Doctors of the Church

General Information

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes 30 men and 3 women as pre-eminent theologians, people from whom all Catholics can confidently learn from. Originally, there were four Doctors (of the Catholic or Western Church), first named in 1298 AD:

  • Ambrose (ca. 340-397) Bishop of Milan
  • Jerome (ca. 342-420) monastery head
  • Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo
  • Gregory I (the Great) (ca.540-604) Pope

Later, four corresponding Doctors of the Eastern (Orthodox) Church were named, in 1568 AD:

  • Athanasius (ca. 297-373) Bishop of Alexandria
  • Basil the Great (329-379) Cappadocian
  • John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407) Patriarch of Constantinople
  • Gregory Nazianzen (329-389) Cappadocian

No women were included in this list until 1970 AD.

Here is the entire list of the current 33 Doctors of the Church, in approximate chronological order.

  • Athanasius (ca. 297-373) Bishop of Alexandria
  • Hilary of Poitiers (ca. 315-368) Bishop of Poitiers
  • Ephraem (ca. 306-373) Deacon of Edessa
  • Basil the Great (329-379) Cappadocian
  • Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 315-386) Bishop of Jerusalem
  • Gregory Nazianzen (329-389) Cappadocian
  • Ambrose (ca. 340-397) Bishop of Milan
  • John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407) Patriarch of Constantinople
  • Jerome (ca. 342-420) monastery head
  • Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo
  • Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 376-444) Patriarch of Alexandria
  • Peter Chrysologus (ca. 406-450) Bishop of Ravenna
  • Leo I (the Great) (ca. 400-461) Pope
  • Gregory I (the Great) (ca.540-604) Pope
  • Isidore of Seville (560-636) Bishop of Seville
  • Venerable Bede (ca.672-735) monk
  • John Damsacene (ca.675-749) monk
  • Peter Damian (1001-1072) Benedictine
  • Anselm (1033-1109) Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Cistercian
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  • Thomas Aquinas (1125-1174) Dominican
  • Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan
  • Bonaventure (1221-1274) Franciscan
  • Albert the Great (Albert Magnus) (ca.1206-1280) Dominican
  • Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)Dominican
  • Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Discalced Carmelite
  • John of the Cross (1542-1591) Discalced Carmelite
  • Peter Canasius (1521-1597) Jesuit
  • Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Capuchin
  • Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Jesuit
  • Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva
  • Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Redemptorist
  • Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) Carmelite



    The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

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