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Events & News

Duke Youth Academy

The Duke Youth Academy, part of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, is an intensive encounter with Christian life. Days are patterned by worship through word and sacrament, reflection on Scripture, study, service, and play—practices ancient and modern that nourish the life of faith.

Each summer, Duke Divinity School invites four to six youth workers to join its fellowship program to learn the academy’s model of youth ministry. Fellows will have opportunities to learn from internationally acclaimed Divinity School faculty, to reflect together on the implications of DYA practices for their own youth ministry, and to continue discerning their own calling to ministry with youth.

Apply as a student or a ministry worker.

Denominational Leadership: serving God and the church as District Superintendent

This four-day educational event has been designed specifically for those who have been serving as United Methodist district superintendents for one to three years. It provides these church leaders with the opportunity to reflect on their own practice of leadership while equipping them to face the challenges and opportunities of institutional leadership today.

The event will be held Oct. 29–Nov. 1, 2012, at the Avila Retreat Center in Durham, N.C. For more information, contact the Leadership Education office at using the subject line “Denominational Leadership.”

Institute of Preaching

The Institute of Preaching is a 10-month program of three retreats designed to help clergy from the Florida and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church improve their preaching. Unlike other programs that focus only on style or techniques, the Institute of Preaching takes a comprehensive approach to preaching. Pastors examine not only their sermon content and delivery but also the contexts in which they preach and the integrity of their life and work.

During each retreat, participants hear from recognized authorities on preaching—both practitioners and Duke faculty—and also work with other participants in small peer groups discussing their ministries and reviewing each other’s sermons. Between retreats, participants are encouraged to work with a small group from their own congregation to receive critical and constructive sermon feedback.

The Institute of Preaching is a partnership of the Florida Institute of Preaching Committee and Duke Divinity School. It is sponsored by the Florida Conference and the Parish Ministry Fund of the Western North Carolina Conference. All full-time elders and local pastors serving in either conference are eligible to apply. More information »

Thriving Rural Communities

The 2012 Convocation on the Rural Church was held Aug. 13–15, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It had the theme “Tradition LIVES,” and it brought together leaders from rural North Carolina churches, Duke Divinity School, The Duke Endowment, and the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. The  event featured worship, plenary sessions, workshops, and conversation about the state of the rural church and how it can engage in even more vibrant ministry and mission.

Faith & Leadership awards

Faith & Leadership , the online magazine of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, won three awards in the 2011 “Best of the Christian Press” competition sponsored by the Associated Church Press. They were presented at the ACP convention in Chicago on May 2, 2012. The ACP, founded in 1916, is the oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America.

For Faith & Leadership ’s Award of Excellence for best independent website or e-zine, the judge cited the “outstanding” Call & Response blog and said that Faith & Leadership successfully fulfills its mission to “offer insight and guidance on Christian leadership.” Awards of Merit were given to both Duke Divinity associate professor C. Kavin Rowe for his article “Incorporating disagreement is a mark of a thriving community” and the Call & Response blog. To read Faith & Leadership or sign up for an e-newsletter, visit

Clergy Retreat

The Clergy Retreat is an annual opportunity to celebrate the connection of elders in the Western North Carolina Conference. In odd-numbered years, this event is a “day apart,” featuring lectures and worship. In even-numbered years, it expands to a multi-day retreat. Bishop Larry Goodpaster and the conference Board of Ordained Ministry hope that through this time together clergy will remember their call, share in fellowship with each other, and be inspired.

The 2012 Clergy Retreat will be held Oct. 29–31, 2012, at Lake Junalaska, N.C. The theme is “Soul Quest: Key Questions of the Spiritual Life.” More information »  

Denominational Leadership: Serving God and the Church as an Executive Leader

This four-day educational event is designed for