Timothy G. McCarthy was born and raised on the west side of New York City. He earned a Ph.D. in religious education from Catholic University, where as an undergraduate he studied English and religion. McCarthy also has two M.A.'s, one in English and the other in theology, from Manhattan College. After teaching part-time at Manhattan College and College of Santa Fe in the early part of his career, he settled in 1978 at St. Mary's College of California. In addition to his present position as a professor of religious studies, McCarthy has chaired the undergraduate religious studies and graduate theology programs (1978-90) at St. Mary's.