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The Intersections of Hope & Innovation: Dr. Greg Jones, President of Belmont University

Today’s episode features Dr. Greg Jones, the president of Belmont University. Dr. Jones is an entrepreneurial and innovative leader, and what we learn from him is that hope is the orientation to the future. What we long for in communities, organizations, and in our own lives is the breakthrough transformations that hope signifies and makes possible.

About Dr. Greg Jones:
Known for his entrepreneurial leadership, Dr. Greg Jones became president of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on June 1, 2021. Prior to his appointment at Belmont, he served as the longtime dean of Duke Divinity School (from 1997-2010 and again from 2018-mid 2021). Between 2010 and 2018, he served in a variety of roles, including vice president and vice provost for global strategy at Duke University and provost and executive vice president of Baylor University.

During his time at Belmont, Greg has established a new vision for the institution “to be the leading Christ-centered university in the world, radically championing the pursuit of life abundant for all people.” Achievements during his first year include securing more than $35 million in grants and gifts, launching the Belmont Data Collaborative, expanding the Bridges to Belmont program to support Metro Nashville Public School students and establishing a program that more deeply connects Belmont students, faculty and staff to the regional community to create programs that foster social good.

A gifted speaker, Jones is the author or editor of 19 books, including the recently released Navigating the Future: Traditioned Innovation for Wilder Seas (with Andrew P. Hogue) which outlines his perspective on traditioned innovation as “a habit of being and living that cultivates a certain kind of moral imagination shaped by storytelling and expressed in creative, transformational action.” Other works include Christian Social Innovation, the co-authored Forgiving as We’ve Been Forgiven: Community Practices for Making Peace (with Celestin Musekura), the co-authored Resurrecting Excellence (with Kevin R. Armstrong), and the widely acclaimed Embodying Forgiveness. An ordained United Methodist minister, he has published more than 200 articles in a variety of publications.

Dr. Jones is also a gifted speaker, media contributor and thought leader in higher education, social innovation and theology. He recently joined the National Leadership Council for the Partnership for American Democracy and currently serves as a senior fellow at Leadership Education, which he founded, and senior fellow at the Fuqua-Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. Greg is passionate about re-shaping cultures within and across organizations and has coined the term “traditioned innovation” to capture how he re-frames complex challenges to seize significant opportunities. 

He received his bachelor’s in speech communication and a masters of public administration from the University of Denver, and his masters of divinity and Ph.D. in theology from Duke University. He currently serves on the boards of the John Templeton Foundation, the McDonald Agape Foundation and the India Collective.

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