About Tom Nees


I spend my time observing and supporting individuals and organizations that are developing leaders for a more compassionate and just world.

My wife Pat is an artist. We live in Arnold, Maryland on the Severn River across from Annapolis.   We have four adult children and eight grandchildren.   My avocation is sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, the BVI and other places when I can.

I am a blogger, writer and speaker on trends, books and current events addressing leadership, justice and compassion.

In recent years I have begun mentoring and coaching, primarily with clergy leaders and more recently with junior military officers as a senior fellow with the Severn Leadership Group. (severnleadership.net)

 My interest in leadership, compassion and justice evolved through 35 years of pastoral ministry, including 20 years as the founding director of the Community of Hope in Washington, D.C. – a faith-based neighborhood development agency with programs addressing a wide range of needs in the inner city, including homelessness, health care, after-school education, job training, legal aid and cultural awareness.

I then spent 15 years in administrative work, engaged in leadership development and providing resources to start and sustain faith-based neighborhood poverty programs.

 In 2008 I started Leading To Serve, Inc., as a personal initiative to communicate ideas about servant leadership and to provide information about for mentoring and coaching.  A newly organized Leading To Serve is being repurposed by a group of leaders   participating in discussions about justice and compassion and developing transformative leaders.


Boards and Committees

Severn Leadership Group
Center for Pastoral Leadership
Community of Hope advisory committee


Northwest Nazarene University, BA (1959)
Nazarene Theological Seminary, MDiv (1962)
Wesley Theological Seminary, DMin (1976).


The Holiness Social Ethic (1975 unpublished DMin thesis)
Renew The Ruined Cities, with Franklin Cook (1982)
Compassion Evangelism (1995)
The Changing Face of the Church (1996)
One Year Later: Remembering 9/11 (2002)
Dirty Hands—Pure Hearts (2006)
Best Practices of Growing Churches (2007)
Contagious Compassion: The Life and Ministry of Tom Nees, by Neil B. Wiseman (2010)


PHI DELTA LAMBDA – Honor Society, Nazarene Colleges
1981 – Alumnus of the Year – Northwest Nazarene University
1984 – Distinguished Service Award, Christian Holiness Association
1985 – Program Service Award, Washington, D.C., Dept. of Human Services
1988 – Recognition Resolution, Council of the District of Columbia
1990 – Nonprofit Achievement Award – The National Alliance to End Homelessness
1990 – Citation for Homeless Assistance – HUD’s 25th Anniversary
1992 – Doctor of Divinity, Northwest Nazarene College
2008 – The Tom Nees Social Justice lectures and annual essay award at Nazarene                       Theological Seminary
2012 – ‘Food and Faith’ presenter at the U.S. Naval Academy


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