Gregory Ellison considers his vocation to be, in his own words, a Craftsman of Care: "Caring is an art informed by a long history of techniques and crafts. As the Craftsman of Care, I help caregivers to see the invisible and hear the voiceless."

One aspect of this craftsmanship is his creation of space for hard, heartfelt conversations — on topics like racism, classism, and community violence — through the organization he founded, Fearless Dialogues. This grassroots initiative allows unlikely partners to enter uniquely structured environments in which they can see gifts in others, hear value in each other's stories, and work for positive transformation. Fearless Dialogues serves grant-makers, organizations seeking productive partnerships, and those with gifts yet to be revealed and engaged — and as Ellison aptly asks, "Isn’t that all of us?" So, for example, in a given week you might see him doing a Fearless Dialogues workshop for a professional sports team, a university group, a council of bishops, and his daughter's Girl Scout troop.

Ellison also serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. His research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism. He has a B.A. from Emory University and an M.Div. and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.

While Ellison's calling often lands him in activist environments, it is informed by a question his grandfather used to ask people upon meeting them: "Who you be?" So he seeks to infuse soul into all that he does and to fully see and hear the people he encounters. This rare and special quality teaches the craft of care by example.

Read for:

  • Understanding the plight of marginalized people
  • Ways to see and hear as gateways to transformation
  • Ideas for discovering your authentic calling, so that you can sow seeds of life