Father James Knapp, SJ, has been an educator and pastoral minister in St. Louis for almost 30 years. This year, Fr. Knapp and his Jesuit brothers celebrate his Golden Jubilee as a member of the Society of Jesus.
Father Knapp entered the Jesuits in 1969 at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., and pronounced first vows two years later. He was ordained a priest June 18, 1981, at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis.
The St. Louis native currently serves as a pastoral minister at the Jesuit Hall Community in St. Louis. He has spent the majority of his five decades of service at Jesuit high schools, including St. Louis University High School for a total of 18 years, Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo. and at Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colo.
At St. Louis University High School, Fr. Knapp taught history (1975-78), religion (1982-86), theology, (1994-2003 and 2004-05 and 2006-11). He also served as the chair of the pastoral program. He taught religion and led the pastoral program at Rockhurst High School from 1982 to 1986. At Regis Jesuit High School, where he worked from 1987 to 1993, he served as assistant principal for two years before becoming principal.
He served four years, 2011 to 2015, as spiritual director and assistant professor of theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, the seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Father Knapp earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University and a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Regis College, Toronto, Ontario. In 1987, he completed a Ph.D. in secondary education administration at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. He completed another doctorate in sacred theology at the Catholic University of America’s John Paul II Institute for Study of Marriage and Family in Washington D.C.