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Dr. L. Gregory Jones and Rev. Dr. Susan Pendleton Jones

Our Next President

On Feb. 1, 2021, Belmont University’s Board of Trustees announced that Dr. L. Gregory Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School, was unanimously appointed as the next president of Belmont University, effective June 1, 2021. Dr. Jones, who will succeed long-time Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher following his May retirement, brings more than 30 years of higher education experience as a faculty member, administrator, consultant and strategist.

Meet Dr. Greg Jones & Rev. Susan Jones



L. Gregory Jones is a leader and strategist whose creative engagement has helped institutions across the world create transformational resource models. Greg’s global imagination has guided business, education and religious leaders in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe and the United States. Greg has a particular gift for incubating talent, ideas and networks. He is passionate about re-shaping cultures within and across organizations and has coined the term“traditioned innovation” to capture how he re-framescomplex challenges to seize significant opportunities. 

Greg currently serves as Dean of Duke Divinity School, a position he held for an earlier term from 1997-2010. Between 2010 and 2018, he served in a variety of roles, including vice president and vice provost for global strategy at Duke University and also as provost and executive vice president of Baylor University. In addition, he has served in advisory and strategic roles with several foundations and educational institutions in the United States as well as in Armenia. Greg is a dynamic administrative leader, a gifted speaker, a noted writer and a trusted advisor who helps leaders imagine new possibilities and shape cultures for organizational success and productivity. Greg currently serves on the boards of the John Templeton Foundation, the McDonald Agape Foundation, the Lilly Family Board of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the India Collective.

Known for his entrepreneurial leadership and fund-raising ability, Greg’s first tenure as dean was marked by significant growth in Duke Divinity School. More than $102 million was raised under Greg’s leadership in The Campaign for Duke (1998-2003). Major new initiatives during his tenure included Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, the Center for Reconciliation, the Thriving Rural Communities Program, the Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation, the Clergy Health Initiative, the Reynolds Program in Church Leadership and international partnerships, especially with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the United Methodist Church in Cote d’Ivoire and the Center for Reconciliation’s Great Lakes Initiative which embraces the central-east African region. As Duke’s Global Strategist, he led initiatives in China and India as well as helped to engage work in Singapore. In Greg’s current tenure as dean, he has strengthened the financial trajectory for the Divinity School, diversified the faculty and staff and led a strategic planning process that has garnered great enthusiasm for the future of the school.

Greg is the author or editor of 19 books, including the recently released co-authored Navigating the Future: Traditioned Innovation for Wilder Seas (with Andrew P. Hogue), 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. Jones, an ordained United Methodist minister, has published more than 200 articles in a variety of publications.

Greg and Susan Jones

Greg is married to the Rev. Dr. Susan Pendleton Jones, who has served as a campus minister, a local church pastor, and as a senior administrator at Duke Divinity School. Currently she is working as a consultant to the bishop’s office of the United Methodist Church in NC. Greg and Susan are the parents of three children: Nathan, Ben and Sarah, and are grateful for their two daughters-in-law, Amy Little Jones and Allison Jones, their son-in-law Joey Fala, and their granddaughters: Clara, Audrey, and Sophie.

Introductory Press Conference

The full press release announcing Dr. Jones’ appointment as Belmont’s next president can be found here.


Feb. 5, 2021 Chapel with Dr. Greg & Rev. Susan Jones