Jim Papandrea

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Jim Papandrea
Jim Papandrea

Travels from Algonquin, Illinois

Jim Papandrea makes theology come to life, and makes the historic creeds and doctrines of the faith accessible to the layperson. He will encourage the faithful, but also challenge them to deeper faith. Jim Papandrea is author of Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians (from Catholic Answers Press), and co-author (with Mike Aquilina) of How Christianity Saved Civilization and Must Do So Again (from Sophia Institute Press).

What happens when the class clown becomes the professor? You get a down-to-earth speaker who understands the subtleties of the Church’s doctrine and tradition, and who can communicate it in language anyone can understand – with a little humor thrown in just for fun. You get someone whose optimism and enthusiasm for the faith are contagious. You get someone who can light a fire under an audience and motivate them to be different, and make a difference.

Jim Papandrea… inspirational speaker, Catholic convert, singer/songwriter, Ph.D., regular guy.

Jim Papandrea is a former protestant pastor who found Catholicism in his study of the Church Fathers, and in his exploration of the city of Rome. He is now an Associate Professor of Church History, teaching the history of Christianity and historical theology; as well as an instructor for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Institute for Diaconal Studies, teaching Church History and Christology. Dr. Papandrea has a bachelor’s degree in music and theatre arts from the University of Minnesota, an M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, in the history of the early Church and the Roman empire, with a secondary concentration in New Testament interpretation. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome. He is formerly the director of Adult Faith Formation of a large Catholic parish, where he was in charge of Bible study, retreat, and marriage & couples’ ministries. He is also the creator of the Christian lifestyle methodology known as the “Five Homes,” published in his book, Spiritual Blueprint: How We Live, Work, Love, Play, and Pray. The author of several books and composer of original music, he currently speaks, performs concerts, and leads workshops and retreats, and also leads an annual pilgrimage to Rome. When he appears at a parish or event, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, the fruits of having traveled the world – not only the present world, but also the world of history. Dr. Papandrea is a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, as well as a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the North American Patristics Society, the American Society of Church History, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Catholic Association of Music.

Jim Papandrea’s most popular talks include:

Eating is Believing: The Meaning of the Eucharist

(A brief history and overview of Eucharistic theology, demonstrating that the Church has always believed in the real presence.)

Understanding the Trinity 

(An overview of the important aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, and how to spot the modern versions of the ancient heresies. Based on his book, Trinity 101.)

What are We Saying When We Say the Creed?

(A introduction to the ecumenical councils and a line-by-line explanation of the Nicene Creed.)

Looking Back on the Future: The Meaning of the Book of Revelation,

(Based on his book, The Wedding of the Lamb, a Catholic-friendly understanding of the Book of Revelation.)

How the Early Christians Interpreted Scripture.

(The Church Fathers' understanding and interpretation of Scripture, as well as how the Church got its Bible.)

Dr. Papandrea has experience speaking to groups of all sizes, from a one-time keynote speech to leading a weekend retreat. He has spoken to groups of all ages, from youth to young adults to multi-generational gatherings. He has spoken to diverse groups from Los Angeles to Rome, and from Minneapolis to Jamaica. Recently he was the keynote speaker at the parish mission of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Jim Papandrea is available for speaking/teaching engagements, concerts, or a combination of speaking and performing music. Many parishes and organizations have asked him to do a combination of speaking and sharing his original Catholic music.

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