Form/Reform: Cultivating Christian Leaders

Duke Divinity School

October 15, 2012 to October 16, 2012


Audio and video recordings from the 2012 Convocation & Pastors' School are now available through iTunes U. See the recordings and photos from the event.

What do congregations need to do to form Christians for today…and tomorrow? And what formation and re-formation is needed for pastors and professors to equip the saints for the work of ministry? 

In a world where innovation is acclaimed and tradition is deemed suspect, where messages are abundant, but true wisdom is muted, Christian leadership is sorely needed. 

Join Fuller Theological Seminary president Richard J. Mouw, author Andy Crouch, theologian Sarah Coakley, and pastor Prince Raney Rivers as we explore the shaping of Christians for leadership in an increasingly diverse and evolving social landscape.

Learn more about Convocation & Pastors' School.



Richard J. Mouw, Ph.D.
President, Fuller Theological Seminary

Richard J. MouwRichard J. Mouw joined the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary in 1985 and has served as its president since 1993. Before that he was a professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. A philosopher with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, he is the author of 18 books, including Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport; Praying at Burger King, an expanded and revised edition of Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World;and most recently, Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction. Mouw is a columnist for; his articles, reviews, and essays have appeared in more than 50 journals and magazines.  He currently serves as president of the Association of Theological Schools. In 2007, Mouw was awarded the Kuyper Prize at Princeton Theological Seminary. This prize is awarded annually to a scholar who has made a major contribution to Reformed public theology.

See Mouw’s writings on Faith & Leadership.
Learn more about Fuller’s Seminary of the Future project.

Andy Crouch
Author and Special Assistant to the President at Christianity Today International

Andy Crouch is the author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, winner of Christianity Today’s 2009 Book Award for Christianity and Culture and named one of the best books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly, Relevant, Outreach and Leadership. In 2011 he became special assistant to the president at Christianity Today International, where he is also executive producer of This Is Our City, a multi-year project about Christians seeking the flourishing of their cities. Crouch serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and Equitas Group. He is also a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute. From 1998 to 2003, he was the editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly, a magazine for an emerging generation of culturally creative Christians. A classically trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz, and gospel, he has led musical worship for congregations of 5 to 20,000.

Visit Crouch’s Culture Making website.

Sarah Coakley
Norris-Hulse Professor in Divinity at the University of Cambridge

Sarah CoakleySarah Coakley is the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, and a Fellow of Murray-Edwards College, at the University of Cambridge. After serving as a lecturer at the University of Lancaster and Oriel College, Oxford, she transitioned to Harvard in 1993 and accepted the Mallinckrodt Professorship there in 1995.  She was appointed to her current chair at Cambridge in 2007.  A philosophical and systematic theologian, Coakley became increasingly involved in interdisciplinary work while at Harvard, and conducted collaborative research projects in medicine and religion (with Prof Arthur Kleinman), and in theology and evolutionary theory (with Prof Martin A. Nowak). The work with Nowak garnered a $2 million, three-year research grant from the Templeton Foundation, resulting in the jointly edited book:  Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation.  The author and editor of a number of publications, Coakley is currently at work on a four-volume systematic theology, the first volume of which will appear as God, Sexuality and the Self:  An Essay ‘On the Trinity.’

Read an interview with Sarah Coakley on Faith & Leadership.

Prince Raney Rivers
Senior Pastor, United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Rev. Prince Raney Rivers has been senior pastor of United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., since 2005, and served previously at congregations in North Carolina and Virginia. He has been a participant in the Pastor-Theologian Program at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, N.J., and serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke Divinity School and Winston-Salem State University. He has a B.A. in psychology from Morehouse College and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.

Read Rivers’ writings on Faith & Leadership.


All events will take place on the campus of Duke University. The following schedule is preliminary and will be refined in the months leading up to the event.

Monday, October 15

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Registration Bryan Center
11:00 a.m. Opening Session Page Auditorium
11:15 a.m. Richard J. Mouw
James A. Gray Lecture
Page Auditorium
12:30 p.m. Alumni Homecoming Luncheon
Lunch and gathering time 

Refectory Cafe and Bovender Terrace
Duke Divinity School

2:00 p.m. Richard J. Mouw
James A. Gray Lecture
Page Auditorium
3:00 p.m. Break
Refreshments provided
3:30 p.m. Seminars
Duke Divinity School
5:00 p.m.Break
5:30 p.m. Worship: A Service of the Word
Rev. Prince Raney Rivers, preaching
Duke Chapel
 6:30 p.m.

