Senior Fellows

Dr. James L. Papandrea

Jim Papandrea is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician.  After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in music and theatre arts, Jim went on to receive his M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in youth ministry, then spent several years in full time ministry, focusing on youth and music ministry, and serving as a consultant in youth ministry.  Jim holds a Ph.D. in the history and theology of the early Christian church from Northwestern University, with secondary concentrations in New Testament interpretation and the history of the Roman Empire.  He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. 

A former protestant minister and convert to Catholicism, Jim was until recently Director of Adult Faith Formation at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL, overseeing Holy Family's School of Ministry, Marriage Enrichment ministries, and Spiritual Renewal ministries.  He is now Assistant Professor of Church History at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary (on the campus of Northwestern University) in Evanston. IL. He has also taught as an adjunct instructor for Barat College, Elmhurst College, Loyola University Chicago's Institute for Pastoral Studies, and the lay formation programs of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet. He currently teaches in the Chicago Catholic Scripture School and the Deacon Formation Program of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Jim’s website is

Curriculum Vitae

• Sixteen years’ experience teaching graduate and undergraduate university courses
• Thirteen years’ experience lecturing for parish groups and lay formation programs
• Eight years’ experience in full time parish ministry
• Sixteen years’ experience in professional music ministry


Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, Ph.D. 1998
Dissertation: “Between Two Thieves”: The Christology of Novatian as “Dynamic Subordination,”
Influenced by His Historical Context and His New Testament Interpretation
(Including a new English translation of Novatian’s De Trinitate).
Areas of Study/Exams: Early Christian Studies (Patristics/Historical Theology)
Christology in the New Testament and the Early Church
New Testament Interpretation
History of the Roman Empire

American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy, Certificate in Classical Studies 1995
Major Areas of Study: History of the Roman Empire
Topography and Archaeology of Rome

Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, M.Div. 1989
Major Areas of Study: Theology
Youth Ministry (Concentration)

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, B.A. 1985
Major Areas of Study: Music Theory and Composition
Audio Production
Theatre Arts

Ongoing Research Areas: Pre-Nicene Christology and Trinitarian Theology
Johannine Literature and its place in the Early Church
Practical Applications of Christology and Trinitarian Theology

Professional Memberships: North American Patristics Society (NAPS)
American Society of Church History (ASCH)
Association of Ancient Historians (AAH)
Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
Catholic Association of Music (CAM)
United Catholic Music and Video Association (UCMVA)

Academic Papers Presented:
“Looking Back on the Future” Making Peace with Revelation Conference, November 2010
“The History of Ordination” United Methodist Ministry Study Symposium, November 2009
“Novatian of Rome: Redeeming and Reclaiming an Anti-Pope” NAPS Conference, May 2008
“Church Life in the Nessana Papyri” NAPS Conference, May 1996

Employment History and Courses Taught, Seminars & Workshops Presented:

Assistant Professor of Church History, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2008 - present

Courses: “History of Christian Thought and Practice I” ONLINE
“Christianity and Culture in the Early Church”
“The A-Team of the Western Tradition: From Augustine to Aquinas”
“The Roots of Diversity: Authority, Unity and Uniformity in the Early Church”
“Pre-Nicene Orthodoxy: Doctrine and Practice in the Third Century”
“Ecclesiastical Latin”
“Christology and the Trinity in the Early Church”
“The Sub-Apostolic Age: Doctrine and Practice in the Second Century”
“Early Christian Rome” (Annual Travel Course – Rome, Italy)
“History of Christian Thought and Practice I” (Early and Medieval Church History)

Committee work:
Master’s Degree Committee (Chair & Director of M.Div., currently since 2009)
History Field/Department Chair, currently since 2009
Bible and History Area Chair, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 Academic Years)
Search Committee for History Position (Reformation Studies)
Institutional Assessment Committee
Distance Learning Work Group
MTS and PhD supervision, academic advising

