Jo Renee Formicola, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
Department of Political Science and Public Affairs
Dr. Formicola's specific field of expertise is Church-State relations. While at Seton Hall University, she has published extensively on political and religious topics that deal with the relationship between the Catholic Church and the American Government. She is the author of five books: Papal Policies on Clerical Sexual Abuse (2019); Clerical Sexual Abuse: How the Crisis Changed U. S.. Church-State Relations (2014), The Politics of Values (2008); John Paul II: Prophetic Politician (2002) and The Catholic Church and Human Rights (1988). She is also the co-author of two other books: The Politics of School Choice (1999), as well as Faith-Based Initiatives and the Bush Administration (2003). She is a co-editor and chapter contributor to three other volumes: Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously (2005); Religious Leaders and Faith Based Politics (2001); and Everson Revisited (1997). Dr. Formicola has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Church and State. She is often seen on television doing commentary on religious issues, especially those related to Catholicism, the papacy, and U. S. politics.
- Ph.D., Drew University
- M. A., Georgetown University
- B.S., Le Moyne College
- Formicola, Jo Renee, Editor for the Special Issue on Catholic Clerical Sexual Abuse. Journal of Church and State, Vol. 62, Number 1, Winter 2020. Editorial, “The Global Consequences of Catholic Clerical Sexual Abuse,” pp. 1-4 as well as the author of “Popes and the Policy of Sin” in the same volume.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “Popes and the Policy of Sin,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 62, Number 1, Winter 2020, pp. 135-157.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “The Politics of Clerical Sexual Abuse,” Religions. Vol. 7, No 1. 8 January 2016 pp. 1-13.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “Recalibrating U. S. Catholic Church-State Relations—The Effects of Clerical Sexual Abuse,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 58, No. 3 Spring 2016, pp. 72-85.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “The Moral-and Political-Force of Pope Francis on Climate,” The Conversation, 6 June 2015.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “Globalization: A Twenty First Century Challenge to Catholicism and its Church,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 54, No. 1, Winter 2012, pp. 106-121.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “Catholic Clerical Sexual Abuse and Vatican Sovereignty,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 53, No. 4, Winter 2011, pp.523-544.
- Formicola, Jo Renee. “Catholic Moral Demands in American Politics: A New Paradigm,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 51, No. 1, Winter, 2009, pp. 4-24.
In the Media
Recently interviewed by Lisa Lerer. "Biden’s Silence on Abortion Rights at a Key Moment Worries Liberals." New York Times. May 27 , 2021.
Formerly also interviewed by: PBS, Fox News, WNBC, WABC, WWOR, NJN, WTOP, WTAP, WGAN, WLIW, News Channel 12, UPN 9, News 12 New Jersey, The Voice of America, beliefnet. com; The Daily Beast, The Associated Press, USA Today, The Des Moines Register, The Dallas Morning Bulletin, The Star Ledger, The Bergen Record, The Morristown Record, The Asbury Park Press, The Oregonian, The Recorder News Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post-Dispatch, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times, The Saint Petersburg Times, Time Magazine, and local newspapers, as well as others serviced by the Associated Press of America and The Catholic News Service. Internationally interviewed by the AFP, the Associated Press of France, and the Asian News of Singapore. An article on other media contributions on the visit of Pope John Paul entitled, “Seton Hall Shares Papal Expertise with the World,” is available in Seton Hall, Spring 2005. Provided commentary on the visits of Pope Benedict XVI at the United Nations in 2008 and for Pope Francis on WNBC and FIOS 1 for his visit to the White House, the U. S. Congress, the United Nations, and Ground Zero in October 2016.
Dr. Formicola has served as the Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Chair of the Department of Political Science. She was elected President of the N. J. Political Science Association and the Northeast Political Science Association. She was also elected Councilwoman in Madison, N.J. from 1989-1992. She was named Political Scientist of the Year in the State of New Jersey and received the University Trustee's Service Award as well. In 2008, she was awarded the Ignatian Award for Professional Achievement by the Le Moyne College Alumnae Board. She has served as a member of the Le Moyne College Board of Regents and the advisory board of Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 2015, Dr. Formicola was named Seton Hall University's Woman of the Year.