James E. Menkhaus

Assistant Professor, Theology Department
Phone: 814-871-7545
Office: PC 3206G

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Professional Experience
  • Publications
  • Scholarship/Research
  • Service


     The Fall 2015 semester begins my third year at Gannon Univeristy.  Prior to being at Gannon I taught part-time at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed my doctoral work through Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio where I attended St. Xavier High School and then earned my undergraduate and M.A. degree at John Carroll. Aside from teaching, which is my first love, I also enjoy retreats and service work. I have led a number of retreats in the United States and Ecuador, and have participated in immersion programs in Louisville, Kentucky, Immokalee, Florida and Honduras.

     This year I am excited to be teaching a new course in the fall 2015 for the Honor's Program entitled "The Theology of Good and Evil," which will challenge students to articulate their own Theodicy in light of the theological "problem of evil."  In the spring 2016 I will be leading a group of students to Immokalee, Florida for the second time at Gannon so the students can learn about migrant workers, just wages and modern day salvery.  In the spring I will also be co-teaching a course that will travel in May to Poland to experience the death camps and to learn about the evils of genocide. 

     Aside from theology and teaching, I enjoy rooting for the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns, and Duke Blue Devil basketball team (national Champs 2015!). I enjoy traveling and hope to eventually visit Antarctica. Random fun facts? I don't wear dress shoes and have never made a PowerPoint presentation. If you ever want to chat theology...or anything else, come by my office with a Mountain Dew!

Courses Taught

Courses at Gannon University:

  • LTHE 121 Sacred Scripture (3 sections)
  • LTHE 227 Theology of Moral Responsibility (11 sections)
  • LTHE 255 The Jesuit Tradtion (1 section)
  • THEO 355 Catholic Social Teaching Immersion (1 section)
  • THEO 400 Senior Seminar (1 section)
  • Additional Independent Study courses: The Theology of Good and Evil; The Theology of Liberation;

Prior to Gannon University:

  • Introduction to Religious Studies
  • Moral Decision Making
  • Process and Spirituality
  • Environmental Utopia and Eco-Theology
  • Marxist Utopia and Liberation Theology
  • The Catholic Experience
  • Introduction to Service
  • Ignatian Solidarity in Guatemala



Educational History

  • Ph.D.   Systematic Theology, Duquesne University                                                     2013
  • M.A.     Religious Studies, John Carroll University (summa cum laude)                      
  • B.A.     Religious Studies/History, John Carroll University (magna cum laude)           

Dissertation: Solidarity According to the Thought of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. and It's Application to Jesuit Educaiton Today

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Theology, Gannon University                                         2013-present
  • Lecturer, John Carroll University                                                                         2009-2013
  • Teaching Assistant, Duquesne University                                                           2007-2009




  • "The Eucharist and Social Justice: Concurrent Themes in the Thought of Pedro Arrupe and Pope Francis," Emmanuel, Vol. 120, No. 4 (July-August 2014).
  • “Appropriating Ignatian Solidarity through Contact and Concepts,” Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 2012), 106-114.
  • “An Ignatian Retreat Amid the Poverty of Ecuador,” The Way: Seeking the Face of Jesus,Vol. 51, No. 2 (April 2012), 83-93.
  • “The Spiritual Exercises as a Path to Virtue,” Review for Religious 70.1 (January-March 2011), 25-43.
  • “Experiencing Fourth and Walnut: Reflections on Faith and Service,” Spirituality for Today, Vol. 14, No. 11 (June 2010).
  • “Ignatian Spirituality and the Just Peacemaking Theory,” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, Vol. 21, No. 4 (October-December 2009), 448-456.
  • “Four Themes of the Spiritual Exercises through Shakespeare,” The Way: Betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross, Vol. 48, No. 1 (January 2009), 93-104. 
  • “The Eternal Spring,” in With Every Breath ed. Katherine Russell.  Kentucky: Merrill Press, 2006, 73-83.“Matrix et Moise” in Moise: lui que Yahve a connu face a face by Thomas Romer.Gallimard: 2002, 118-119. 


My current research interests are in a few areas.  First, I am writing a paper on Pedro Arrupe in honor of the 70th anniversary of his experiences at Hiroshima.  Second, I am researching issues of drone warfare and the effect drones have on the human dignity of those who are living in target areas where drones patrol.  Third, I am interested in migrant farmworker rights, such as the experiences of those who live in Immokalee, Florida.  Finally, my current book proposal is on immersion work through the lens of Ignatian spirituality. 


I have been fortunate enough to work with the following service programs:

  • Rostro de Cristo (service program which places young adults in Ecuador for a year)  I have presented at their orientation program for the past five years.  I have also lead retreats for the organization in Ecuador. 
  • Jesuit Volunteer Core International (service program which places people around the world for two years)  Their orientation is combined with Rostro de Cristo
  • Humility of Mary Service Program (places young adults in service programs in the U.S. for one year)  I have presented at their orientation a number of times and work with their volunteers in Immokalee. 
  • Ignatian Solidarity Network- I have been asked to present at a number of their events to offer my scholarship on Pedro Arrupe.
  • Hope for Honduran Children- I have traveled with them to Honduras and led evening reflections for their participants.