Professor Emeritus of theology and ethics

childs jim
cardExt. 4670
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

God has specifically fashioned us as a people of promise. Our mandate, our vocation, is to keep faith with our neighbor and our world in love, as God has kept faith with us and, by our witness of love, to anticipate the fullness of God's promised future. We are a people with promises to keep.

--James M. Childs, Jr.


B.A., Concordia Senior College, 1961; M.Div., Concordia Seminary (St. Louis), 1965; S.T.M., Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1966; Ph.D., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1974; Pastorate: Richmond, VA, 1966-68; Associate Professor of Theology, Chairperson of the Division of Theology, Concordia Senior College, 1968-76; Lecturer in Philosophy, Purdue University, Ft. Wayne, 1970, 1971, 1976; Associate Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University, 1976-78; Associate Professor of Ethics, Trinity, 1978-87; Professor of Ethics, Trinity, 1987-97; Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, Trinity, 1980-81; Dean of Academic Affairs, Trinity, 1981- 2000; Interim President, Trinity, 1989-90; Adjunct Professor of Business and Society, Graduate School of Business Administration, Capital University, 1993- 2002; Joseph A. Sittler Professor of Theology and Ethics, 1998-2004; Director of Academic Development, Trinity, 2000-2002; Director for Studies on Sexuality, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2002-2005; Edward C. Fendt Professor of Systematic Theology, 2004-2011; Interim Academic Dean July 2009-July 2011; Senior Research Professor 2011-2013.

Areas of Expertise

  • Theology and Human Sexuality
  • Faith and Ethics in the Workplace
  • The Trinity Today
  • Beatitudes and the Christian Life


  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • American Academy of Religion


  • The Way of Peace: Christian Faith in the Face of Discord, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.
  • Ethics in the Community of Promise, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006
  • Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality. Edited by James M. Childs Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003.
  • New Proclamation, Year B, 2002-2003: Advent through Holy Week. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002.
  • What It Means to Be Lutheran in Social Ministry. Minneapolis: Lutheran Services in America, 2000.
  • Greed: Economics and Ethics in Conflict. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
  • Preaching Justice: the Ethical Vocation of Word and Sacrament Ministry. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2000.
  • "Ethics and the Promise of God: Moral Authority and the Church's Witness." In The Promise of Lutheran Ethics, ed. by Karen L. Bloomquist and John R. Stumme. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998.
  • "Anna, Ambiguity, and the Promise: A Lutheran Theologian Reflects on Assisted Death." In Must We Suffer Our Way To Death?, ed. by Ronald P. Hamel and Edwin R. DuBose, pp 198-225. Dallas: SMU, 1996.
  • Ethics in Business: Faith at Work. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995.
  • Faith, Formation and Decision: Ethics in the Community of Promise. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.