Father James P. Burns

The Rev. James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., becomes the 14th president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota on July 9, 2018.

Father Burns most recently served as the dean of the Woods College of Advancing Studies and Summer Session at Boston College.  While dean of Woods College, Father Burns’ vision has led to a 40 percent increase in revenue since 2017, with a near tripling of the net contribution the Woods College has made to Boston College since 2012. Under his leadership, Boston College’s once smallest school grew to become the fourth largest. Other accolades at the school include a 25 percent increase in the first-year retention rate and an endowment growth from $21 million to $25 million. With a clear and developed strategic plan, Father Burns has strengthened organizational effectiveness at Woods College, with a specific goal of elevating the college’s reputation and fortifying its financial foundation.

Prior to arriving at Boston College in 2010, Father Burns was co-chairman and associate professor of the Graduate School of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He also has served as an assistant professor in counseling psychology and religion at Boston University, and he completed pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships at Yale School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

Father Burns holds a doctor of philosophy degree in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in Boston, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas, and a master’s degree from St. Paul Seminary’s School of Divinity. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas School of Business.

Father Burns is an active researcher, a highly accomplished author, and a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and Massachusetts. He sits on a number of professional boards and committees and is a doctoral program accreditor for the American Psychological Association.

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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
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