Jim Wallis

President and Founder

Jim Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. He recently served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum.

Jim is the author of 12 books. His most recent book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, was released in January 2016. His most recent books include: On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery; The Great Awakening:Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America; and God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

He is president and founder of Sojourners, where he is also editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine, which has a combined print and electronic media readership of more than a quarter million people. Jim frequently speaks in the United States and abroad. His columns appear in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe. He frequently appears on radio and television as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox—on shows such as Meet the Press, Hardball, the Daily Show, the O’Reilly Factor—and on National Public Radio. He has taught at Harvard University, Georgetown University, and a variety of other academic institutions.

Jim was raised in a Midwest evangelical family. As a teenager, his questioning of the racial segregation in his church and community 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. Jim founded Sojourners while a student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. Jim and several other students started a small magazine and community with a Christian commitment to social justice. More than 40 years later, Sojourners has grown into a national faith-based organization. In 1979, Time magazine named Wallis one of the "50 Faces for America's Future."

Jim lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Joy Carroll, one of the first women ordained in the Church of England and author of Beneath the Cassock: The Real-Life Vicar of Dibley, and their young sons, Luke and Jack. He is a Little League baseball coach.

Television Appearances

America and the impact of racial geography

Authors Jim Wallis and Eddie Glaude Jr. join Morning Joe to discuss the water crisis in Flint and how racial geography impacts the country.

To arrange a media interview, contact:
Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications
tel: 202-745-4633
fax: 202-328-8757
email: media@sojo.net

»Download a print-quality photo (5x7 @ 300dpi)

See All TV Appearances

Events

View a full list of upcoming events featuring Jim Wallis and other Sojourners staff.

Request Jim to Speak

See Speaking Events Guidelines and Information here or Submit a Speaking Request Application here

For speaking event invitations, contact:
James Simpson, Executive Assistant
3333 14th St NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20010
tel: 202-745-4600
fax: 202-328-8757
email: events@sojo.net

College Course

How does faith inform public debates on social justice in U.S. politics? How should religious leaders and politicians engage the political process while maintaining their moral witness? Since the fall of 2011, Jim Wallis has been addressing these questions in a course he teaches at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. He leads the class through a series of topics that intersect religion, society, and politics. Sojourners and the Berkley Center have now made this course available online through video recordings and course packets. 

View the Course

Books

The (Un)common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided
Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus' ancient and compelling vision of the common good — a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world. The (Un)Common Good is the revised and updated paperback edition of On God's Side and includes a new preface.

On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good
On God's Side examines the deepest problems this world faces. What we need is a commitment to an ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good. How do we work together, even with people we don’t agree with? How do we treat each other, especially the poorest and most vulnerable? How do we take care of not just ourselves, but also one another? Wallis tackles these questions and more in this challenging, yet hopeful book.

The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World
What would it take to change the world? What would it take to end extreme poverty, to address climate change, to create peace? For too long, a narrow religious agenda has been used like a wedge to divide people. But a wider and deeper vision of faith and values is emerging. It's a renewal of faith – a great awakening – that combines personal faith with social justice. A new social movement is on the rise. The Great Awakening is upon us.

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
God's Politics offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition. Our biblical faith and religious traditions simply do not allow us as a nation to continue to ignore the poor and marginalized, deny racial justice, tolerate the ravages of war, or turn away from the human rights of those made in the image of God. These are the values of love and justice, reconciliation, and community that Jesus taught and that are at the core of what many of us believe, Christian or not.

Faith Works: How Faith-based Organizations are Changing Lives, Neighborhoods, and America
"In Faith Works, Jim Wallis has woven together a detailed road map for those interested in loosening the chains of social injustice. This book is a powerful resource for change!" Millard Fuller, Founder and President, Habitat for Humanity International

The Soul of Politics: Beyond 'Religious Right' and 'Secular Left'
Jim Wallis responds to signs of cultural breakdown and political impasse with a resounding and highly moving call to reintegrate politics and spirituality - a call for a new political morality combining social justice with personal responsibility.

The Call to Conversion: Recovering the Gospel for These Times
Jim Wallis explores Jesus' call to God's community and away from worldly standards, the churches' betrayal of the call, and the possibilities for a new response.

Posts By This Author

We Need the Truth Now

by Jim Wallis 05-12-2017

This week has been stunning. Every day there is more stark evidence of White House lying, led by the president himself, and it is compromising the integrity of all the people around him. Direct lies and contradictions appear one after another. And when the president of the United States, and the people around him are lying all the time, including the vice president, it puts the nation in grave danger. It suggests cover up and makes thorough and fair investigations more important than ever. Unless the truth is found and told, this is a danger to democracy.

Our Call and Our Ministry in Such a Time as This: Healing and Resistance

by Jim Wallis 05-11-2017
Sojourners' founder Jim Wallis stands with activist Bree Newsome at the 2016 Summit.

