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Leo Guardado

Fordham Assistant Professor of Theology Leo Guardado

Assistant Professor

Department of Theology
Lincoln Center Campus
Lowenstein 806-C
113 W. 60th St.
New York, NY 10023



Prof. Leo Guardado grew up in a rural mountain town in northern El Salvador before fleeing to Los Angeles when he was nine. After High school in LA and college in the bay area of California, he became a Lasallian Volunteer in Brooklyn, NY where he served as campus minister at Bishop Loughlin HS. An interest in monastic life took him to live in a Trappist monastery in Northern California before completing an MTS in historical christianity at the University of Notre Dame. A series of pastoral commitments led him to work in Tucson, Arizona with churches, dioceses, and NGOs focused on addressing the needs of persons migrating through the desert wilderness and attempting to survive in the US. The experience in the borderlands was a catalyst for pursing his PhD at the University of Notre Dame in a joint program between the theology department and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His ongoing research on human displacement and its challenge to the church and its theology is informed by the multidisciplinary lenses necessary for addressing the critical issues of our time.


St. Mary's College of California (undergrad, BA)
University of Notre Dame (MTS)
University of Notre Dame (PhD)

Research Interests

His broader research interests are focused on providing a theological and an embodied ecclesial response to the transnational mechanisms of violence that continue to displace persons from Latin America to the US, and which persecute such persons within this country's boundaries. Informed by Liberation Theology, the lived experience of Latina/o communities, and Gandhian nonviolence, he is interested in continuing to reconcile the socially-transformative wisdom of these traditions. More particularly, his current research has focused on the concept and practice of church sanctuary, it's relation to the 1980s Sanctuary Movement, and the ecclesiological implications of a church of the poor in the US. Methodologically, he engages ethnographic approaches with the craft of theology for it can serve as a means of accompanying communities while also generating scholarship.


“Just peace, Just Sanctuary: Immigration and Ecclesial Nonviolence.” In An Ethic of Just Peace (Georgetown University Press--Forthcoming 2019)

“Peeing in Public is never a crime.” Political Theology Network (2018)

"From Liberation Theology to (Liberationist) Peace Studies: Practice, Reflection and the Generation of Scholarship." The International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution 4, no. 1 (2016): 13-27.