Greetings from Saint Theresa Catholic School, where we strive in all that we do to provide our students with “an education that combines the wisdom of the Classics with a firm foundation in faith and morals.” I am Dr. Mark Newcomb and I grew up in rural Virginia on a family farm where I learned to grow things, chop wood, and work steadily towards a goal in addition to cultivating a love of nature and a wonder at all of God’s creation. I completed my undergraduate studies at Hampden-Sydney College, the nation’s tenth-oldest institution of higher learning and founded in 1775 with Patrick Henry serving on the original Board of Trustees. At Hampden-Sydney, I earned a B.A. with a double major in History and French while completing an intensive minor in the History of Fine Arts, which involved study of important mosaics from the Byzantine Empire and American art forms inspired by them. Following my collegiate studies, I volunteered full-time in our nation’s capital at a shelter for teenagers. There I served as a counselor for at-risk youth who had already faced significant life trauma.
Following these experiences, I took up graduate studies, first at Duke University, where I earned a Master of Theological Studies degree in 1994, and then at Fordham University in New York, where I completed an M. Phil. in Historical Theology (2000) and a Ph.D. focused on the leading bishops in London—Protestant and Catholic—during the English Reformation (successfully defending my dissertation in 2008). During my time at Fordham, under the tutelage of my mentor, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., I was received into the Catholic Church in 1998 at Saint Agnes Parish in Manhattan. My academic studies and ecclesiastical experiences have furnished me with a profound appreciation of the Liberal Arts and the incredible history, art, music, philosophy, theology, and liturgy that served to ground and sustain the Western Intellectual tradition.
My academic areas of interest include the historical development of Trinitarian Theology, the history of biblical interpretation, ancient figural and architectural art, the literature and culture of the Francophone World, and the recovery of classical Rhetoric during the Renaissance, Reformation, and in modern times. I am also deeply grateful to have grown up cultivating much of my own food and learning practical skills, from marksmanship to the care of livestock. Professionally, for most of my career, I have worked in college and university settings. I have a great deal of administrative experience leading and developing faculty and staff teams, pursuing a Catholic, Liberal Arts academic vision, fundraising, and working with families, students, and boards to build up faith-based educational initiatives.
I come to STCS from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York where I served as the College’s Executive Vice President. At MSMC, I was the College’s Chief Compliance Officer, responsible for a staff of over 200, and helped to lead wide-ranging enterprises in accreditation, compliance, student life, campus technology, strategic space planning, and security assessment.
Prior to my work at Mount Saint Mary College, I was the Director of the Master of Liberal Arts and Undergraduate Degree Completion Programs at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston. At UST, I collaborated with faculty to create new and innovative undergraduate programs and academic concentrations for both graduate and undergraduate students.
Before coming to UST, I served as Assistant, Associate, and Interim Dean of Academic Affairs at Belmont Abbey College, in Belmont, N.C. There, I helped lead a full- and part-time faculty of more than 160, assisted in overseeing the scholastic program of nearly 1,800 traditional and adult students, helped manage and support staff, faculty, budget, and programs for all academic departments, and aided in guiding and strengthening a curriculum consisting of 50 majors, minors, and concentrations. At various times I have also served as a Registrar, a Director of Institutional Research, a Database Administrator, and a Web Master. To my role at STCS, I bring extensive experience in retention, student affairs, accreditation, athletics, conflict resolution, and compliance issues.
Kimberly, my wife of 24 years, and I believe so firmly in the mission of Saint Theresa Catholic School that all three of our daughters, Lucy Marie, Aurelia Lea, and Miriam Therese, are current students at STCS. For me, the great joy of serving as Headmaster is being able to implement such a rich classical and Catholic curriculum and to partner in that work with Father Eurel Manzano, our Pastor, and the dedicated, learned, and hard-working faculty and staff team of STCS. Together, we are making a superior education available for students that results in outstanding standardized test scores, yields academic outcomes about two years ahead of other curricula, offers students a critical grounding in Latin, Music, and Art for their fulfillment and future success, and challenges them morally to be their best self as they grow to the be the young men and women that God intended them to be. At STCS, we begin with the idea that human beings are unique in being able to determine—through active pursuit of the Good—the content of their character. This focus on being and the good ahead of merely knowing a lot of information with no moral compass for the ordering of knowledge, sets us apart. It is a privilege to make this kind of learning—both clearly ancient and eternally relevant—available to our students.