Press Release

Rev. Leah Gunning Francis joins IU Health as senior VP and chief mission & values officer

January 05, 2023

Rev. Leah Gunning Francis, Ph.D
Rev. Leah Gunning Francis, Ph.D

INDIANAPOLIS – Rev. Leah Gunning Francis, Ph.D., has joined Indiana University Health as senior vice president and chief mission and values officer. She will provide direction to ensure engagement in ethical practice, quality spiritual and pastoral care, and effective philanthropy within the organization and the communities where IU Health is active. The chief mission and values officer oversees the departments of chaplaincy, spiritual care and congregational partnerships, clinical and organizational ethics and system archives, along with the IU Health Foundation, the Dan F. Evans Center for Spiritual and Religious Values in Healthcare and the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics. She also will lead the IU Health board committee on values, ethics and social responsibility.

Rev. Gunning Francis joins IU Health from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, where she was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty since 2016. Before that, she served on the faculty at Eden Seminary in St. Louis. She also has served in pastoral positions for congregations in Georgia, Illinois and Ohio. She earned a doctorate of philosophy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.; a master of divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a bachelor’s in marketing from Hampton University. In 2021, Rev. Gunning Francis was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of divinity by Franklin College.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Rev. Gunning Francis to the IU Health leadership team,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “She is an author, lecturer and preacher with extensive work in the pursuit of racial justice. Her depth of experience in theology and social issues, as well as her compelling style of educating others, promise to be true assets to IU Health as we continue to shape our culture.”

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