About Father Bacik

Fr. Jim Bacik

Fr. Jim Bacik
Fr. Bacik is a priest of the Diocese of Toledo, ordained in 1962 and is the former pastor of Corpus Christi University Parish in Toledo. He has his doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford and has published many articles and books, including Contemporary Theologians; Catholic Spirituality: Its History and Challenge; A Light Unto My Path: Crafting Effective Homilies; Humble Confidence: Spiritual and Pastoral Guidance from Rahner, Pope Francis and his Critics, and most recently The Catholic Spiritual Journey.


  • 1978 D. Phil. from University of Oxford, England
  • 1969 M.S. from Fordham University
  • 1960 M.A. from The Athenaeum of Ohio


St. Ann Parish, Fremont, Oh, 1962; St. Mary Parish, Sandusky, Oh, 1962-1965; Little Flower of Jesus Parish, Summer, 1965;  St. Mary Parish, Sandusky, Oh, 1965-1967;  St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Summer, 1969;  St. Thomas More University Parish, Bowling Green, OH, Assoc. Pastor, 1970-1975; St. Thomas More University Parish, 1977-1982; Corpus Christi University Parish, Pastor, 1982-2012; retired June  30, 2012; Senior Status 2012 to present (Monthly lecture series at Lourdes University; writing weekly meditations; continuing writing monthly Reflections, which started in 1977.)


  • Fordham 1967 – 1969, M.S.
  • Oxford University  1976-1978, Ph.D.


2014  to present  Adjunct Professor of Theology, Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio

2012-2018          Visiting Professor, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois

1988-2006          Summer Lecturer, Graduate Theology Program, University of Notre Dame

1985-1988           Summer Lecturer in Graduate Religious Studies, Fordham University

1983-2012           Adjunct Professor of Humanities, University of Toledo

1981                      Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University

1980-81               Adjunct Professor, St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan

1980-83               Summer Lecturer, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministry, University of San Francisco

1978-80               Part-time Lecturer, Bowling Green State University

1971-80                Visiting Assistant Professor in Graduate Theology Program, University of Dayton

1971-75                 Instructor in Experimental Studies Program, Bowling Green State University

1974                      Visiting Instructor, Winebrenner Seminary, Findlay, Ohio

1970                      Visiting Instructor, Marist College, Institute of Theology, Poughkeepsie, New York

1969-70                Assistant Professor of Catechetical Theology, Mount St. Mary Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio


The Catholic Spiritual Journey (Paulist Press 2023) ISBN: 978-08091-5608-5

Saints Celebrated and Unsung (Orbis Press 2021) ISBN # 978-1-62698-405-9

Pope Francis and His Critics: Historical and Theological Perspectives (Paulist Press 2020) ISBN 978-0-8091-5453-1

Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Spiritual Seekers (ACTA Publications 2019)  ISBN 978-0-87946-667-1

Pope Francis and Campus Ministry: A Dialogue  (Paulist Press 2018) ISBN 978-0-8091-5339-8

Humble Confidence: Spiritual and Pastoral Guidance from Rahner (Liturgical Press Fall 2014)

Church Matters: Bacik Reflections (published by James J. Bacik 2013)

A Light Unto My Path: Crafting Effective Homilies (co-author Kevin Anderson, Paulist Press 2006) ISBN 0-8091-4376-3

Catholic Spirituality, Its History and Challenge (Paulist Press 2002) ISBN 0-8091-4060-8

Spirituality in Action (Sheed and Ward 1997) ISBN 1-55612-958-0

Spirituality in Transition (Sheed and Ward 1996) ISBN 1-55612-857-6

Tensions in the Church (Sheed and Ward 1993) ISBN 1-55612-624-7

Contemporary Theologians (Thomas More Press 1989; Triumph Books 1991; Mercier Press Dublin 1992)

The Gracious Mystery: Finding God in Ordinary Experience (St. Anthony Messenger Press 1987)

Apologetics and the Eclipse of Mystery (University of Notre Dame Press 1980)


“Karl Rahner on God” by James Bacik in Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, ed. by Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher, Springer Science + Business Media, 2013, pp. 441-451.

“The Priest as Pastor: Rooted in Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church” in Priests For The 21st Century, by

“Priest as Pastor” in Experiences of Priests Ordained Five to Nine Years, by Dean R. Hoge, Washington, D.C., National Catholic Education Association, 2006, pp. 121-127.

