Charles B. Jones was born in North Carolina in 1957, but grew up in a military family that moved frequently both within the U.S. and abroad. He graduated from Morehead State University (Kentucky) in 1980 with a degree in music, and went on to earn the Master of Theological Studies cum laude from the Divinity School of Duke University in 1988 and the Ph.D. in History of Religions from the University of Virginia in 1996.
Since joining the faculty of the STRS in the fall of that year, he has pursued research in the history of Chinese Buddhism and the Christian practice of interreligious dialogue. He has also taught courses for Virginia Theological Seminary and the Smithsonian Associates, and recorded a set of lectures on theories in religious studies for The Teaching Company. He has consulted with the U.S. Department of State, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan during the 2004-05 academic year.