Gerard Baumbach is professor emeritus in the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and director emeritus of the Institute’s Echo Program. He joined the faculty in 2003 after a distinguished career in publishing, writing, and parish catechetical leadership. He was the founding director of the Echo Faith Formation Leadership Program, which he led until July 2011. Baumbach was appointed senior catechetical advisor at the Institute, serving until 2013. He was concurrently a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology and served for many years on the department’s Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology committees.
Baumbach was the recipient, with the Institute’s Center for Catechetical Initiatives, of the 2008 NCCL Catechetical Award, which recognized the Echo initiative. In 2003, he received the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for his leadership and service to catechesis nationally and internationally. He also was selected for inclusion in the “Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project,” recognizing his contributions to religious education. Baumbach has served on task groups of the US Catholic Conference and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He directed and/or participated in the publication preparation process for numerous catechetical publications during his almost twenty-five years at William H. Sadlier in New York City, where he ended his publishing career as executive vice president and publisher.
Baumbach earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College in Vermont in 1968, a master’s degree in education from the University of Maryland in 1975, and a doctorate in education from New York University in 1989, where he specialized in religious education. His service to catechesis began in 1967 and includes several years as a parish catechetical leader. Baumbach serves on the Ave Maria Press board of directors.
He and his wife, Elaine, have three married sons and six grandchildren. They live in Granger, Indiana.