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School of Theology and Ministry

James T. Bretzke, S.J.

professor of moral theology

James T. Bretzke, S.J.

Contact Information | (617) 552-6514
Simboli Hall 212


B.A., M.Div., S.T.M., S.T.L., S.T.D. (Pontifical Gregorian University

Areas of Interest

Fundamental moral theology; inculturation and ethics; Scripture and ethics; Confucianism and Christianity in Korea; end-of-life issues


Rev. James T. Bretzke, S.J., S.T.D. hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up skiing and sailing.  Prior to coming to BC he served as Chair of the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco.  He did his doctorate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he also taught for three years, prior to coming to the Graduate Theological Union and the Jesuit School of Theology-at-Berkeley in 1993, where he taught for a decade before joining the faculty of the University of San Francisco.  He has also taught for several years in Korea at Sogang University and is a regular Visiting Professor of Moral Theology at the Loyola School of Theology of the Ateneo de Manila, Philippines where he teaches Moral Theology and Bioethics.  Besides teaching Fr. Bretzke worked for 13 years on weekends at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Oakland, and was very active in giving workshops in various aspects of moral theology throughout the dioceses of California and Nevada.

You can access his personal webpage here.


James T. Bretzke will be on Sabbatical during the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Other Courses
Contemporary Moral Problems in Ecumenical Perspective
Critical Contemporary Ethical Issues
Cross-Cultural Christian Ethics
Fundamental Moral Theology
Moral Authority, Conscience, Virtue and the Natural Law
Seminar: Magisterium and Contemporary Moral Debates
Scripture and Christian Ethics
Theology and Ministry of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Recent Publications

"Conscience and the Synod: An Evolving Quaestio Disputata."  Journal of Moral Theology 5/2 (June 2016) 167-173.

"In Good Conscience: What Amoris Laetitia can teach us about responsible decision making." America 8April 2016.  Found at

“The Francis Effect on the Munus Docendi and Gubernandi of the Church.”  Horizons 42/2 (December 2015): 368-403.

“Debating Intrinsic Evil: Navigation between Shibboleth and Gauntlet”  Horizons 41/1 (June2014): 116-129.

“Teaching Cross-Cultural Ethics in a Context of Pluralism & Multiculturalism: Teaching Where Religion and Ethics Intersect.”  Journal of Ecumenical Studies 48:3 (Summer 2013): 369-377.

Handbook of Moral Terms
.  Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press: 2013.

Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Dictionary of Theological Terms
.  3rd ed. Collegeville: Liturgical Press: 2013.

“Constancy & Change in Catholic Sexual Ethics” America (24 September 2012): 14-16.

“How Can Ethics Be Christian?  What the Pontifical Biblical Commission Might Offer in Response.”  Bible Today 48:4 (July/August 2010): 209-215.

A Morally Complex World
: Engaging Contemporary Moral Theology.  Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2004.