Janet M. Stenftenagel

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Janet M. Stenftenagel (commonly Jan Stenftenagel) is an author and Professor of English at Vincennes University. Her primary literary focus is on gender issues within the Catholic Church. She is a co-author of the book The Search for Common Ground: What Unites and Divides Catholic Americans. She is active in her local community in Southern Indiana, has served on numerous boards, and co-founded multiple community organizations.


She received a B.A. in English from the Southern Illinois University and a Master's from the University of Southern Indiana. She was raised in the Catholic tradition and studied for 2 years at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. At the same time, her progressive and liberal thought brought her to challenge major pillars of the Catholic faith: specifically gender equality within the religion. Her chapter in the book The Search for Common Ground focuses on differences in beliefs among Catholic men and women. Stenftenagel has also scrutinized women's roles in the hierarchy of the Catholic religion and studied in depth the history of women in the church.

In the 1980s it was discovered that her youngest son had autism. From this experience she dedicated much of her life to researching the causes of and remedies for the condition. She went on to found the Autism Society of Southwest Indiana and currently serves on the board.

Stenftenagel served on the board of the Indiana Catholic Conference in 1985 and was the Acting Indiana Catholic Coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Evansville from 1987 to 1991. She founded the Holy Family Church Dupity-Haiti project, which has raised thousands of dollars and provided equipment and vehicles to the sister church. She was also co-leader of a Liturgical music group for 20 years.

Stenftenagel was a founding member of the Dubois County Community Foundation: "a vehicle through which community-spirited donors will preserve and enrich the quality of life in Dubois County for future generations by means of permanent charitable endowments. She served as Secretary, Vice President and is currently on the advisory board of the foundation."

In 1995, Stenftenagel helped create the Dubois County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The Dubois County chapter has since built 9 houses for families in need.

Currently, as Professor at Vincennes University, Stenftenagel teaches classes in Business English, Composition, World Literature, Speech, Interpersonal Communication, and the Sociological Aspects of Death and Dying.

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