Baptist Alumni Network Fellowship Dinner
Separate registration required

York Room
Duke Divinity School

Tuesday, October 16

8:15 a.m. Morning Prayer Goodson Chapel
Duke Divinity School
9:00 a.m. Sarah Coakley
Franklin S. Hickman Lecture
Page Auditorium
10:30 a.m. Break
Refreshments provided
Duke Divinity School
11:00 a.m. Seminars Duke Divinity School
12:30 p.m. Lunch and gathering time


2:00 p.m. Andy Crouch
Page Auditorium
3:15 p.m. Break  
3:30 p.m. Worship: A Service of the Word and Table
Rev. Prince Raney Rivers, preaching
Duke Chapel

The seminars offered during Convocation & Pastors’ School are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy small-group learning with Duke faculty, guest leaders, and other attendees. Participants who attend the seminars and all lectures will receive one Continuing Education Unit (CEU).

You are invited to select ONE of the following 16 seminars to attend during Convocation & Pastors’ School.  Each seminar will be offered in a two-session format spanning both days of the event.  We have grouped the seminars into the following broad themes to help you identify the session that interests you most:

  • Calling and Forming Disciples
  • Faithful Leadership
  • The Body of Christ

Calling and Forming Disciples

Jeff Conklin-Miller
Shaping Youth for Mission: Formation for Holiness
Looking beyond traditional, programmatic methods of youth ministry – fellowship group, Sunday school, camps and mission trips – this seminar asks: Do such events mediate authentic Christian formation?  Specifically, can we fuse the ordinary and the extraordinary in ways that shape something we might call “holiness”?  In this seminar, drawing from the Wesleyan tradition, we will engage in theological and practical reflection on the practices of formation and mission with youth in the congregation and examine the crucial role that theological education can play in that process.  Jeff Conklin-Miller is director of youth ministry initiatives at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Craig Hill and Bishop (Retired) William Willimon
Forming Christian Leaders for the 21st Century Church: The D.Min. Degree
What does rigorous and imaginative reflection on the practice of ministry look like post-M.Div.?  This seminar will focus on the cohort model of the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree at Duke Divinity School.  Drawing on the experiences of current D.Min. students and professors in the program, including William Willimon and program director Craig Hill, we will explore the D.Min. degree and how it is lived out at Duke Divinity School.  Craig Hill is research professor of theological pedagogy and executive director of D.Min. and M.A.C.P. programs at Duke Divinity School.  William Willimon is professor of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School.

Lydia Hoyle and Andrea Dellinger Jones
Creating a Culture of Call
How can we work intentionally and creatively to attract a new generation of ministers?  We will use current research and resources, together with group insights, to explore ways we can help others be more attentive to vocational calling toward ministry.  We will survey tools for identifying qualities desirable for those in ministry and discuss multiple forms of ministerial vocation that employ these qualities.  We will also consider how vocations can be nurtured.  Participants will have the opportunity to develop a personal plan of action to employ in their ministry setting.  Lydia Hoyle is associate professor of church history and Baptist heritage at Campbell University Divinity School. Andrea Dellinger Jones is pastor of Millbrook Baptist Church and adjunct professor at Duke Divinity School.

Jeremy Troxler
Apprenticed to Christ:  The Craft of Disciple-Making in the Local Church
The Great Commission-inspired phrase “make disciples for Jesus Christ” is frequently (and sometimes mindlessly) repeated as the Church’s mission statement.  But what, exactly, is a disciple of Jesus?  How, exactly, are disciples of Jesus made (formed) through the local church?  In this seminar we will draw upon the resources of Scripture, the works of writers such as John Wesley, John Ortberg, Stanley Hauerwas, and Tex Sample, as well as diverse disciplines ranging from farming to baseball to address these questions.  Jeremy Troxler D’02 is director of the Thriving Rural Communities initiative at Duke Divinity School.

Allen Verhey
The Christian Church as a Community of Moral Discourse and Formation
The Christian Church is a community of moral discourse, deliberation, and discernment by being a community of memory.  Memory is constitutive for identity and determinative for discernment.   In such a community, Christian leaders are cultivated, formed, and reformed.  For example, discourse concerning death and dying that remembers Jesus can and should form and reform a Christian imagination concerning death, Christian practices within congregational life, and Christian leaders in health care.  Allen Verhey is professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School. 

Faithful Leadership

Luke Bretherton
Keeping the 'Faith' when Providing Faith-Based Social Services
What is the broader context and policy environment for cooperation between government and faith-based organizations that undertake welfare service programs?  And what are the theological and political implications of undertaking such cooperation? This seminar will explore different models of Christian social service provision, the policy and political context of such work, and ways of framing it in terms of Christian mission and ministry. Luke Bretherton is associate professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School.

