James B. Nickoloff, STL, PhD

James B. Nickoloff, STL, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Theology
Director, Ministerial Formation



James B. Nickoloff, STL, PhD Adjunct Professor of Theology Director of Ministerial Formation. He holds the AB in history from Stanford University; the MDiv from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA; the STL from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA; and the PhD in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.

Nickoloff was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, but lived and worked for extended periods outside the United States, including three years in Andong, Korea, as a Peace Corps Volunteer; two years in Kingston, Jamaica; and two years in Lima, Peru, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation. These experiences profoundly shaped his faith, his theology, and his views of society and politics.

Nickoloff previously taught at Boston College, Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, Santa Clara University in California, the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and the Jesuit Theological College in Melbourne, Australia. He is Associate Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where he taught Catholic systematic theology from 1989 to 2009.

With 30 years experience teaching theology, Nickoloff summarizes his major focus and life trajectory as follows: “The reasons for my choice of work are simple. Teaching is one of the best jobs in the world, as nearly all teachers will tell you, because of the meaningful relationship that can grow between teacher and students. Theology - putting religious experience into words - is ultimately an impossible task but well worth the effort. Theology wrestles with some of the most important questions of human life. And for me, the Catholic theological tradition is like a well from which I drink, quenching my thirst for meaning, inspiration, challenge, and community. Studying and teaching Catholic theology have introduced me to extraordinary people over the years, some living today and some having passed this way long ago.” In addition to teaching theology, Nickoloff enjoys competitive swimming and grand opera.

Recent Publications

An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies, co-editor with Orlando Espín, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 2007.

Gustavo Gutiérrez: Essential Writings, editor, Orbis, Maryknoll, NY, 1996.