Monty Burks

Dr. Burks currently serves as Deputy Director of The Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives for the State of Tennessee, where he works on strategic projects to support faith and community engagement.  In his former role he served as the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where his role was engaging and connecting Tennessee’s faith communities to the behavioral health care system, with the goal of expanding addiction and mental health support services across the state. He also oversaw the Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project, a state program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with people who suffer from addiction, the Tennessee Faith Based Community Coordinators, who seek to help congregations build their capacity to combat addiction and mental health issues in their respective community and the Collegiate Recovery Initiatives which aim to train colleges, universities, and other higher education on how to become recovery allies.

Dr. Burks earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Middle Tennessee State University, his Doctorate in theology from Heritage, and wears the honorable badge of Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Burks has more than 21 years’ experience working with the criminal justice system in various roles, including adjunct criminal justice professor at Motlow State Community College, Criminal Justice Student Research Analyst at Middle Tennessee State University, and Criminal Justice Program coordinator and adjunct professor at Tennessee State University. Previously, Dr. Burks served as a program coordinator, job placement specialist, and cognitive skills instructor with Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry, earning national recognition as the “Outstanding Professional of the Year” from the Southern Criminal Justice Association for helping ex-offenders break down employment barriers.

Dr. Burks belongs to several professional organizations, including: Tennessee Supreme Court: Access to Justice Commission; Rx and Illicit Drug Summit Advisory Board; Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Advisory Board; and Tennessee State University (TSU) Criminal Justice Advisory Board.