Professor of History
(616) 632-2835
H 301


Dr. Pinheiro joined the history department in 2004. Along with History, he also teaches for the Humanities and Catholic Studies programs and is faculty advisor to Phi Alpha Theta and Aquinas’s chapter of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Dr. Pinheiro is the founding director of Aquinas College’s Catholic Studies program and co-founder of the college’s popular Semester-in-Rome.  Prior to joining the Aquinas faculty, he served as assistant editor of the "Presidential Series" of the "Papers of George Washington" at the University of Virginia. Along with his co-editor, Dr. Pinheiro presented volume 12 of the Presidential Series to President Bush in an Oval Office ceremony in April 2005.

Dr. Pinheiro's publications include academic and popular articles on the early American republic. He has also written for the History News Service, lectured for the Hauenstein Center, the Liberty Fund, and the Acton Institute, and he has appeared on National Public Radio, Mars Hill Audio, and CSPAN. Dr. Pinheiro is available for speaking engagements on George Washington, the American Founding period, the Mexican War, and Catholic higher education.
Dr. Pinheiro's award-winning book is called Missionaries of Republicanism: A Religious History of the Mexican-American War (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is also author of the book, "Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-Military Relations during the Mexican War".

Dr. Pinheiro is a champion of the liberal arts and humanities and sees the genuine search for truth as the purpose of education. His scholarly interests include American views on liberty and order, the Mexican-American War, and the development of American identity during the early republic. He is the consulting editor on James K. Polk for the American President resource at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. His non-scholarly interests include soccer, golf, Tennessee football, imperial stout, opera, and traveling with his wife, Cassandra, and their daughter, Lucia.

>More about Dr. Pinheiro

Scholarly Activity

Selected Research Publications 

  • "The United States and the Great War," invited lecture, Cascade Historical Society, Cascade, Michigan, April 2017
  • “Common Law and the Declaration of Independence,” invited Lecture at “Liberty and the Declaration of Independence,” a Liberty Fund/Acton Institute Seminar, Philadelphia, August 4, 2017
  • “Religion, Anti-Catholicism, and the Mexican-American War,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, forthcoming at, in October 2017; forthcoming in print,
    in Oxford Encyclopedia of American Religion, Oxford University Press,
  • “The Mexican War,” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Religion, Oxford University Press, in process
  • "'American Blood on American Soil': Justice, Peace, and the Mexican-American War," War, Justice, and Peace in American Political Thought (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming)
  • Invited Member, Twelve Person Working Group on Catholic Intellectual Tradition booklet for American Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, July 2014 to present
  • Missionaries of Republicanism: A Religious History of the Mexican-American War, Oxford University Press, 2014. Winner, Fr. Paul Foik Award for Best Book on the History of the Catholic Southwest, Texas Catholic Historical Society, 2014.
  • Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-Military Relations during the Mexican War (Praeger, 2007)
  • Review of Met His Every Goal?: Jame K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny, by Tom Chaffin, c. 2014, in Journal of the Early Republic, Spring, 2016: 596-97.

Selected Conference Papers and Invited Lectures 

  • “Religion, American Identity, and the Mexican-American War,” invited lecture for the History Forum, California State University, Bakersfield, October 21, 2015.
  • “Is Catholic Studies Useful?”  Invited paper presentation at “Twenty Years of Catholic Studies: A Conference in Honor of Don Briel,” University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, to be delivered August 30, 2014
  • “Liberty and the Intellectual Milieu of the Declaration of Independence,” Invited Lecture at “Liberty and the Declaration of Independence, a Liberty Fund Seminar, Grand Rapids, June 30, 2014



  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee
  • M.A., California State University Bakersfield
  • B.A., California State University Bakersfield