Nick Astle has earned Bachelor Degrees in History, Religious Studies, and Philosophy from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. A native of Pittsburgh, Nick also holds a Secondary Education certification in Social Studies. Nick completed a semester of student teaching at Altoona Area High School, teaching World Cultures, Anthropology, and AP Government.
While at Saint Francis, Nick held several positions in the Campus Ministry Department. Throughout his four years, he served as the Head Sacristan in the Immaculate Conception Chapel, the Coordinator of Liturgical Ministries, and a Campus Peer Minister. These positions allowed Nick to express his love of service in a variety of settings, including residence hall programming, open houses, retreats, and campus-wide events. He established the Spirituality of Pop Culture lecture series, which has examined the religious themes in everything from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones.
Nick is an alumnus of the Saint Francis University Honors Program, where he completed a thesis researching the use of historical fiction in the high school classroom. As part of this project, Nick wrote five distinct short stories set in a variety of historical periods and locations, with an emphasis on historical accuracy and minimal artistic license. He also created lesson plans and discussion questions to accompany each story before publishing the entire collection.
Nick’s love of the Church has allowed him to meet fascinating people from all over the world. He has participated in pilgrimages both to Philadelphia, for Pope Francis’s first US visit, and to the John Paul II Shrine in Washington, DC. He has led several mission trips to impoverished nations in the Caribbean, including an after-school program in Maggoty, Jamaica. While in Castries, Saint Lucia, Nick had the opportunity to work alongside Missionaries of Charity at a nursing home, as well as to begin a missionary outreach program for Nepalese refugees.
Nick is happy to join the SJCA family as a member of the Theology Department and Campus Ministry.