According to James, his career has taken a “strange journey”:
"Although not a Native American, I was born and educated on a Seneca reservation. Although not a Mennonite, I received my master’s in philosophy of religion from a Mennonite seminary. Although not an African American, while working at a divinity school I directed the nation’s only doctoral program in transformative leadership dedicated to the social justice philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a graduate of the school. While there I was the only non-African American instructor in the school’s Black Church Studies Program for Ethical Leadership. Never in the military, I’ve taught ethics and world religions courses for Virginia Military Institute."
James has also taught for other schools in Canada and the U.S., directed an adult literacy program, and served as a dean of students. Working as a radio station announcer, a night watchman, a pizza maker, a private school headmaster, a children’s prison staffer, a history museum assistant director, and owning a rather shabby little motel for a time rounds out the work and career picture. James notes that he tends to say “yes” to interesting opportunities.
James has been writing his first book for 20 or 30 years now. A favorite pastime is riding his 16-year-old motorcycle along the Blue Ridge Parkway.