Monty Burks


Monty Burks serves as the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, where his role is 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 oversees the Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project, a state program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with people who suffer from addiction and 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 Tennessee Collegiate Recovery Initiatives which aim to train Recovery Allies on every campus in his state.

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 22 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 earned national recognition as the “Outstanding Professional of the Year” from the Southern Criminal Justice Association for helping the justice involved break down employment barriers.

In his spare time, Dr. Burks a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and former MMA State Champion, teaches at Nashville Mixed Martial Arts Academy.