We have a president who seems not to believe in checks and balances. As I write, Trump’s firing of the FBI director and the real reasons behind it are raising what many are calling a “constitutional crisis.” When a president fires the nation’s chief law enforcement officer who is investigating that president’s administration, and then lies about the reasons why, a moral crisis is also being created. A poll just out says that 61 percent of the American people think the president is dishonest — and that was before the Comey firing.

A Test of Our Integrity

by Jim Wallis 05-10-2017

FILE PHOTO - FBI Director James Comey is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

As the country and world saw last night, without any warning or usual procedures, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The only reason given for Comey’s firing was his treatment of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail case — which is laughable, given Trump’s own past statements and myriad contradictions on these matters, even if one agrees that Comey’s behavior and double standards in regard to that case were unprecedented and indefensible.

Here Are the Campaign Promises Trump Breaks with His Health Care Plan

by Jim Wallis 05-05-2017

President Donald Trump gathers with congressional Republicans in the Rose Garden after the House passed the AHCA. May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Donald Trump had a party yesterday in the White House Rose Garden — while cases of beer were wheeled into the Capitol Building — to celebrate the just-passed Republican health care bill through the House of Representatives. If this bill passes the Senate and is signed by President Trump, the core elements of the bill will create conditions in which 24 million fewer people will have health insurance by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act, which is, for the time being, still the law of the land.

White American Evangelical Christianity Is a Bubble — and It’s About to Burst

by Jim Wallis 05-03-2017

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Image via Liberty University.

The issue here is not Christians voting differently from each other. That is normal and likely healthy given the independence that people of faith should show over partisan loyalties. This is about the moral hypocrisy of white American evangelical religious right leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr. causing a crisis in the church, dividing American Christians on racial lines, and astonishing the worldwide body of Christ — the international majority of evangelical Christians who are people of color — and whose leaders keep asking many of us what in the world is going on with white American evangelicals.

Christians Can Stop Trump’s Wall

by Jim Wallis 04-26-2017

Donald Trump’s wall is obviously a terrible idea: It’s both impractical and ineffective — and more importantly, it’s immoral. Building Trump’s wall would be building a 2,200-mile-long monument to racism.

Lies and Damn Lies

by Jim Wallis 04-25-2017
The seemingly pathological lying of the president is a moral and a religious crisis.

LIVING IN THE United States in the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency often feels surreal, disorienting, and overwhelming, including to some people in positions of considerable responsibility and influence.

There are, of course, many reasons for this, and those who regularly read my columns can no doubt list many of the things that most perturb and anger me about this administration. Many of us are focused on our solidarity and support for those who are most vulnerable in the face of the new political realities. We have lifted up the Matthew 25 Pledge movement aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants threatened with deportation, African Americans and other people of color threatened with racialized policing, and Muslims threatened with xenophobic hatred and discrimination.

But a unifying theme of all of Trump’s outrages and threats is his brazen assault on the very concept of truth and objective, knowable facts. Amid everything that’s going on, consuming and interpreting the news each day is considerably more exhausting than it should be because it has never been more difficult to sort fact from fiction. While this isn’t entirely Trump’s doing, his almost daily falsehoods have the large platform and weight of the presidency to prop them up and pound the American people with persistent and pervasive lying.

This spring, the news cycle was thrown into turmoil for more than a month by Trump’s evidence-free allegations that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had illegally wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign. The president lied, accusing his predecessor of a serious crime with no justification or evidence. Rather than retracting it and apologizing, Trump has tasked his administration and the intelligence community with finding any shred of evidence to retroactively justify his lie.

Meanwhile, at the Department of Justice

by Jim Wallis 04-20-2017

Jeff Sessions in 2009. Photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Flickr.com

While President Donald Trump has been stymied on many fronts — the legal challenges to his refugee ban, the defeat of the AHCA, and the complete lack so far of any legislative accomplishments — Jeff Sessions is firmly in place as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. And he has been busy.

While the Men Were in Hiding, Women Delivered the Greatest News the World Has Ever Known

by Jim Wallis 04-13-2017

In so many of the gospel stories that are familiar to us, women were behind the scenes — always there, always present, always faithful — but nearly always in the background and hardly ever mentioned by the men in the stories, and certainly not the ones writing the stories. Their testimony as women was not even admissible in court under Jewish law; the word of a woman had no public credibility in that patriarchal culture. But God chose to reveal the miracle of Jesus' resurrection first to women. They were then told to report the astonishing news of the empty tomb to the men.

Thank God for Opening Day

by Jim Wallis 04-06-2017

The loyal and fervent fans of at least half (and likely more) of the MLB’s 30 teams believe that “this could be the year.” After all, hope springs eternal. These fans believe: If this or that player can do this or that, if our players are at their best, nothing might stop us! And while that could all be true, baseball season will soon show us how our best is often so elusive.

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