone in a supermarket setting.

    on another note Must see DVD on the evidence for the effectiveness of healing prayer, “Send Proof,” produced by Elijah Stephens. It has interviews by the leading lights of the Christian healing movement such as Heidi and Roland Baker, Craig Keener, and many others. But it also includes interviews and strong arguments by the skeptics of healing, fairly presented. Of course the evidence for healing is overwhelming. It is a long DVD, and the first 15 min or so seem a bit confused, but it becomes a magnificent presentation of the veracity of the Christian healing experience. This is a superb resource for anyone teaching heling prayer, or pastors trying to introduce healing prayer to their congregations. It would be especially valuable as an activity for OSL groups.

  • Reply July 22, 2023


    So since has Fordham been confused with a Christian schools. Maybe a basket school (Rams) or their well known radio station WFVU. Maybe because it was a Jesuit foothold to counter the anti-catholic nativist move of the 1840s on. Major player in US church history and Bishop Hughes was its founder (look him up). After all, it is called the Jesuit University of New York City.

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