Christi O. Brown
Navigating the Wilderness: Managing Organizational Transitions Effectively
Based on the work of William Bridges, this seminar provides a biblical foundation and framework for managing transition or change.  Comparing times of transition to the Israelites’ experience in the wilderness, this seminar is designed to help leaders navigate through loss, new terrain, challenges and opportunities that occur during periods of major change.  You will learn the phases of transition, orient your organization and yourself within these phases, assess your current needs, and work on a plan to move forward. Christi O. Brown is an ordained PC (USA) minister, teacher, and workshop leader, and a former managing director at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Bishop (Retired) Ken Carder and Laceye Warner
Grace to Lead with Vision and Passion
Christian leadership emerges from, is empowered by, and moves toward growth in grace. This seminar will focus on the meaning and experience of grace as the source of leadership and the relationship of grace to the qualities and skills needed to lead faith communities. Ken Carder is Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams professor of the practice of ministry at Duke Divinity School.  Laceye Warner is executive vice dean, associate professor of the practice of evangelism and Methodist studies, and Royce and Jane Reynolds teaching fellow at Duke Divinity School.

Stephen Chapman
Really Bad Leaders in the Bible
What can we learn about leadership from instances when it fails? The Bible provides cautionary tales as well as inspiring examples. Bad leaders are rigid, hierarchical and obsessed with power (think Pharaoh!); good leadership results from piety, consultation, delegation and, above all, the knack of getting reality right. Stephen Chapman is associate professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School.

W. Stephen Gunter
Leadership in a Scripturally Imagined Church
The church lives in a media and market-centered environment that insists on only counting results in terms of what can be measured on spreadsheets and statistical dashboards. Without deeming this focus on increases in membership, converts and finances as being ‘unspiritual’ and ‘anti-theological’, we will explore how the Christian Scriptures define for us the essential nature of the Church.  What has the Church been in the past, and what must it continue to be in order to constitute a central place for God’s work in the world?  Stephen Gunter is associate dean for Methodist studies and research professor of evangelism and Wesleyan studies at Duke Divinity School.

The Body of Christ

Curtis Freeman
So You’re Thinking About Planting a Church?
Are you are considering planting a church? Join a conversation with the Triangle Net church planters about what they have learned. They will share their stories, talk about how and why their communities began, and engage in theological reflection about the nature and mission of the church.  Guests will include:  Tim Conder and Dan Rhodes D’03 (Emmaus Way, Durham), Greg Moore D’03 (All Saints’ UMC, Brier Creek), Franklin Golden D’07 and Amanda Diekman  D’10 (Durham Presbyterian Church, Durham), George Linney D’06 (Tobacco Trail Church, Durham), Chris Breslin D’11 (Gathering Church, Durham/Chapel Hill)  Curtis W. Freeman is research professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School.

Ned Hill and Justin Morgan
Contemporary Worship and Beyond
The contemporary worship movement has dramatically impacted the Church over the last 30 years.  Hear how one congregation arrived at a place where neckties and stained glass coexist with “Jeans and Krispy Kremes.”  Our discussion will focus on the gifts and limitations of contemporary worship, with consideration given to its faithfulness and future forms.  Senior pastor Ned Hill and director of youth ministries Justin Morgan D’ 10 serve at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh.  

Willie James Jennings
An Intimate Church
Many denominations are struggling to think through issues of sexuality in relation to church life. This seminar will take a wider view beyond sexual intimacy to examine the idea of intimacy in church life itself. We will explore the nature of the intimacy that is constituted by our life together in Christ, asking ourselves such questions as: What does it mean to live into the reality of an intimate church? What do we share together, and what are we called to share together? Drawing on the thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together, as well as the fiction of Toni Morrison and several poets, we will consider what it means to be bodies-in-community and in a community called Christ’s body.  Willie Jennings is associate professor of theology and black church studies at Duke Divinity School.

Ed Moore
Downwind of the Tree of Life: Sowing the Sacred Story
Those who teach worship, liturgy and preaching have been warning seminarians for years that folk younger than Baby Boomers are unlikely to know the stories that once formed the center of the church’s catechism: Noah and the Ark, the courage of Esther, the Passion Narrative, even the resurrection. Christian formation depends upon sowing sacred story, not so it may be wistfully recalled, but so it may frame the field of vision through which the soul contemplates the world.  This seminar will suggest ways in which the sacred story may be sown deeply, so that it resources disciples on their own journeys, and as they witness to others.  Ed Moore is educational programs director of the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School.

