Elizabeth R. Kirk, JD

Elizabeth R. Kirk, JD


Elizabeth Rhea Kirk is the Director of the St. Lawrence Center’s Institute for Faith and Culture and serves as its Kowalski Chair of Catholic Thought. Elizabeth has extensive experience in higher education, and a passion for the IFC’s desire to create warm culture of home that is integrated, liberal, and Catholic. 

From 2005 to 2010, Elizabeth served as the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, an interdisciplinary center inspired by the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II and dedicated to bringing the great treasures of the Catholic moral, intellectual and cultural tradition to bear upon the formation of students. During her time there, Elizabeth served with a team to create an environment for students to place their academic studies within a Catholic vision of the integrated human person. She was responsible for administering the Center’s enormously popular annual interdisciplinary Fall Conference and the annual “Catholic Culture Series,” a series of lectures focused on prominent Catholic figures in literature and the arts. From 2012 to 2016, Elizabeth served as a resident fellow in cultural and legal studies at the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University.

Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri, a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, and has done graduate studies in theology. She studied jurisprudence with Charles E. Rice and John Finnis, Aquinas on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics with Ralph McInerny, the Catholic intellectual renaissance of the 20th century with Michael Novak and Michael Pakaluk, and the relationship between philosophy and theology with Fr. Matthew Lamb. 

Elizabeth also has considerable experience in matters pertaining to the family in law and policy. Elizabeth is an associate scholar for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, serving as a legal policy expert, with a special interest in adoption law and policy. She clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and taught law at The Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2010, she helped found the Vita Institute, an intensive interdisciplinary training program for leaders in the national and international pro-life movement held annually at the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth was named by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to be a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life committee, which he chairs. Elizabeth is also a member of the advisory council for the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a board member for The Catholic Bar Association.

Elizabeth lives in Kansas with her husband, Bill, their four children and their dog, Chewbacca.