Douglas Hicks - Provost and Professor of Religion

Colgate Directory

Provost Douglas A. Hicks

Douglas Hicks

Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Provost and Dean of Faculty, 103 McGregory Hall
p 315-228-7222
What makes for a good life, and can it be pursued in common? What does justice look like in a complex, global economy? How can leaders, despite their personal interests and failures, guide organizations and communities to do the right thing?  How do people appropriately integrate their religious commitments into the various activities of their lives? What role should religiously based moral convictions play in a devout and diverse society?  

Questions such as these fuel my own scholarship, and I aim to inspire my students to grapple with them and arrive at their own answers.  

Over my career I have been fortunate to study with economists, theologians, ethicists, and leadership scholars, and I seek to apply insights from those various fields to the moral issues that concern us all:  how to build from religious tolerance and mutual respect to confront fears, real and imagined, in an age of terrorism; how to balance the needs of other nations with those of our own; how to understand the appropriate and constructive role of business and commerce within our civil society.

In my fourth book, Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy (Jossey Bass, 2010), I look at how people spend and save money, how labor fits with leisure, and how various aspects of economic life can be viewed through the lens of daily practice. And I frame some key theological and ethical questions, such as: What is the appropriate role of money in a well-lived life?

On my website, there is information about Money Enough, and three other books that I wrote earlier in my career, along with links to articles, public talks, and other materials.

In With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America (Oxford University Press, 2009), I consider the ways leaders must draw together people from varied backgrounds in order to transform the problem of diversity into an opportunity.  In other words, how do we turn the cacophony of beliefs and practices into a kind of citizenship worthy of the American tradition of religious freedom? 

In Religion and the Workplace (Cambridge University Press, 2003), I propose some constructive solutions based on a respectful pluralism that allows for the expression of individual beliefs and practices. 

And in Inequality and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2000), perhaps my most theoretical work, I draw on Christian social ethics, political philosophy, and development economics, in order to illuminate contemporary realities and trends of inequality, as well as their moral significance. 

Having joined the university in July 2012 as provost and dean of the faculty and professor of religion, I look forward to sharing my scholarly and practical perspectives with the Colgate community, Hamilton, and Central New York.


MA, PhD Harvard University, 1995, 1998

MDiv Duke University, 1993

AB Davidson University, 1990

Complete CV

Teaching Experience

Professor of leadership studies and religion, University of Richmond, 1998-2012

Visiting faculty positions at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Harvard Divinity School

Professional Experience

Ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Former president of the Academy of Religious Leadership

Former chair of the Religion and Social Sciences section of the American Academy of Religion

Board member of the Virginia Poverty Law Center 



Peer Reviewed Journal Articles Book Chapters & Reviewed Conference Proceedings Additional Articles and Essays
Book Reviews
  • Hicks, Douglas A. Review of Miroslav Volf, Allah: A Christian Response (HarperOne, 2011). The Presbyterian  Outlook (March 4, 2011).
  • Hicks, Douglas A. Review of Stephen Green, Good Value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010). The Christian Century vol. 127 no. 23 (November 16, 2010).
  • Review of Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (New York: Penguin, 2005). CrossCurrents 56/1 (spring 2006): 139-140.
  • “Taming the Beast: The Virtues of Corporate Life.” Review of William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism (Simon & Schuster, 2004) and Jonathan B. Wight, Saving Adam Smith (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002). The Christian Century 121/6 (March 23, 2004): 24-27.
  • “Thinking Globally: Making Sense of a Shrinking World.” Review of Robert Gilpin, Global Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), Max Stackhouse and Associates, God and Globalization, Volumes I and II (Trinity Press International, 2000/2001). The Christian Century 118/34 (December 12, 2001): 14-17.
  • “Economic Goods: Making Moral Sense of the Market.” Review of Charles E. Lindblom, The Market System (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) and Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (New York: Knopf, 1999). The Christian Century 118/27 (October 10, 2001): 20-23.
  • Review of Glen Stassen, ed., Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 1998). Religious Studies Review 25/3 (July 1999): 278.
  • Review of Daniel Rush Finn, Just Trading: On the Ethics and Economics of International Trade (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996). Religious Studies Review 24/3 (July 1998): 280.
  • “Christianity and the Tangled Web of Capitalism.” Review of Paige Smith, Rediscovering Christianity: A History of Modern Democracy and the Christian Ethic (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994). Religion and Values in Public Life 3/1 (fall 1994): 7-8.