James E. Menkhaus

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

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


     The Fall 2016 semester begins my fourth 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 fall I will be teaching a course on the Jesuit Tradition, which will examine some of the historical and theological aspects of the Society of Jesus.  This past year I co-taught a course on the Holocaust and the problem of evil.  We then journeyed to Poland and Prague where we viewed the ramins of the Nazi death camps in light of our readings and discussions on evil.  I also accompanied a group of students to Immokalee, Florida over spring break to learn about the lives of migrants wokers.   

     Aside from theology and teaching, I enjoy rooting for the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavs (2016 NBA Champions!!) and Duke Blue Devil basketball team (national Champs 2015!). I enjoy traveling and hope to eventually visit Antarctica. I am a huge Mumford and Sons fan and have sen them in concert 4 times.  Random fun facts? I rarely 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 (16 sections)
  • LTHE 255 The Jesuit Tradtion (1 section)
  • LTHE 265 Good and Evil: Reconciling the Holocaust (1 section)
  • THEO 355 Catholic Social Teaching Immersion (2 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




  • “Lessons from the Spirit of Pedro Arrupe: For the Seventieth Anniversary of Hiroshima,”The Way: Prayer and Those Who Pray, Vol. 55 No. 1 (January 2016), 9-19. 
  • "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. 


I am currently working on a book proposal that will examine short term service projects and longer post-gradaute service opportunities through an Ignatian perspective.   


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.