Character and the Professions

In America and across the globe, we are facing a crisis of leadership. Trust in institutions and the professionals who lead them is at a near-historic low, and in the aftermath of COVID-19, the importance of effective leadership has only become more apparent. This crisis of leadership reflects, in part, a crisis of character. This conference explored the role of character in the professions and elevated the virtues that are most important for professionals across six professional contexts: business, divinity, engineering and technology, law, medicine, and public life. In partnership with the new Face to Face Series and the Oxford Character Project, we recruited an impressive slate of speakers, including: 

The Arts of Leading

Wake Forest and the Oxford Character Project co-sponsored an international conference on “The Arts of Leading: Perspectives from the Humanities and Liberal Arts” in February 2019 at Wake Forest University.

While books and articles on “leadership” continue to multiply, few engage the arts and humanities. This interdisciplinary conference brought together distinguished scholars and practitioners in the arts and humanities to explore new ways of understanding and imagining the theory and practice of leadership. In turning to classics, literature, history, philosophy, religion and the arts, the conference expressed a commitment to the engaged liberal arts and explored what we can learn about leadership by engaging diverse disciplinary perspectives. Approximately 2,000 attended the keynote, and over 350 attended the conference. An edited volume from the conference is currently being produced.


Conference Speakers

Workshop Leaders

Cultivating Virtue in the University

Wake Forest and the Oxford Character Project co-sponsored an international conference on “Cultivating Virtue in the University” at the University of Oxford on May 25-26, 2017.

The conference began with a public event at Rhodes House on “How Might Universities Cultivate Leaders of Character?” Attracting more than 100 scholars, students and citizens, the panel, moderated by Dr. Lamb, included:

Over the following two days, the conference brought together leading experts in history, literature, philosophy, theology and the social sciences to explore the role of character development in higher education. The conference concluded with a special presentation by Dr. Lamb and leaders of The Oxford Character Project on their innovative program to cultivate virtue among Oxford postgraduates. The sold-out conference attracted scholars, students and educators from the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany, Spain and Argentina. Read more here.