Rev. James Voiss, S.J.
Rev. James Voiss, S.J., is Marquette University’s vice president for mission and ministry, having begun in this role January 2020. A 30-year higher education veteran, Father Voiss joined Marquette from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he served as rector of the Jesuit community from 2014-19. During that time, with the consolidation of three distinct communities into one, this role expanded into Rector of the Jesuits of the Spokane Region. Fr. Voiss served on the Gonzaga University Board of Trustees, the Gonzaga Prep Board of Directors, and from 2013-16 as Gonzaga’s assistant vice president for mission.
Prior to his time at Gonzaga, Father Voiss spent 14 years at Saint Louis University as an associate professor of theology, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. This work was interrupted from 2001-02 as he entered into the final formal phase of Jesuit formation—tertianship. The tertianship phase involves an intensive return to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius, a deep dive into the documents of the Society of Jesus, and an opportunity to serve in a context different from one’s regular apostolic assignment. For Fr. Voiss, this included serving as chaplain for three and a half months at a cancer hospice in Munich. He considers this tertianship one of the most powerfully formative experiences of his life.
Fr. Voiss entered the Society of Jesus in 1978 in Portland, Oregon, his hometown. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Gonzaga; a master of divinity degree and licentiate in sacred theology from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and a master’s and a doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is author of the book Rethinking Christian Forgiveness: Theological, Philosophical, and Psychological Explorations.