Professor of Philosophy/Ethics
- Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, B.S., 1968
- Cambridge University, England, M.A., 1970
- Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, M. Div., 1972
- Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, Ph.D., 1986
Lake City Community College, Lake City, FL, 1971-81; Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1986-89; Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN, 1989-99. Concordia University since 1999.
Dr. James Bachman was educated at Concordia Academy, Minnesota; Valparaiso University, Indiana; Cambridge University, England; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; and earned a PhD in philosophy at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Upon leaving Concordia Seminary Dr. Bachman served Our Redeemer Congregation, Lake City, Florida, where he was ordained in 1972. He was a worker/priest at Our Redeemer Congregation throughout the 70's, teaching humanities, philosophy, and religion at a local College. In 1981 he accepted the Call to be Pastor of University Lutheran Chapel in Tallahassee, FL. There he served students from the campuses of Florida State University, Florida A & M University, and Tallahassee Community College, and, after earning his PhD, he taught as an assistant professor in FSU's department of philosophy.
In 1989 Dr. Bachman and his family moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he was the first occupant of the John R. Eckrich Chair in Religion and the Healing Arts; in this position his research and teaching focused on ethical and social/political issues in health care. He taught in the departments of philosophy and theology, and worked in the University's campus ministry. He established and led a faculty working group that consulted with the VU Board of Directors on academic excellence in a Lutheran context.
He also has taught as a guest professor at both LC-MS seminaries. During the 1997-98 academic year he was Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, while on sabbatical from Valparaiso University.
In 1999 Dr. Bachman accepted an appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Concordia University, Irvine. In March, 2000, he was appointed Dean of the School of Theology and currently serves as Dean of Graduate Studies, Christ College School of Theology. From 2003 to 2005 he served as interim Pastor for Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Irvine, where he continues to serve as an assisting pastor.
He has served the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in a variety of capacities. He regularly speaks to Lutheran groups around the country and has published numerous articles. Since 1991 Dr. Bachman has been a consultant on social and ethical issues for the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and he drafted Christian Care at Life's End published by the CTCR in 1993, Procreative Choices: How Do God's Chosen Choose, published in 1997, Faith Active in Love: Human Care in the Church's Life, published in 1999, What Child is This? Marriage, Family and Human Cloning, published in 2002, and Christian Faith and Human Beginnings: Christian Care and Pre-implantation Human Life, published in January, 2006. In April 2007 he published an article, "The Pastor's Call and the Pastor's Contract," in the online journal of Concordia Seminary St. Louis at www.concordiatheology.org.
He has devoted much attention to the Lutheran Law/Gospel distinction and its implications for ethics and for social, political, and congregational life. Current topics include embryonic stem cell research, Religious Voices in Secular Settings, Christian sexual ethics, and challenges for congregations when the "hidden hand of ethnic social solidarity" no longer functions to define and support congregational life.
Dr. Bachman currently serves on the Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee for the University of California Irvine, and he has also served on the Animal Use and Care Oversight Committee at UCI.
Dr. Bachman has been a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center for Bioethics, is a regular consultant on health ethics for both religious and secular institutions, and is past President of the Chicago Clinical Ethics Programs. He regularly speaks at conferences and workshops around the country.
Along with his wife, Dr. Susan Bachman, Concordia Professor of Rhetoric, he has been exploring application of an interrogative model of human reasoning to ethics, biblical study and theology in a postmodern setting. Their research builds on a twenty-year collaboration with Professor Jaakko Hintikka of Boston University with whom Professor Bachman wrote "What if? . . . Toward Excellence in Reasoning". Dr. Bachman has published book chapters and several articles based on this research. In Summer of 2004 "Let the Reader Understand," a chapter on biblically informed reasoning that James and Susan wrote together, appeared in "Critical Thinking and the Bible in the Age of New Media" published by University Press of America. They also collaborate on preparing Concordia students for participation in regional ethics competitions and in the national College Ethics Bowl held annually at the meetings of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Dr. Bachman's work in logic and reasoning has led to his serving for the past decade as a second level reviewer and review panel chair for the Law School Admissions Council when candidates challenge questions on the Law School Admissions Test.