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 Rev. James M. Donohue, Ph.D.

Rev. James Donohue

Knott Professor of Theology

Department of Theology

Fr. Jim came to the Mount in 1996 after graduating with his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at the Catholic University of America. He has served the Mount in many capacities, including department chair for 15 years, interim dean, and co-chair of the Mount's successful re-accreditation by Middle States in 2016. Fr. Jim has been a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection since 1978 and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1983. He has coached the Mount's Division III ice hockey team for over 20 years and still plays hockey (at a slower pace).

  • Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Catholic University of America (1999).
  • Master of Arts in Theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois (1988).
  • Master of Divinity from St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario, Canada (1982).
  • Bachelor of Arts from St. Jerome's University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1978).

April, 2008 Recipient of the Award of Excellence for Service to the Catholic People in the State of Maryland by Governor Martin O’Malley in recognition of twenty-five years of service in the ordained priesthood.

April, 2007 Recipient of the Class of 1950 Memorial Award for significant service contributions to the Mount community.

May, 2006 Recipient of the “Club Advisor Award” at the Mount Leadership Awards Banquet.

April, 2005 Recipient of the Mount Oscar for “Most Extracurricular Involved Professor.”

February, 2005 Recipient of The Carnegie Foundation Nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award in recognition of extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.

May, 2004 Delivered the first “Last Lecture” to the Mount graduating seniors at convocation weekend.

April, 2003 Recipient of Student Life Award of Excellence.

April, 2000 Recipient of the Richards Award for Teaching Excellence.

Fr. Jim's research and publications deal primarily with the rites of sickness, dying, and death. He teaches courses in systematics, such as Foundations of Theology: Faith and Revelation, Encountering Christ, and Sacraments.


Fr. Jim has written a book with his colleague, Dr. David McCarthy, called Moral Vision: Seeing the World with Love and Justice (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 2018).

Scholarly Articles

He has published many scholarly articles about the Catholic church rites that deal with the dying:

“The Rheinau Sacramentary: The Ebb and Flow of Its Influence on the Rites of the Dying,” Liturgy, 33 (Nov 15, 2017 online; Dec 8, 2017 print): 11-18.

“The Ordo commendationis animae in Alberto Costellano’s Liber Sacredotalis,” Proceedings of the NAAL (Spring 2016), 97-112.

“The Commendation of the Soul in the Franciscan Ritual of the Last Sacraments,” Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy (Spring 2011): 149-165.

“A Treasury of Rites for the Sick and the Dying,” Liguorian (January 2004): 22-26.

“Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying: A Gift for Deeper Appropriation,” National Bulletin on Liturgy 136 (Fall 2003): 164-175.

“Viaticum,” “Commendation of the Dying,” “The History of the Anointing of the Sick,” and “The Liturgy of the Anointing of the Sick” in The New Catholic Encyclopedia, second edition (revised). Detroit: Thomson-Gale, 2002.

“The Selection and Function of Biblical Texts in the Rite of the Commendation of the Dying,” The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society 47 (2002): 184-207.

“The Rite for the Commendation of the Dying,” Liturgical Ministry 11 (Winter, 2001): 1-13.

“Funeral 2.2-3" and “Funeral 5.1" in Encyclopedia of Christianity (the English language edition of the Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000): 565-566 and 570-571.

“The Ordo commendationis animae of the 1614 Rituale Romanum and Its Historical Origins,” Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy 33 (2000): 125-152.

“Preaching in the New Order of Funerals,” National Bulletin on Liturgy 29 (1996): 231-237.

Chapters in Collections and Books

Fr. Jim has also published many chapters in collections and books:

“Confessions of a Priest: The Unused Potential of the Rite of Penance,” in Naming Our Sins: How Recognizing the Seven Deadly Sins Can Renew the Sacrament of Reconciliation, edited by Jana M. Bennett and David Cloutier (Washington, DC: Catholic University Press, 2019): 168-180.

“Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Church” in Redemption and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Restorative Justice, edited by Trudy Conway, David McCarthy and Vicki Schieber (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2017): 179-202.

“Abrahamic Faiths and Compassion: Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” by Daniel Maoz, James Donohue, Ala’ Al-Thibeh and Ayse Erenay, in Thriving on the Edge: Integrating Spiritual Practice, Theory and Research, eds. Angela E. Schmidt, Thomas St. James O’Connor, Michael Chow, Patricia Berendsen (Toronto: The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care-Southwestern Ontario Divisions [CASCSWONT], 2016): 209-223.

“A Matter of Discipleship: The Heart of our Faith” in Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty, eds. Vicki Schieber, Trudy Conway, and David McCarthy (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2013).

“The Liturgy as a Source of Formation in Catholic Social Teaching.” In The Heart of Catholic Social Teaching: Its Origin and Contemporary Significance. Ed. David Matzko McCarthy. Wheaton, IL: Brazos Publishing, March 2009. Pp. 31-43.

“Baptism, Mission, and Ministry.” In Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective. Eds. David Matzko McCarthy and M. Therese Lysaught. Grand Rapids, MI: William Eerdmans, 2007. Pp. 117-133. (Note: This book was awarded third prize in the Theology category by the Catholic Press Association.)

Fr. Jim is part of a Resurrectionist team that publishes Celebrating the Word--a weekly Sunday Bible study – Learn more about Celebrating the Word.

Fr. Jim is also on a Resurrectionist team that publishes weekly Sunday reflections.

Fr. Jim currently is recording podcasts on the Gospel of Mark with his colleague Dr. David McCarthy. Hear Fr. Jim and Dr. McCarthy on the Catholic Town podcast.

Fr. Jim examines the Gospel of Mark's insights into the path of discipleship.