Anthony J. Cernera, Ph.D.
has been involved in Catholic higher education for 32 years, most recently as president of Sacred Heart University for 22 years, where he also served as a tenured professor of religious studies. In 1992, Dr. Cernera’s established the first comprehensive center for Christian Jewish Understanding at a catholic university along with Rabbi Bemporad. In addition to his inter-faith activities at Sacred Heart, Dr. Cernera led that institution from financial bankruptcy to being the second largest of the 25 Catholic universities in New England, with its endowment growing from virtually zero to $125,000,000. Earlier, he served as a vice president at Marist College from 1981 to 1988. Dr. Cernera also served as vice president (2000-2006) and president (2006-2012) of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, the largest and oldest association of Catholic universities in the world.
He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Committee on Justice and Peace Education of Catholic Relief Services, from 1992 to 1998, and of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. In addition, he also chaired the board of directors of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, and the board of directors of Mount St. Michael Academy. Dr. Cernera has edited seven books and numerous articles including “Examining Nostra Aetate After 40 Years” and written extensively on interreligious understanding, systematic theology, and higher education. During the last year he has lectured at 12 universities in 11 countries.