Lecturer/Speaker, Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Christology Course, Deaconate Formation Program, Spring 2011
“The Gospel of John and Revelation” Chicago Catholic Scripture School, Spring 2011
“Questions from the Shadows: Illuminating the Church in the Middle Ages” Lecture Series, Jan. 2011
“Questions from the Shadows: Illuminating the Early Centuries of Christianity” Lecture Series, Oct. 2010
“Salvation in the New Testament” Parish Lecture Series, Sept. 2010
“The Sacraments: Mysteries that will Change Your Life” Theology on Tap Series, August 2010
“Joshua, Judges and Kings” Chicago Catholic Scripture School, Spring 2010
“Christology in the New Testament,” Parish Lecture Series, Fall 2009
“St. Paul on Resurrection” Parish Lecture, April 2009
Christology Course, Called and Gifted Lay/Deaconate Formation Program, Spring 2009
“Eating is Believing: The Meaning of the Eucharist” YACHT Young Adult Meeting, March 2009
“What Everyone Needs to Know About Paul in the Year of St. Paul” Parish Lecture, March 2009
“How the Early Church Interpreted Scripture” Parish Lecture Series, Feb. 2009
“The Life and Letters of St. Paul” Chicago Catholic Scripture School Seminar, Nov. 2008
Panelist on Catholic Community of Faith Radio program on Relevant Radio, Oct. 24, 2008
“Reading Between the Lines: The Opponents of St. Paul” Chicago Catechetical Conf., Oct. 2008
“The Gospel of John and Revelation” Chicago Catholic Scripture School, Spring 2008
Christology Course, Called and Gifted Lay/Deaconate Formation Program, Spring 2008
“Encountering Christ in the Movies” Theology on Tap, July 2006

Lecturer/Speaker, Catholic Diocese of Joliet, IL
“Spiritual Blueprint” Theology on Tap Series, July 2010
Workshop Leader, Youth/Young Adult Leadership Conference, June, 2009
“What Are We Saying When We Say the Creed?” Theology on Tap Sereis, July 2008
“How to Be Newlyweds Forever” Couples’ Theology on Tap Series, July 2008
“Eating is Believing: The Meaning of the Eucharist” Parish Mission, Sandwich, IL, 2008
“What the Book of Revelation Really Says” Theology on Tap Series, July 2007
“The Three Universal Questions” Parish Mission, Plano, IL, 2006

Adjunct Instructor, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University
“History of Christian Thought and Practice I” 2007-2008 academic year
“History of Christian Thought and Practice I” 2005-2006 academic year
Teaching Assistant, “History of Christian Thought and Practice I” 1993-1994 academic year

Various Consulting/Management Projects
Consultant in Adult Faith Formation, Catholic Diocese of Joliet, IL
Consultant in Adult Faith Formation, San Juan Del Rio Parish, Jacksonville, FL
Manuscript Reader, The Edwin Mellen Press
CD Reviewer, Grapevine Online Magazine
Singer/songwriter/manager of music ensemble “Remember Rome,” 1995 – present
Producer/Project Manager for various music recording projects, 1984 – present
Project Manager, Discover Financial Services, 1999-2004

Consultant in Youth Ministry, Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church
Director of Adult Faith Formation, Holy Family Parish, 2004 - 2008
Responsible for adult catechesis & spiritual formation ministries, retreat ministries, young adult
ministries and marriage-related ministries
Specific Courses Taught and Lectures Given:
“Bible Journey: The Synoptic Gospels” (Three year long weekly Bible study)
“Are Catholics Saved?: Catholics in Dialogue with Evangelicals and Fundamentalists”
Small Christian Community Institute 2008
“What the Book of Revelation Really Says”
“Understanding the Trinity”
“Christology and the Creed”
“The Old Testament Background of the Apocalypse”
“Church History I (The Early & Medieval Church)”
“Introduction to the New Testament”
“Interpreting the Parables of Jesus”
“Mane Nobiscum Domine: The Meaning of the Eucharist”
“The Dormition and Assumption of Mary”
“Catholic Identity and Community”
“The First Parishes Were Small Groups” Small Christian Community Institute 2006
“Catholic Answers to Protestant Questions”

Adjunct Instructor, Loyola University Institute of Pastoral Studies, Chicago, IL
Site Director, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Satellite Program
“Christian Doctrine and It’s History” 2006-2007 academic year
“New Testament and Christian Origins” 2005-2006 academic year