“The Practice of Priesthood: Working Through Today’s Tensions” In Priesthood in the Modern World, ed. by Karen Sue Smith, Wisconsin, Sheed & Ward, 1999 pp. 51-65.

“Hans Kung” in A New Handbook of Christian Theologians, ed. by Donald W. Musser and Joseph L. Price. Nashville, TN: Abringdon Press, 1996, pp. 261-270.

“The Challenge of Christian Maturity: in Educating for Christian Maturity, ed. by Neil Parent (USCC 1990).

“Peer Ministry: Leadership and Services on Campus” in Community and Social Support for College Students, ed. by Norman S. Giddan, Ph.D. (Charles C. Thomas 1988).

“A Spirituality for the Future: Situational and Systematic” in Rising from History: U.S. Catholic Theology Looks to the Future, ed. by Robert J. Daly (University Press of America 1987).

“Rahner’s Anthropology: The Basis for a Dialectical Spirituality” in Being and Truth, ed. by Alistar Kee and Eugene Thomas (SCM Press 1986).

“Empowered by the Spirit: A Theological Commentary” in Empowered by the Spirit: Campus Ministry Faces the Future, ed. by P. Gerard Shaw (Merrimack Press 1986).

“Campus Ministry: Theological Reflection from a Catholic view” in Invitation to Dialogue: The Theology of College Chaplaincy and Campus Ministry, Education in the Society, 1986, pp. 81-82.

“The Ministry of Communications: Theological Reflections” in A Vision All Can Share, Report on the Conference at Marquette University, ed. by William J. Thorn, Ph.D. (USCC 1985).


“Discovering & Fostering the Laity’s Charismatic Gifts” in UPTURN, The Journal of the Association of Chicago Priests, Summer, 2013, pp. 2-3.

“Is Rahner Obsolete? What His Critics Get Wrong.” Commonweal, January 2005, pp. 23-25.

“The Building Builds the Church, Corpus Christi University Parish Four Years After” New Theology Review, vol. 15, no. 3, August, 2002, pp. 16-29.

“Keeping the Faith: Helping Students Understand Why They Are Catholic.” Crossroads, September 2002, pp. 1, 10-11.

“Religious Literacy: Checking the Basics,” Ministry & Liturgy, vol. 28, no. 4, May, 2001, pp. 20-21.

“Sheltering the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi’s New Church” – with Barbara Carter-Daley – Environment and Art Letter, February, 2001, pp. 80-84, 87, 88.

“The Theologies of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar – A Dialogue of Theological Styles and Models of Priestly Ministry”, National Federation of Priests’ Councils, A Dialogue with Rev. James Bacik and Rev. Robert Barron, convened by Rev.. Peter Feldmeier, Sept. 200, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 3-16.

“Diocesan Priesthood: Emerging Patterns.” Seminary Journal, Winter 1997, Vol. 3, pp. 7-21.

“Catholic Graduates; Striving for Religious Literacy.” Jubilee 2000: A Gathering of the Church in Higher Education for the Third Millennium, a publication of the 1998-99 Catholic Campus Ministry Association Regional Conferences, pp. 1-8.

“The Dialogue Between Mainline Churches and New Religious Movements: Theological Reflections.” The Journal of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association; April 1997, Vol. 8, pp. 1-8.

“Empowered by the Spirit Today: Catholic Ministry in the Post-Modern World.” The Journal of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association 7:11-16, (April 1996).

“Catholic Campus Ministry Looks to the Future: How Seriously Church Leaders are Taking Campus Ministry.” Faith on Campus, January 1994, pp. 47-55.

“A Mile High with the Pope.” The Tablet, September 25, 1993, p.1.

“The Blessed Virgin Mary as Symbol.” The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary Newsletter, September, 1993, pp. 8-10.

“The Practice of Priesthood: Working Through Today’s Tensions.” Church, Fall 1993, pp. 5-12.

“Contemporary Spirituality” The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, Michael Downey, ed., 1993, pp. 214-230.

“Revelations.” The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, Michael Downey, ed. 1993, pp. 527-529.

“Christ and the Transformation of Relationships”. Emmanuel, August 1993, pp. 318ff.

“Reclaiming a Sense of Mystery in Worship”. Emmanuel, June 1992, pp. 251-255.

