Born William Ignatius Stuhlmueller in Hamilton, Ohio on April 2, 1923, he was the son of William and Alma Heusing Stuhlmueller. He attended grade school at St. Mary’s taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to which two of his sisters, Mary and Louise, entered. While in eighth grade he was impressed by a parish mission by Father Jerome Reutermann, C.P. and Father Matthew Coen, C.P. This led him to enter the Passionist Preparatory Seminary at Normandy, Missouri in September 1936. In 1942 he then went to the novitiate at St. Paul, Kansas where he received the name Carroll and professed his vows on July 9, 1943. He received philosophy training at Detroit, Michigan from 1943 until 1946 and theological training at Chicago from 1946 until 1948 and Louisville, Kentucky from 1948 until 1950. It was during this time that he was introduced to biblical scholarship. His Scripture teachers were Passionist Fathers Barnabas Ahern, Camillus Kronlege, and Roger Mercurio who introduced him to the new direction of Catholic biblical scholarship. Also influential was Father Joseph Mary O’Leary, C.P. Stuhlmueller was ordained on June 3, 1950 by Archbishop John A. Floersch at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky. A year of sacred eloquence followed in Sierra Madre, California. Instead of being assigned to preach Father Stuhlmueller was assigned to teach Scripture. He was sent to graduate studies at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. in 1951 and received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1952; this was a prerequisite for any future biblical studies. He then went to the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and received a licentiate in Sacred Scripture cum laude.
From 1952 until 1956 he was a professor at the Passionist theologate in Chicago. When it moved to Louisville, Kentucky he taught there from 1958 until 1965. Specializing in Old Testament he had to shift and teach New Testament as well because Father Barnabas Ahern had been called to the Vatican Council. When Ahern could not write the commentary on Luke for the Jerome Biblical Commentary Father Stuhlmueller took on the assignment. In Louisville, and for that matter wherever he was assigned he was a constant public lecturer and preacher of retreat conferences on Scrpture. Notable were the Scripture Institutes in Louisville. He wrote the lead article for the new journal The Bible Today and served in an editorial capacity and as book review editor. In 1965 the Passionist theologate moved to St. Meinrad’s School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Indiana even as there were plans to begin a new venture which was to become Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. For one year Father Stuhlmueller taught at Meinrad’s and then was back at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome to complete a doctorate in Sacred Scripture before the Pontifical Biblical Commission. His topic was Deutero-Isaiah and he quickly became known as an expert on that topic despite some hesitant views from his director Father Ernst Vogt, S.J. He defended in 1968. Creative Redemption in Deutero-Isaiah was published with critical praise in the 1969 issue of Analecta Biblica. He then returned to the United States to teach Scripture at Catholic Theological Union. At first tentative as to the future of the new institution, Father Stuhlmueller split his time between Chicago and St. John’s University, New York from 1970 until 1974. However, eventually CTU won his heart. 1968 until 1994 were his most productive years. He helped initiate the Israel Study program. He was considered a demanding teacher which was often balanced by kindness. He was president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America from 1978 until 1979 and the Chicago Society of Biblical Research from 1982 until 1983. He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature from 1987 until 1992 and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly from 1973 until 1977. He was the author of twenty three books and many journal articles as well as cassette series. In February 1994 he suffered a massive stroke.