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About the Author

Msgr. James P. Shea
Faculty
President
University of Mary

Monsignor James P. Shea was inaugurated in 2009 as the sixth president of the University of Mary, becoming the youngest college or university president in the United States at the age of 34. He succeeded Sister Thomas Welder, O.S.B., who had served as president for 31 years.

The oldest of eight children, Msgr. Shea grew up on a dairy and grain farm near Hazelton, North Dakota, just 38 miles from the University of Mary's campus. He began his undergraduate work at Jamestown College, majoring in English and history. He then entered seminary formation for the Diocese of Bismarck, earning a bachelor’s degree and a licentiate in philosophy as a Basselin Fellow in the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He studied classical Greek at the University of Texas at Austin and completed seminary formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, studying theology at the Gregorian and Lateran universities. He has studied management at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and is also an alumnus of the Institutes for Higher Education at the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.

Msgr. Shea has worked with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity at the Gift of Peace AIDS Hospice while teaching religion at two inner-city elementary schools in Washington, D.C. In Rome, he served as chaplain for the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital and also at the Rome campus of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of Saint Thomas. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 2002, he returned to North Dakota and served as an associate pastor in Bismarck and Mandan. During that time, he was also the chaplain and an instructor at St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck. He then served as pastor to parishes in Killdeer and Halliday (North Dakota), while teaching at Trinity High School in Dickinson. Deeply committed to the education and formation of young people, he has been an inspirational teacher and mentor for many students.

Msgr. Shea is a Knight Commander of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and serves on the Board of Directors for FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. He has served on the National Advisory Council to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Governor’s Commission on Education Improvement for the State of North Dakota. Msgr. Shea is also a Trustee of Saint John Vianney Seminary in Denver and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board for the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities.

Published Pieces

Sunrise over the Ocean

Friendship and the University (and the Ocean)

Dr. Peter Kreeft and Msgr. James P. Shea discussed Catholic higher education, the importance of friendship within that project, and Dr. Kreeft's life and work.

Dr. Peter Kreeft
Msgr. James P. Shea
Jul 21, 2021
Tim Busch, founder of the Napa Institute

The Napa Institute and the Next America

Through liturgy, academic formation, and fraternity, the Napa Institute seeks to prepare Catholics for life and the adventure of evangelization in our current apostolic age.

Timothy R. Busch
Msgr. James P. Shea
Jul 15, 2021
Dr. Scott Hahn reflecting on the life of Father Michael Scanlan

Memories of Father Michael Scanlan with Scott Hahn and Monsignor Shea

Dr. Scott Hahn and Msgr. James Shea discussed the life, legacy, and impactful tenure of the late Fr. Michael Scanlan at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Dr. Scott Hahn
Msgr. James P. Shea
Jun 10, 2021
An Archway at Saint Peter's Basilica

Tribute to Don Briel

The funeral homily of the founder of the Catholic Studies program serves as a tribute to a man who awakened countless souls to the profundity of the truth of Christ.

Msgr. James P. Shea
Feb 17, 2021
Chemistry Laboratory

Persistence and Pondering

Sister Nicole Kunze, OSB, PhD, Prioress of Annunciation Monastery, joined Msgr. James P. Shea to discuss her experience as a chemist, teacher, Benedictine, and prioress.

Sr. Nicole Kunze
Msgr. James P. Shea
Feb 16, 2021
A Student Looks at Pikes Peak

To Address Poverty in All Its Forms

Curtis Martin, Founder and CEO of FOCUS, joined Msgr. James P. Shea to discuss his experience in evangelization and the formation of university students.

Curtis Martin
Msgr. James P. Shea
Feb 4, 2021
A Mother and Her Children

Reality is Not Arbitrary

Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, joined Msgr. James P. Shea to discuss her work in the pro-life movement and the March for Life.

Jeanne Mancini
Msgr. James P. Shea
Jan 27, 2021
The University of Mary

The Vision of a University

Msgr. James P. Shea discussed his vision for Catholic higher education and the importance of forming students' imaginative visions within that project.

Msgr. James P. Shea
Prime Matters
Dec 4, 2020
A hiker overlooks a cloud-filled valley

Schola et Labora

Dr. Michael J. Naughton and Msgr. James P. Shea discussed the importance of leisure for human flourishing and its relationship with work, as well as Dr. Naughton's book on this subject.

Dr. Michael J. Naughton
Msgr. James P. Shea
Dec 4, 2020
A Nurse in Protective Gear

The Vocation of Nursing

Dr. Marie T. Hilliard sat down with Msgr. James P. Shea to discuss her broad experience in bioethics and of the vocation of nursing, offering insights into difficult ethical questions.

Dr. Marie T. Hilliard
Msgr. James P. Shea
Dec 4, 2020