L. Gregory Jones

L. Gregory Jones

Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Christian Ministry in the Divinity School

External address: 
Box 90968, 104 Westbrook, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
90968, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-3434


In addition to serving as a professor of theology at the Divinity School, L. Gregory Jones served as dean of the Divinity School from 1997 to 2010, and since 2007 he has served as the senior strategist for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. He has served as Duke’s chief international strategist to advance and coordinate the university’s global engagement.

Jones is widely recognized as a scholar and church leader on such issues as forgiveness and reconciliation, Christian vocation, leadership, and strengthening the church and its ministry. He is known for teaching that fosters students' imaginations in connecting Christian faith to everyday life, for research that promotes interdisciplinary conversation, and for theological thinking that fosters transformative leadership, traditioned innovation, and vibrant institutions.

He is the author or editor of 16 books, including the acclaimed Embodying Forgiveness, and, most recently, the co-author of Forgiving as We’ve Been Forgiven. He is also the author, recently, of Everyday Matters: Intersections of Life and Faith and the co-authored Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry. Jones, who has published more than 100 articles in a variety of publications, also regularly writes reflections for Faith & Leadership, an offering of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.  For 10 years he was co-editor of Modern Theology, a scholarly journal published by Blackwells in Oxford, England, and he currently serves as an associate editor for the journal.

Jones has traveled extensively, often addressing issues of forgiveness and reconciliation in lectures and sermons. In recent years he has been in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, China, India, and South Korea.

Jones has preached and lectured in major pulpits and at annual conferences across the United States. He also has delivered numerous distinguished lectureships at colleges and universities. In addition, he has provided significant leadership for many pastors' schools and other continuing education events for laity and clergy. Jones and his wife, the Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, have written several units (and the accompanying videos) for The United Methodist Publishing House's "Living the Good Life Together" series.

He is an ordained United Methodist pastor and a member of the Western North Carolina Conference. Jones and his wife have three children: Nathan, Ben, and Sarah.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1988
  • M.Div., Duke University 1985
  • M.P.A., University of Denver 1982
  • B.A., University of Denver 1980

Selected Grants

Faculty Development awarded by Association of Theological Schools (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Neighborhood Seminary awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2020

2019 Course of Study awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2020

Entrepreneurial Mindset Boot Camp awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2019

The Traditioned Innovation Project awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2019

Strategic Planning, Church Assessment and Organizational Optimization awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2019

2018 United Methodist Continued Education awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2019

Christian Institutional Leadership awarded by (Faculty Member). 2014 to 2018

Pool of Tears Initiative: Reflective Journeys to South Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2005 to 2007


Jones, L. G., and C. Musekura. Forgiving as we've been forgiven: community practices for making peace. InterVarsity Press, 2010.

Jones, L. G., and K. R. Armstrong. Resurrecting excellence shaping faithful Christian ministry: shaping faithful Christian ministry. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2006.

Jones, L. G., and S. P. Jones. Living the Good Like Together: Forgiveness. Abingdon, 2006.

Jones, L. G., and S. P. Jones. Living the Good Life Together: Attentiveness. Abingdon, 2006.

Jones, L. G., and S. Paulsell. The scope of our art: the vocation of the theological teacher. Eerdmans, 2002.

Buckley, J. J., and L. G. Jones. Theology and eschatology at the turn of the millennium. Blackwell, 2001.

Johnston, R. K., et al. Grace upon grace : essays in honor of Thomas A Langford. Abingdon Pr, 1999.

Jones, L. G., and J. J. Buckley. Theology and scriptural imagination. Blackwell, 1998.


Jones, L. G., et al. “Leadership, Pastoral Identity, and Friendship: Navigating the Transition from Seminary to the Parish.” From Midterms to Ministry:  Practical Theologians on Pastoral Beginnings, William B. Eerdmans, 2008, pp. 13–26.

Jones, L. G., and W. H. Willimon. “We Do See Jesus.” Sermons from Duke Chapel, Duke University Press, 2005, pp. 330–36.

Jones, L. G., et al. “Embodying Scripture in the Community of Faith.” The Art of Reading Scripture, William B. Eerdmans, 2003, pp. 143–59.

Jones, L. G. “The Qualities of Leadership in a Christian Context.” Effective Religious Leadership in an Age of Change, FADICA, Inc., 2003, pp. 3–13.

Jones, L. G., et al. “Worship, the Eucharist, Baptism and Aging.” Growing Old in Christ, William B. Eerdmans, 2003, pp. 185–201.

Jones, L. G. “Beliefs, desires, practices, and the ends of theological education.” Practicing Theology, Eerdmans, 2002, pp. 185–205.

Jones, L. G. “Negotiating the tensions of vocation.” Scope of Our Art, Eerdmans, 2002, pp. 209–24.

Jones, L. G., and W. P. Brown. “Formed and Transformed by Scripture: Character, Community, and Authority in Biblical Interpretation.” Character and Scripture:  Moral Formation, Community, and Biblical Interpretation, William B. Eerdmans, 2002, pp. 18–33.

Jones, L. G., et al. “A Dramatic Journey into God's Dazzling Light: Baptismal Catechesis and the Shaping of Christian Practical Wisdom.” Knowing the Triune God:  The Work of the Spirit in the Practices of the Church, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2001, pp. 147–77.

Jones, L. G. “A Fire of Holy Longing.” Inquiring after God, Blackwell Publishers, Inc, 2000, pp. 191–206.


Jones, L. G., and N. Jones. “Success as the Byproduct of Repeated Failure.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Jones, L. G., and N. Jones. “The Importance of Cognitive Diversity.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Jones, L. G., and N. Jones. “Engaging Stakeholders in Problem Solving.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Jones, L. G., and N. Jones. “Deep Trends Affecting Christian Institutions.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Jones, L. G., and N. Jones. “Working on 'Wicked' Problems.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Gilmer, K., and L. G. Jones. “Cultivating Institutions that Nurture Holy Friendship.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Jones, L. G. “Discovering Hope through Holy Friendships.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Gilmer, K., and L. G. Jones. “Performance as Leadership Preparation.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

McNutt, B., and L. G. Jones. “Seeking Leaders to Persevere.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.

Gilmer, K., and L. G. Jones. “Failing to Learn.” Faith & Leadership, 2012.


Jones, L. G. “Healing the wounds of memory - Theology & psychology on salvation & sin.” Care for the Soul, edited by M. R. McMinn and T. R. Phillips, INTERVARSITY PRESS, 2001, pp. 241–53.