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D. Michael Lindsay
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Award winning sociologist and educator D. Michael Lindsay is the eighth president of Gordon College. President Lindsay earned his Ph. D. in sociology from Princeton University. From 2006 until 2011, he was a member of the faculty at Rice University, where he directed the Program for the Study of Leadership.



An expert on issues relating to religion, culture and leadership, Lindsay’s Pulitzer-nominated book, Faith in the Halls of Power, was listed in Publishers Weekly’s“Best Books of 2007,” and his work has been profiled in hundreds of media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN and Fox News Channel. This year, President Lindsay and his team of researchers completed the PLATINUM Study, the largest ever interview-based examination of senior organizational leaders—including former Presidents Carter and Bush, and hundreds of CEOs at the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits. He has lectured on five continents and is committed to sharing the Gordon College story around the globe.



Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, President Lindsay graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University and holds graduate degrees in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and Wycliffe Hall at Oxford.

Entries by D. Michael Lindsay

Why Study Power From the Halls of Faith?

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 4:33 PM

I have been fascinated with leaders for my entire life--quite literally. As the child of two senior organizational leaders, I soaked in their examples of institutional stewardship from an early age. During that same time, I came to deepen my Christian faith. However, it was not until I was a...

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Strength in the Crucible of Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 6:56 PM

We've now entered the sixth month of an unfolding international crisis in Ukraine. An upheaval that began with protests against the country's leadership has become a struggle whose peaceful resolution (or dramatic escalation) now rests in the hands of its new leadership -- and on the judgment calls of a...

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Leading With Your Life: Why You Are the Job

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Last month, Pope Francis was expected to enter an empty confessional booth in St. Peter's Basilica to hear congregants' confessions. Instead, he approached an occupied booth, knelt before the ordinary priest within and began confessing his own sins -- in full public view. He then rose, entered a...

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A Shared Vision of Access

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2014 | 7:05 PM

When we invest a great deal of thought and energy in something -- whether that's finishing a classic tome like Moby-Dick, or, say, conducting a massive interview-based sociological study on leadership over ten years and writing a book about it -- that investment has a way of shaping how we...

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Leading (and Teaching) for the Common Good

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2014 | 6:20 PM

Sometimes it feels like I have 12 different jobs. On any given day, I play the role of scheduling juggler, donor developer, faculty soother, student advisor, professional counselor, hard-nosed negotiator, and -- on my better days -- conflict resolver. Within the last 10 days, I have traveled 23,000 miles for...

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Transforming the Ordinary

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 4:11 PM

Transformations often happen slowly, imperceptibly, in the midst of the commonplace.

I work most Saturdays in my office with either Dave Hicks or Sam Stockwell, two incredibly bright Gordon College seniors. Saturdays afford us a chance to talk about life over lunch while working together. They also assist me...

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October's Lesser-Known Holiday (The Most Important of Them All)

(39) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 9:01 PM

Fifteen minutes from my home and workplace, the city of Salem in Massachusetts has pulsed steadily with tourism and traffic for the past month. Living just across the bridge from the American cultural epicenter for all things spooky, it would be hard to miss the arrival each fall of the...

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Who's Afraid of the Liberal Arts?

(10) Comments | Posted September 15, 2013 | 9:44 PM

Reading last month's USA Today article, "Picking College, Major, Comes Down to Money," I felt a touch of déjà vu. As the president of a New England liberal arts college, I field questions regarding college affordability and practicality about as often as I sit at my desk (if...

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A Season Well Spent: The Myth of a Summer Break

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 6:14 PM

I'll admit it: I breathed a little sigh of relief after this year's spring semester had come and gone, culminating with the fanfare and finality of Commencement. It's a natural response. For most of our lives within the Western educational tradition, we've cultivated an expectation that the stress of the...

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The Contrarian Approach to Commencement: Why I'm Giving the Speech

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 9:57 AM

Commencement can be a touchy subject. Planning a college commencement ceremony is something like planning a wedding: it is a deeply personal milestone played out before an audience of friends and family, and there is just one chance to "get it right." Expectations are high, the stakes higher, and the...

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Leading Through Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 7:09 AM

In the wake of the Boston marathon tragedy and the week of anxiety and suspense that followed, leaders throughout the Greater Boston area -- and indeed around the country -- were saddled with the unique burden of guiding their organizations through tragedy. There were the practical concerns, to be certain....

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Useful Innovation: The Next Great Challenge for Liberal Arts Colleges

(5) Comments | Posted March 31, 2013 | 7:00 PM

It's happening all around us, and the higher education community needs to pay attention. More and more, young people today are looking to entrepreneurial opportunities as the way of advancing the common good. Whether starting an innovative non-profit or a socially conscious business, these emerging leaders are motivated to make...

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Academic Memories as Milestones

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2013 | 9:33 PM

Higher education is changing. In a recent article published by the Center for Digital Education, Cameron Evans, the CTO of Microsoft Education, said, "If there's anything that will be significantly different 25 years from today, it's that people won't go to school for knowledge. They will go to...

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Impenetrable Hope and Teflon Goodness

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 5:00 PM

You may not know Todd Komarnicki by name, but you are almost certainly acquainted with one of his most famous pieces of work: Buddy the Elf. Todd is a seasoned Hollywood writer and producer, and he was one of the principal creative forces behind 2003's instant Christmas classic,

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Fueling the Fire: The Liberal Arts Have Come to Asia, and It's a Big Deal

(1) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 4:15 PM

Even as China's economy cools a little, educational partnerships with Asia are heating up.

For years, Asia has been the largest international recruiting zone for American universities. The overwhelming majority of international students in U.S. colleges and universities have come from China, India and South Korea, and many of...

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Living Generously

(17) Comments | Posted September 23, 2012 | 8:03 PM

A week and a half ago, I took a risk.

I went to the bank, and I withdrew a sizable stack of $1 bills, some $5s and $10s, a few $20s, three $50s and three $100s. Each individual bill was then placed into its own sealed envelope. The next day,...

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