Fr. Paul Mueller SJ was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960. After attending St. Xavier High School, a Jesuit school in Cincinnati, he earned a bachelor of arts (B.S.) summa cum laude in physics at Boston University. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1982.
As a Jesuit he completed a Master of Arts (M.A.) in philosophy at Loyola University Chicago in 1986, and taught physics and mathematics at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in Chicago from 1986 to 1989. He then earned two degrees at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley: master of divinity (M.Div) in 1992, and master of sacred theology (S.T.M.) in 1993.
Fr. Mueller was ordained a priest in 1993 at St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati. After ordination, he earned a master of science (M.S.) in physics in 1996 at the University of Chicago. He completed his doctorate (Ph.D.) in 2006 through the University of Chicago’s interdisciplinary Committee for Conceptual Historical Studies of Science. In his dissertation, he provided an annotated translation of Marin Mersenne’s Questions Théologiques, Physiques, Morales et Mathématiques (1634), and also explored how practices and concepts of early modern science were informed and influenced by practices and concepts from biblical textual criticism.
Fr. Mueller served as professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago from 2004 until 2009. From 2006 to 2009 he was also academic dean of the Jesuit First Studies Program and of St. Joseph College Seminary, two programs of priestly formation located at Loyola University.
Fr. Mueller was appointed religious superior of the Jesuit community at the Vatican Observatory in 2010. He is also a member of the Observatory’s research staff. As superior of the Jesuit community, Fr. Mueller divides his time between the community’s two residences, at Castel Gandolfo and at Tucson, AZ. As a member of the research staff, he continues his own research and writing in history and philosophy of science and in related religion-science issues.