School of Theology and Ministry

Gloria Burgess

  • Gloria Burgess    
    Adjunct Faculty



    • University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, PhD, 1980
    • University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, MBA, 1987
    • Bastyr University/Leadership Institute of Seattle, MA/ABS, 1995
    • University of Michigan, MA, 1977
    • University of Michigan, BGA, 1975

    Examples of Courses Taught

    • Transformational Leadership
    • Adaptive Leadership
    • Intercultural Leadership
    • Leadership Formation
    • Covenant Leadership: Leading from Within
    • Legacy Leadership: The Significance of Stewardship and Service
    • Principles of Values-Centered Leadership
    • Systems, Design Thinking, and Organization Renewal

    Research Areas

    • Transformational leadership
    • Values-centered leadership
    • Transcultural leadership
    • Spirituality in the workplace
    • Creativity & arts-infused leadership

    Selected Publication

    • Burgess, G. J., (2013, in press). Pass It On!, Kirkland: Illumination Arts.
    • Melina, Lois., Gloria Burgess, Lena Falkman, Robert McManus, and Antonio Marturano (ed.) (2013, in press). Embodied Leadership, ILA BLB volume, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
    • Barbour, JoAnn., Gloria Burgess, Lena Falkman, and Robert McManus (ed.) (2012). Leading in Complex Worlds, ILA BLB volume, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
    • Agodon, Kelli and Annette Spaulding-Convy (ed.) (2011). Fire on Her Tongue, "Sanctuary" and "The Open Door," Gloria Burgess, Seattle: Two Sylvias Press.
    • Burgess, G. J., (2008). Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside: Live Your Legacy Now, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.
    • Burgess, G. J., (2006). Legacy Living: The Six Covenants for Personal & Professional Excellence, Provo: Executive Excellence.


    • Linda M. Wilson Diversity Award, Casey Family Programs
    • Organization Development & Innovation Award, Casey Family Programs
    • University of Southern California, Distinguished Alumna in Communication and Civic Engagement
    • University of Michigan, Distinguished Scholar in Direction
    • University of Michigan, Distinguished Scholar in Performance
    • Avery Hopwood, Poetry
    • Redbook Magazine, Short Fiction
    • Pacific Northwest Writer's Association, Children's Literature
    • Cave Canem, Poetry Fellow
    • The HistoryMakers, Distinguished in Arts & Business

    Personal Bio

    Leadership consultant and educator, Gloria Burgess was born in rural Mississippi. She came of age in Detroit, Michigan during the turbulence of Civil Rights Movement. She now lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and calls the world her home. Fueled by her passion for people, learning, and experiencing new places, Gloria has travelled extensively in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Canada, Australia, and Asia.

    Thanks to the spiritual and financial generosity of Nobel laureate William Faulkner, Gloria's father, Earnest McEwen, Jr., was the first person in her family to attend college. In her latest book, Pass It On!, she writes about her father's unique friendship with Faulkner and their legacies of service and stewardship.

    Many years ago, Gloria coined the term legacy consciousness, which is focused on being mindful and intentional about our choices—each and every day. Our choices today shapes someone else's tomorrow. Working with people of all cultures, ages, and life circumstances, Gloria gently, yet firmly reminds us that as 21st-century citizens we are called to be midwives for one another, to help birth magnificent new worlds. For it is in this capacity that we are called to create a shining legacy on behalf of our children, our children's children, and the many generations to come.

    A former executive in the technology and human services sectors, Gloria now teaches Transformational Leadership. She has taught at Seattle University, University of Washington, University of Southern California, Howard University, and diverse client organizations all over the world. One of the few leadership practitioners who integrates the usually separate realms of creative artistry and social artistry, Gloria celebrates the magnificence of the human spirit in all aspects of her work and life. Combining insightful commentary and personal engagement, she integrates the arts into her inspiring keynotes and transformational learning experiences, fostering courage, creativity, hope, healing, and resilience—qualities we all need and yearn for to nourish our soul.


    Loves children, music, poetry, music, sunrises, sunsets, harvest moons, candlelight, tea ceremonies, and reading, writing, traveling, laughing, cooking, enjoying the rhythms of creation, singing, drumming, and dancing.