We are a social impact consulting firm that seeks to support institutional leaders in the work of reimagining the common good, reinvigorating cultural institutions, and renewing civic life.

Our Perspective

A New Moment | We believe that we live together in a time of world-historic cultural change, marked by fundamental disagreements over the nature of human identity, the meaning of the common good, and the possibilities of civic life.  

A New Paradigm | We believe that in response to these complex changes many institutional leaders are seeking a new paradigm for the common good; a paradigm in which we, rather than denying our differences or seeking to dominate those around us, seek creatively to serve one another and the cities we share.

A New City Commons | We believe that the work of caring for our neighbors will require us to understand the complexity of our time, re-imagine the nature of civic life, and re-dedicate ourselves to nurturing strong civic institutions—economic, educational, political, artistic, and religious—for the sake of the common good.

Our Process

We believe that cultural wisdom develops most effectively at the intersection of knowledge and relationships.

Knowledge | Over the last twenty years, we have labored with some of the world’s best scholars to develop a deep knowledge of culture and cultural change. Our research and educational projects compile, translate, and distribute this knowledge to help institutional leaders more faithfully pursue the common good within their vocations.

Relationships | Today, we labor with men and women around the world by bringing knowledge and relationships together to form a generation of faithful, wise, imaginative, and culturally aware leaders. Our consulting and gathering projects focus on educating and encouraging existing networks of institutional leaders across a variety of vocational sectors. Our goal is that over time, these networks will become true communities, working together to address common concerns by developing common language and imagining a common future—a new city commons.

  • Greg Thompson

    Greg Thompson

    Executive Director

    Greg Thompson became Executive Director of New City Commons in 2014. His primary responsibilities in this role are providing strategic and conceptual leadership to our team, writing and speaking, and representing New City Commons to our partners. Greg holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia's Department of Religious Studies. In addition to this work with New City Commons, Greg serves as Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.  He and his wife have four children. Contact Greg.

    Emily Gum

    Emily Gum

    Managing Director

    Emily is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, where her research centers around questions of character formation at the intersection of significant formative institutions, particularly the church, the family, and schools. She also holds an MPhil from Oxford in Christian Ethics and an MA Joint Honours in International Relations and Theological Studies from the University of St. Andrews. Emily lives in Charlottesville with her husband. Contact Emily.

    Philip Lorish

    Philip Lorish

    Director, Vocation and the Common Good

    Philip received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.  His research interests include the role of religious institutions in American public life, emerging trends in technology and medicine, and the future of work.  Philip holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Furman University, an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, and an M.Phil in Theology from Oxford.  He lives in Charlottesville with his wife and their three children. Contact Philip.

    Sam Speers

    Sam Speers

    Contributing Editor, Culture Briefing; Executive Assistant

    Sam is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied Religious Studies and Economics. He is the coauthor of the book Kingdom Politics (Cascade 2015), a study of the role of political language and activity in American churches. Sam completed the Trinity Fellows Program in 2015, and lives in Charlottesville. Contact Sam.

    Clay Cooke

    Clay Cooke

    Content Manager and Research Fellow

    Clay received his Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Theology from the Free University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the intersection of theology and culture, especially as it relates to the challenges of Christian discipleship in the late modern world. Clay holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from North Carolina State University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife and their two children. Contact Clay.


We are not currently hiring, but resumes to be a kept on file may be submitted here.

Thank you for your interest in New City Commons.

117 4th St NE
Charlottesville, VA 22902

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