Office of the President

University of Mary Mace in the Chapel.

Monsignor James Patrick Shea, President of the University of Mary

Headshot of University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea

Monsignor Shea has served as the sixth president of the university since 2009. He is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota.

Contact Information

Office of the President
University of Mary
7500 University Drive
Bismarck, ND 58504

Monsignor stopped using email in 2013.

If you have a question, concern, or encouragement touching upon a specific area of responsibility at the University of Mary, please do reach out to us

Scheduling Requests

We are happy to assist you in scheduling Monsignor for an event or meeting (or to assist at a wedding). Kindly submit your request using one of the forms below. 

Monsignor Shea enjoys meeting with and speaking to groups and organizations whenever he can. He maintains an eventful schedule, so your kind assistance in providing some helpful information allows us to give full consideration to your request.

Please give us some time to consider your request; most of the time you can expect to hear back from us within 7 business days.

God bless you!

Fill out my online form.

Thank you for your interest in meeting with Monsignor Shea. Monsignor maintains an eventful schedule and travels frequently, so your kind assistance in providing some helpful information allows us to give full consideration to your request.

It is occasionally more helpful or effective for particular meeting requests to be addressed by other persons at the University of Mary. In such an event, we ask for your gracious understanding. You may also wish to consult this listing of Monsignor's chief advisors.

Please give us some time to consider your request; most of the time you can expect to hear back from us within 7 business days.

God bless you! 

Fill out my online form.

It is a particular joy for a priest to be a celebrant or concelebrant for a couple entering into the sacrament of marriage. Unfortunately, the demands on Monsignor Shea's time and the number of requests mean that his participation in weddings is not as frequent as he would like. So, you can be sure he is honored that you would think of him! Your kind assistance in providing some helpful information allows us to give full consideration to your request.

Notes:

  1. The very helpful process of marriage preparation in the Catholic Church is arranged for in a local parish. If he is able to participate, Monsignor Shea would be happy to assist with the planning of the ceremony. But the rest of the preparation (premarital instruction, couples retreat, training in natural family planning, etc.) is initiated by speaking with your parish priest. You may also find this site useful to you: ForYourMarriage.org.
  2. Because Monsignor's primary apostolate is the formation and education of college students, priority is given to requests from couples who have committed to not live together before marriage. With premarital cohabitation now so frequent in our culture, couples who prepare for marriage while not living together give powerful witness to the teachings of Jesus at a time when the world really needs that witness, especially college students. If you would like more information, here are some articles on the important topic of cohabitation from both a secular perspective and a Christian perspective.

Please give us some time to consider your request; most of the time you can expect to hear back from us within 7 business days.

God bless you!

Fill out my online form.

University of Mary Mace

University of Mary Mace

The president leads our university community in carrying out the mission first entrusted to the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, who founded and sponsor the University of Mary. This office of leadership finds particular expression in the University of Mary Mace. The elected leader of the teaching faculty carries the mace on behalf of the president in solemn academic procession.

In ancient days, a mace was carried for protection, but since medieval times, has come to symbolize the order of a university in formal session and its authority to carry out its mission.

The Benedictine cross, a symbol of the University of Mary’s Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine identity, sits at the top of the mace. The Benedictine medal and University of Mary seal, both imprinted with the cross, are encased on opposite sides. The cherry staff is ringed with six bands that alternate between wood and gold. These stand for the Benedictine values of community, hospitality, respect for persons, prayer, service, and moderation that are formative to the servant-leadership experience at the University of Mary. Twelve vertical grooves are a reference to the Church’s 12 Apostles. At the bottom of the mace is a brass hame ball (harness decoration). It stands in tribute to the pioneers who worked the land and to the founding Sisters who collaborated with them to develop a center of higher learning to serve the region.

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