Mike James

Director of Catechetical Ministry / Director of Youth Ministry / Director of RCIA
Phone: 858-756-1911 (ext. 205)
Email: Click Here to Email                   

Mike graduated from the College of St. Francis in Illinois.  He then went on to Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies & the Center for Youth Ministry Development and earned his Ministry Certifications.

He began as a Youth Minister at St. Paul the Apostle and the Cathedral of St. Raymond near Chicago and led a thriving Youth Ministry program attracting hundreds of teens each week.  That continues today at the Church of the Nativity Youth Ministry Program, which attracts teens from Oceanside to La Jolla and 17 different high schools.

Mike came to Church of the Nativity in 1995 and immediately revitalized the Youth Ministry Program and the Confirmation Program.  He has graduated approximately 1000 teens from the Youth Ministry program and prepared over 800 teens for Confirmation and is now on his 2nd generation, teaching the children of the first teens in the program.  These 35 years of experience give him a very large database of teen experience to know what models of Youth Ministry work long term to keep teens engaged in the church as they transform into engaged adult Catholics and what models are fads that don’t work.

From 1996-2002 he was appointed to Bishop Brom’s Commission on Youth and Young Adult Ministry, which among other tasks consulted on the Diocesan Handbook’s Guidelines for Youth Ministry and Confirmation Preparation that are still in place to this day in the Diocese of San Diego.  The Commission also developed the framework for Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of San Diego and revised the training curriculum and Certification process for Youth Ministers.

He was also chosen to represent San Diego on the National Catholic Youth Congress to Stand Against Violence at the National Catholic Federation for Youth Ministry Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He has attended World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, dozens of Youth Rallies, led mission trips in the U.S. and Mexico, and mentored many teens and college students in their vocations as Youth Ministers.

In 2007 he led the parish and community effort to help parishioners who lost their homes in the wildfires by raising money and finding temporary housing for many families. 

His career accolades include the Matthew 25 Award for service from the Diocese of San Diego; Carlsbad Christmas Bureau Service Award; Prevention Connection Award to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse among teens; a Memorial Brick from the East County Transitional Living Center for his work with the homeless, recognition from St. Vincent De Paul Village, press coverage from his work with military veterans from Never Leave One Behind, and a Proclamation from Supervisor Joel Anderson and the County of San Diego making December 17, 2022 "Church of the Nativity Day" to recognize his work with the Christmas Giving Tree Program.  His ministry has also been covered by The Southern Cross and Rancho Santa Fe Review newspapers.

He is a well-respected leader among his peers in the Youth Ministry field.

Mike also holds the Diocesan Certification in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.).  Through his work in R.C.I.A. he has taught and helped hundreds of adults and their children become initiated into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Initiation in the past 28 years.

In 2022 he was appointed to lead the Parish Synod in conjunction with the Diocese of San Diego.

Mike is married and has 2 children.