Founder and President

Imago Dei Leadership Forum is led by Founder and President, John A. Murray.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University (BA, 1990) and Dartmouth College (MALS, 1995), John is a leader in academia with over two decades of independent school experience in teaching and administration–including 17 years as a Head of School.

While at Dartmouth, he wrote his master’s thesis as a documentary script on the history of American higher education from 1636 to 1933.  Entitled The Cross in the Ivy, his work explored the Christian history of the Eastern and Ivy league colleges and how they became secularized.   He has given numerous lectures on this subject, including the prestigious Dartmouth Senior Symposium.

He is also a thought-leader in regard to equipping children and parents to impact modern culture and has extensive experience in impacting the broader public through film-making, writing and speaking. His award-winning documentary, Think About It: Understanding the Impact of TV-Movie Violence was nationally distributed by Active Parenting from 2000-2010.

His current project is entitled In Whose Image?  Image-bearers of God vs. The Image-makers of Our Time.  Developed for Imago Dei Leadership Forum, this digital textbook will prepare teens to understand what it means to be an image-bearer of God, while equipping them to recognize and avoid being re-created by the image-makers of our time in the areas of education, media, and the Christian faith.

His award-winning articles addressing education, history, politics, media and youth culture have appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA TodayThe Washington Examiner, The St. Louis Post-DispatchDes Moines Register, The News and Observer (Raleigh), The Atlanta Constitution, Citizen Magazine, Leader Magazine, Teachers in Focus, Movieguide, and Fox News.com to name a few.  He received two national writing awards from The Amy Foundation in 2010 and 2012.

He has also appeared on several media outlets including CNBC, MSNBC, USA Today, Breakpoint, World Magazine’s “The World and Everything in It,” CNN Radio, Moody Radio, and Pilgrim Radio.

He has served as a guest lecturer and panelist for such groups as the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability (CESA), The Hudson Institute, The Wheelock Conference (Dartmouth College), Ravi Zacharias’ International Ministries, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, the Georgia Independent School Association, the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, the Southeast Symposium on Community Violence, and a number of other public and private school assemblies and church youth groups and retreats.

A Colson Center Fellow, he has also served on the Newseum’s Educator Advisory Task Force in Washington, D.C., led the Christian School Association of St. Louis (CSASL), and served on the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS-DC) Accreditation Committee.

While taking a sabbatical year in 2018-19, he currently serves as the Writer-In-Residence for the Council on Educational Standards & Accountability (CESA).

He and his wife Barbara have four children–Andrew, Mary Stuart, Kingsley, and Sara Cate.