For Immediate Release
June 15, 2021
Contact: Jessica Felix Romero | firstname.lastname@example.org
Reverend Jim Wallis Joins Georgetown as Inaugural Faith and Justice Chair
Will Lead New Faith and Justice Center to Advance the University's Commitment to the Common Good
Washington, DC - Georgetown and the University’s McCourt School of Public Policy today announced that Jim Wallis, founder of the Christian social justice organization Sojourners, will join the McCourt School as the inaugural Chair in Faith and Justice.
Reverend Wallis, a well-known public theologian, will also lead the new Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice, devoted to deepening our understanding of the role of faith in society and civic life.
“I am so deeply honored and grateful for this generous invitation from Georgetown”, said Rev. Jim Wallis. “I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my vocation and ministry. And I can’t imagine a better community and forum to protect imago dei, the image of God, in all human beings; and serve the common good at this critical moment in history. The issues of justice run deep; none are more important than the threats to democracy that we are watching in America and around the world which are not just political issues, they are tests of faith. The spirituality of democracy and the soul of the nation will be core to the work of this new Chair and Center.”
“Reverend Wallis brings deep knowledge and experience in urgent contemporary issues at the intersection of faith and justice,” said Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “We are very grateful for the expertise he shares, and look forward to all that he will contribute to our academic community through this new Center.”
“I am so thankful to have taken Rev. Jim Wallis’ course on the intersection between faith and politics during my first year at the Kennedy School, a course that played a major role in shaping my career trajectory and affirming my vocation. I couldn’t think of a better role and platform to support and sustain Jim’s public theology and prophetic witness moving forward. I’m excited to see and support his ongoing work through the Georgetown Center to advance justice and the common good,” said Rev. Adam Taylor, President of Sojourners.
Wallis will join Georgetown on July 1, 2021.
Examining the Relationship Between Faith and Public Life
The McCourt School of Public Policy will welcome Reverend Wallis, who has for many years taught courses on faith, race, and politics as an adjunct faculty member of the McCourt School, as the inaugural holder of the Endowed Chair in Faith and Justice. This new chaired position will support expanded teaching, mentoring, writing academic and non-academic articles, and outreach to policymakers and practitioners.
“Faith and faith organizations have a critical role to play as we consider how government and civil society address issues from poverty to climate change,” said McCourt School Dean Maria Cancian. “We are pleased to welcome Reverend Wallis, who will broaden and enrich the perspectives informing our discussions of how best to advance the common good.”
Reverend Wallis previously taught courses in faith and politics through Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
A Center Grounded in Faith and Justice
Wallis will also be leading the newly created Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice.
The Center on Faith and Justice will advance a deeper understanding and integration of faith and moral public policy into our political and civil discourse, help to reshape the nation’s political narrative, and advocate for more compassionate and just policies that prioritize the needs of historically marginalized people and communities and increases their ability to thrive and flourish. The priority of those Jesus called “the least of these” in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s gospel will be the focus of this new Center.
The Center on Faith and Justice will focus on four key programmatic areas: racism, poverty, peace, and justice—in all their religious, moral, personal, and systematic dimensions. It brings together students, scholars, practitioners, religious leaders, policymakers, and media to reshape how faith is discussed and understood in relation to our civic life.
In addition to the courses taught by Reverend Wallis, the center will create educational opportunities in partnership with leaders from Capitol Hill, seminaries, and other faith-based institutions and groups around the country.
The center will convene public and private dialogues committed to promoting civil discourse and public policies in pursuit of a more compassionate and just society, and will serve as a trusted source and advocate on the moral dimensions of political issues—reaching government officials, multi-faith leaders, local activists, and a wide audience across the nation.
Globally Respected Justice Advocate
Rev. Jim Wallis is a globally respected writer, teacher, preacher, and justice advocate who believes the gospel of Jesus must be transformed from its cultural and political captivities; and always be “good news” to the poor and oppressed. He is a New York Times bestselling author, widely recognized public theologian, renowned speaker, and regular international commentator on ethics and public life.
Raised in a Midwestern evangelical family, as a teenager Wallis questioned the racial segregation in his church and community, which led him to the Black churches and neighborhoods of inner-city Detroit. He spent his student years involved in the civil rights and antiwar movements at Michigan State University.
He is the founder of Sojourners, author of 12 books including American’s Original Sin; God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get it ; The Great Awakening; The Call to Conversion; and Christ in Crisis: Reclaiming Jesus In A Time of Fear, Hate, and Violence ; and host of the popular podcast The Soul of the Nation.
He served on President Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and has taught faith and public life courses at Harvard and Georgetown University. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Wallis has previously taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Georgetown University in 2007 when he delivered the commencement address.