Enuma Okoro
Making Our Lives Hospitable to the Holy
How can we pattern our days in ways that speak to what we find embedded in the liturgy and that speak to our faith? Centering and focus. Worship. Praise. Confession. Attending to the Word of God. Extending peace. Re-membering ourselves into the body of Christ. Living not just on bread alone but sustaining ourselves on the body of Christ. In this seminar, we will focus on practical ways to live liturgical lives that extend beyond Sunday, bearing in the mind the ecclesial calendar and the seasons of our lives. Enuma Okoro D’03 is an author, speaker and spiritual director, and a former director of Duke Divinity School’s Center for Theological Writing.

Katherine Owen
Art as a Means of Contemplative Prayer
People who are well grounded and well connected to God make good disciples and good leaders – and good pastors. In the midst of a hectic world full of angst, fear and competition, contemplative prayer creates a space for us to rest in God’s love, find our grounding, and reconnect with God and all of creation. In this seminar we will use various art forms to guide us in contemplative prayer (no art skills needed: it’s about the process, not the product!) and help us to find that grounding and connection. Katherine Owen D’87 is a skilled potter and workshop leader from Easley, S.C.

Alumni Homecoming Luncheon

Join us Monday, Oct. 15, for the Alumni Homecoming Luncheon: Bluegrass & Barbecue — a wonderful opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with classmates and faculty. This year, we’re planning a fun, relaxed, and casual barbecue at the Divinity School's Refectory Cafe and Bovender Terrace. The event is open to all Convocation participants and their guests.

The menu will feature North Carolina pulled pork, with enough sides (macaroni and cheese, salad, baked beans, hush puppies, coleslaw) to satisfy vegetarian appetites.  Come enjoy music, food and fellowship — complete with the announcement of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

The cost is $12.50 per person.

Baptist Alumni Network Fellowship Dinner

On Monday, Oct. 15, the Duke Divinity School Board of Directors and the Baptist Alumni Network will host a fellowship dinner in the York Room at the Divinity School for alumni and friends of the Baptist House of Studies. There will be no structured program for the evening, though we do hope to offer ways to find and share common interests among attendees.

The event will be catered by Maggiano’s Little Italy, and your spouse or guest is welcome. We are asking for a $10 donation, or $18 per couple. Appetizers and beverages will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Reservations for this event should be made separately from your registration for Convocation & Pastors’ School and are due by Sept. 15.  To register, email Callie Davis with the names of those attending and degree and year of graduation. Checks should be made payable to “Baptist House of Studies” with a memo of “Convocation & Pastors’ School Gathering” and mailed to The Baptist House at Duke Divinity, 2 Chapel Dr., Box 90966, Durham, NC 27708.


Lodging reservations should be made directly with Durham motels or hotels. The hotels listed below offer special rates to Convocation & Pastors’ School participants. These rates are for single or double occupancy and offered on a space-available basis. Rates cannot be guaranteed after the cutoff date listed. In order to receive these special rates, be sure to refer to “Duke Divinity School – Convocation & Pastors’ School” when you call to reserve your room.

Comfort Inn Medical Park: $62.00 nightly rate, plus applicable taxes. Call (919) 471-6100 by Sept. 24.

Hilton Durham near Duke University: $99/single nightly rate, plus applicable taxes. Call (919) 564-2904 by Sept. 21.

Millennium Hotel Durham: $99/single or $109/double nightly rate, plus applicable taxes. Call (800) 633-5379 or 919-383-8575 by Sept. 24.

An additional list of properties is provided for your information:

Additional hotel information may be found at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.


Online registration for Convocation & Pastors’ School has closed; however, we will accept onsite registrations during the event on a first-come, first-served basis. You must register in order to attend lectures and seminars. 

Registration will be available:

Monday, Oct. 15

  •     8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Bryan Center
  •     1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Upper Level Lobby of the Divinity School’s Westbrook Building

Tuesday, Oct. 16

  •     8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Upper Level Lobby of the Divinity School’s Westbrook Building


Cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa/Mastercard) will be accepted on-site; payment via credit card is preferred.

  Early Bird Rate
Available through Sept. 9
Standard Rate
Regular registration $99 $119
Reduced rates available for:
  • Pastors of churches eligible for grants from The Duke Endowment; Am I eligible?
  • Current Duke Divinity School students
  • 2012 Duke Divinity School graduates
$55 $70
Faculty/staff registration
$0 $0



The cost of this event is kept minimal due to the generous support of the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church, as well as The Duke Endowment and the Parish Ministry Fund, which provide financial assistance to clergy in support of their ongoing education.


Duke University is committed to providing access to programs for persons with disabilities. If you anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact (919) 613-5323 in advance of the program.


Contact Leadership Education at Duke Divinity at or (919) 613-5323.