University of Mary Welcomes Author and Claremont Graduate University Professor for first-ever fall Prayer Day event

Bismarck, ND — When Dr. Mary Poplin traveled to Calcutta, India, in the spring of 1996, her mission was to discover “why Mother Teresa said her work was not social work but religious work.” After two months of serving the poorest of the poor in the company of the recently named saint, Poplin discovered something much more radical: She did not need to travel to Calcutta to serve those in need. As Mother Teresa once remarked, we “can find Calcutta all over the world.”

Dr. Mary Poplin

Dr. Mary Poplin

Speaking on the topic “Finding Your Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Teaches Us About Meaningful Work and Service,” Poplin will deliver the keynote address at the first-ever fall Prayer Day event at the University of Mary on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM in the McDowell Activity Center. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

According to Dr. Peter Huff, Director of the Saint John Paul II Center for University Ministry and Professor of Theology, Poplin’s visit to North Dakota could not come at better time.

“Today people are hungry to serve,” says Huff. “Too often, though, we look to faraway places for a sphere of meaningful service. Dr. Poplin’s experience reminds us that ‘Calcutta’ is all around us, including our own workplaces and neighborhoods.”

In addition to the timeliness of Poplin’s message following the canonization of Mother Teresa on September 4, Huff also notes that the fall event will serve as the perfect lead-in to the university’s Vocations Jamboree scheduled for March 2017.

“We’re very excited Dr. Poplin is kicking off the new fall and spring rotation for our annual Prayer Day and Vocations Jamboree events,” states Huff. “Her insights into work and service, sparked by her transformative time with Mother Teresa, reveal the profound link between an active faith and a sense of calling.”

A professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University, Poplin earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas. She has taught at virtually every level of education, from K–12 to post-secondary, and is a nationally recognized expert on highly effective teachers in poor urban schools. Two of her recent research projects have been funded by the John and Dora Haynes Foundation and the John Kluge Foundation.

Poplin is the author of two books: “Finding Calcutta,” published by InterVarsity Press in 2008, and her most recent work, “Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews” also published by InterVarsity Press in 2014.

For more information about the Fall 2016 Prayer Day event, including free registration, visit