Adjunct Instructor, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL, 1995-2005
“The Emergence of Christian Thought,” (History of Christianity)
“Biblical Faith and Our World Today,” (Bible Survey, Old and New Testaments)
“The Roots and Branches of the Christian Phenomenon”
“Movies and God: Religion Through the Eyes of Filmmakers”
“Applied Music Composition: Songwriting”
“The Music of the Early Church” Parish Lecture, Elmhurst Community Speakers’ Bureau

Adjunct Instructor, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL, 1998-2000
“Introduction to Religious Studies”
“Roman Religion and Culture”
“Introduction to Judaism” (Old Testament Survey)

Ordained Deacon, United Methodist Church, 1987 – 2000
Interim Choir Director/Pulpit supply: Mt. Prospect, IL, 1999-2000
Director of Jr. and Sr. High Youth Ministries: Libertyville, IL, 1993-1995
Pastor: South Ridge/Hokah, MN, 1991-1993
Director of Jr. and Sr. High Youth Ministries: La Crescent, MN, 1991-1993
Associate Pastor: Albert Lea, MN, 1989-1991
Choir Director/Music & Drama Ministries Director: Burbank, CA, 1987-1989
Instructor, “Introduction to Music” class for choir members, Burbank, CA, 1987

The Earliest Christologies: Trinitarian Orthodoxy Before Nicaea
(InterVarsity Press, forthcoming 2012)
A Pilgrim’s Guide to Rome
(Wipf & Stock/Cascade Publications, forthcoming 2012)
Reading the Early Church Fathers
(Paulist Press, forthcoming 2012)
Novatian of Rome and the Culmination of Pre-Nicene Orthodoxy
(Wipf & Stock/Pickwick Publications, forthcoming 2011)
“Novatian” in Encyclopedia of Ancient History
(Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2011)
The Wedding of the Lamb: A Historical Approach to the Book of Revelation
(Wipf & Stock/Pickwick Publications, 2011)
At Home With the Word, Scripture Commentary Contributor, 2011 Lectionary Year Edition
(Liturgy Training Publications, 2010)
Spiritual Blueprint: How We Work, Live, Love, Play and Pray
(Liguori Publications, 2010)
“Between Two Thieves: Novatian of Rome and Kenosis Christology” in
If These Stones Could Speak… Studies on Patristic Texts and Archaeology: Essays in Honor of Dennis E. Groh
(The Edwin Mellen Press, 2009)
Pray (Not Just Say) The Lord’s Prayer
(Liguori Publications, 2009)
The Trinitarian Theology of Novatian of Rome: A Study in Third Century Orthodoxy
(The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008)
The One-Hour Retreat, A Guided Devotional Experience on Compact Disc
(Holy Family Parish, Inverness, IL, 2007)
Understanding the Trinity
(self-published, 2007)
Music by Remember Rome, Original Music Compilation CD
(Lighthouse Catholic Media, 2007)
Understanding and Sharing the Catholic Faith
(self-published, 2006)
“Miracle of Light,” Original Song Included on Internationally Released Music Compilation
Catholic Christmas
(Spirit Wing Records, 2007)
“You Know Me,” Original Song Included on Internationally Released Music Compilation
Catholic Music 2007
(Spirit Wing Records, 2007)
Carpe Diem by Remember Rome, Original Music Compact Disc
(Space Boys Music, 2004)
Holy Smoke: The Best of Remember Rome by Remember Rome, Original Music Compilation CD
(Space Boys Music, 2003)
La Bocca della Veritá by Remember Rome, Original Music Compact Disc
(Space Boys Music, 2001)
“Separate Lives,” Original Song Included on Internationally Released Music Compilation
Acoustic Rainbow, vol. 9
(PoetMan Records, 1998)
Remember Rome by Remember Rome, Original Music Compact Disc
(Space Boys Music, 1998)
“To Belong,” Commissioned Choir Anthem
(Christ Lutheran Church, Vernon Hills, IL, Stewardship Campaign 1996)
The Prodigal’s Dream, Opera Score, Libretto & Soundtrack
(Space Boys Music, Premier: United Methodist Church of Libertyville, IL, Easter, 1995)
Look at the Sparrow, Recording & Song Book for Worship
(Space Boys Music, 1994)
Treasures of the Heart, Musical Score, Script & Soundtrack
(Space Boys Music, Premier: United Methodist Church of Libertyville, IL, Christmas, 1993)
Contrast by The Neumes, Original Music Compact Disc
(Space Boys Music, 1993)
The Seven Last Words of the Church, A One-act Play
(unpublished, Premier: United Methodist Church of Libertyville, IL, 1991)
The Big Dinner, A One-act Play
(unpublished, Premier: Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 1989)
Christmas Around the World, A Christmas Cantata for Choir (arrangements)
(Space Boys Music, Premier: Magnolia Park United Methodist Church, Christmas 1988)
Ars Nova by The Neumes, Original Music Record Album
(Space Boys Music, 1984)

