He is writer-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose, California. Since January 2021, he also serves as the cathedral's senior warden (board chair). He is a licensed attorney and former international negotiator who has worked in the private sector and the U.S. government, including NASA's International Space Station program. Raised in the Texas panhandle, Jim earned a bachelor's degree at Austin College, a master's degree at Tufts University's Fletcher School, and a juris doctorate at Stanford University and was a U.S.–Germany Fulbright fellow and a Newbigin fellow in theology.
He is an avid reader, particularly in the areas of theology, spirituality, and science fiction. Important influences include Richard Rohr, Elizabeth A. Johnson, Thomas Merton, and Evelyn Underhill. Jim lives with his wife and teenage son and their Australian Shepherd and rabbit.