“A Proposal for Establishing Endowed Professorships and Chairs in Catholic Thought.” The Journal of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. vol. 3, April 192, pp. 17-24.

“Light for Your Life.” Praying No. 41, March-April 1991, pp. 15-34.

“Ecumenism on Campus.” Assembly, Vol. 15 No. 1. November 1988, pp. 421-423.

“Achieving Community Culture, Theology and Leadership.” Church, Summer 1998, pp. 23-27.

“First Class Attracts Over 300.” Crossroads, Nov. 1992, pp. 4ff.

“I’d Like to Say Christmas Isn’t Just for Kids.” St. Anthony Messenger, December pp. 12-14.

“Lust: Can It Be Wrong When It Feels So Right?” U.S. Catholic, August 1987, pp. 10-11.

“The Ministry of Communications; Theological Reflections.” Rural Roots 6 (3): November, December 1987, p. 6-7.

“Empowered By The Spirit: A Theological Commentary.” Empowered By the Spirit: A Commentary, 1986, pp. 9-14.

“Newman Clubs Revisited.” Gathering, March-April 1986, p.1.

“The Making of a Pastoral Letter: ‘The Quest for Wisdom’ Revisited.” Journal of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, Spring 1987, pp. 1-5.

“Be Practical: The Catchiest 4, November 1970.

“A New Venture in Adult Education.” The Living Light 5, 1968, pp. 82-92.


Columnist for “National Catholic Reporter” from 1980-87.

Columnist for “The Catholic Chronicle” from 1971-73.


Writer for the editorial committee which prepared the Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Campus Ministry “Empowered by the Spirit” (USCC 1986).



Fr. Bacik and Brad Rieger co-host a show called “A Bacik Conversation,” a thoughtful podcast from WGTV that dives into topics that Fr. Bacik covers in his lectures, articles and books.

Radio Programs

Weekly half-hour radio program called “Reflections” on WSPD in Toledo, 1370 AM, Sundays at 10:30 p.m. from 1980-1993.

Audio Cassettes

1) “Cultivating dynamic Spirituality” (two talks on time and transition)

2) “A Spirituality for Busy People” (four 30-minute presentations)

3) “A Spirituality for the 80s” (eight one-half hour lectures on spirituality)

4) “Religious Self-Awareness” (six 45-minute talks on great religious questions)

5) “Understanding the Faith” (seven 90-minute talks on Contemporary Theology)

6) “Help for Preachers: A Theology of Proclamation” (six 30-minute talks)

7) “Knowing Jesus Christ” (four 45-minute talks)

Video Cassettes

1) “Theological Conversations” (20 one-half hour programs discussing famous 20th religious thinkers such as Rahner, Kung, Ruether and Tillich) Paulist Press.

2) “Exploring the Faith: Practical Theology for Collegians” (25 – 1/2 hour programs on major theological topics) Video with Values, St. Louis.


Knowing the Triune God: The Work of the Spirit in the Practice of the Church, ed. by James Buckley and David Yeago in Worship Jan., 2003 vol. 77, number 1, pp. 72-74.

A World of Grace, ed. by Leo O’Donovin in The Journal of Religion, Jan. 1984.

The Jesus of Faith: A Study in Christology, by Michael L. Cook in The Review of Books and Religion, Nov. 1982.

New Images of the Last Things by Maria Murphy in Horizons 1990.


  • Ireland, June, 2016
  • Australia, August, 2009
  • China, October, 1991
  • Japan, September, 1991
  • Russia, March, 1990
  • Costa Rica, July, 1987


Fr. Bacik received the Reverend Charles Forsyth Award on January 10, 2013 “For outstanding leadership in and support of the advancement of campus ministry on local, regional and national levels.” This award is given by The Catholic Campus Ministry Association.

Fr. Bacik was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Neumann College, April 27, 2007

He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Siena Heights College, May 5, 1996.

He received the Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Award on January 5, 1995 in “recognition of his extraordinary support for Campus Ministry though his writing, teaching, creative programming and unwavering dedication.” The Hallinan Award has only been given to three other individuals in the 25-year history of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association.

Recipient of the Rev. Charles Forsyth Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in campus ministry on the local, regional and national level, January 10, 2013.

Recipient of the Lourdes College Newman Award for 2001.

Richard P. McBrien of the University of Notre Dame has written: “James Bacik is one of North America’s finest,  finest, most insightful theologians, with a remarkable capacity for clear writing and effective teaching.”