Teaching Philosophy:
My role as a teacher is to guide the student in “faith seeking understanding.”1 Instruction in the
Christian faith is to encourage and empower believers to “draw near to God” (James 4:8a), not only for
themselves, but also for their witness in the world (I Peter 3:15). The goal is not knowledge for its own
sake, but knowledge that is put to use in the world: equipping the student to witness to his or her faith by
both word and action, and training him or her for a lifetime of service. Therefore what happens in the
classroom must be relevant to the mission field of everyday life, so that students can pass on the
invitation to the ministry of reconciliation with God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17-21).
To study the early Church is to study the historical process of the interpretation of Scripture and
the development of doctrine. The Christian Bible is as much a product of the early Church as it is a
product of divine revelation and apostolic authorship. Therefore, the prophetic and apostolic documents
are a subset of the total corpus of the “Christian Origins” field. In my classes, I try to use primary sources
as much as possible, always keeping in mind that both Scripture and history must be interpreted – and in
fact the very recording of history already contains at least one layer of interpretation. Therefore the
historical context, as well as the perspective and agenda of the authors must be taken into account in
order to understand the early Christian texts, not to mention render them relevant for the contemporary
Church. My goal is to make the historical authors, their worlds, worldviews, and their thought accessible
to the twenty-first century student as much as possible. I always strive to bring the past to life so that the
students can see the relevance of those who have gone before them in the faith, learn from them (though
not necessarily copy them!), and be inspired by them.

The goal of teaching is to teach students how to learn - to train them to think critically for
themselves: to analyze, and not simply memorize. I also believe it is important for the students to be able
to articulate what they learn. Ultimately the Christian faith is one in which sheep become shepherds, and
to that end I see theology students as ones who learn so that they can teach. Whether or not a student is
called to a teaching role or a ministry in the parish, it is not enough that students absorb information.
They must also learn to understand and articulate the faith. My commitment to teaching, therefore
(whether graduate or undergraduate) flows from my commitment to lay formation, that is, the conviction
that all people of faith have a responsibility to understand the faith – not only what they believe, but why
they believe. Thus in a way all teaching is ministry, and teaching at the college and graduate levels is in
many ways a form of “young adult ministry,” since the teaching role necessarily includes advising and

At the same time, we are all fellow disciples of Jesus Christ, so we always must remain teachable.
Therefore, I believe that the teacher should approach the students as a co-traveler on a journey of
exploration. Often the teacher is the guide on the journey, but the underlying assumption has to be that
we all are in the process of learning. Part of my definition of spiritual maturity includes a balance of
conviction without defensiveness. As we prepare students for whatever vocation awaits them, my hope is
that they will be women and men of conviction, yet open minded enough to listen to the convictions of
others with respect and compassion. In other words, approaching life with the assurance that we have a
faith worth sharing, but without forgetting to respect the journeys of others unlike ourselves.
Theological education is more than the transfer of information, it includes the creation of an
environment in which students can learn from each other, bringing all of their collective experience to the
table. It includes formation, and transformation, so that at the end of a course the student is not simply
the same person with more information, but a changed person, changed for the better by a personal
encounter with the history of the faith, with the diversity of experience of colleagues, and in short, with
the great “cloud of witnesses” of the body of Christ.

1 The saying is attributed to Anselm, but the concept originates with Augustine.