Monday, October 10, 2016 - 8:00am to Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 4:30pm
Duke Divinity School
Events Management
(919) 613-5323

Who Needs Theology?: Inside and Outside the Church
Duke Divinity School
October 10-11, 2016

What difference does theology make for the church, the university, and the larger society? How can critical theological thinking make a practical difference in our local communities? What if we don’t share common beliefs? Leaders in science, medicine, business, and the church will help us to consider these questions and others as we explore theology as a shaping force in our daily lives.

Featured presenters:

  • Elaine Heath, dean-elect of Duke Divinity School
  • Norman Wirzba, professor, Duke Divinity School
  • Brian Combs, pastor, Haywood Street Congregation, Asheville, NC
  • Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., resident bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • Ellen Davis, interim dean of Duke Divinity School


  • Valerie Ashby, dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke University
  • Peter Gerend, regional managing director for North America, Duke Corporate Education
  • Eugene Washington, M.D., chancellor, Duke University health affairs and president/CEO, Duke University Health System
  • Local pastors

The annual Convocation & Pastors’ School is an intensive two-day conference that offers lectures, worship, and seminars for Christian leaders of all traditions. Led by scholars and practitioners from Duke and beyond, this event is a cooperative endeavor with the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church. The Convocation also includes alumni gatherings.

Registration will begin in early May.

Connect with us: #dukeconvo

Past Events

Audio recordings of the lectures and worship services held during previous sessions of Convocation & Pastors’ School are available for download through iTunes U.

2015: Body and Belonging
Featuring John Swinton, Claire Wimbush, Deb Richardson-Moore, and William Lee

2014: Life After Christendom: Resident Aliens 25 Years Later
Featuring Stanley Hauerwas, Will Willimon, James Davison Hunter, and Hope Morgan Ward
Due to technical difficulties, recordings of this event are not available.

2013: Renewing the Church
Featuring James K.A. Smith, Jorge Acevedo, Laceye Warner, and Jeremy Troxler

2012: Form/Reform: Cultivating Christian Leaders
Featuring Richard J. Mouw, Andy Crouch, Sarah Coakley, and Prince Raney Rivers

2011: Drawn into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church
Featuring Jeremy Begbie, Marilynne Robinson, Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble, and Lillian Daniel

2010: The Living Witness: Tradition, Innovation, and the Church
Featuring N.T. Wright, Rob Bell, Andy Crouch, and Vashti McKenzie

2009: The Next Generation
Featuring Os Guinness and Philip Jenkins

2008: For Such a Time as This
Featuring L. Gregory Jones, Janice Riggle Huie, Ron Heifetz, Al Gwinn, Greg Palmer, Larry Goodpaster, and Adam Hamilton

2007: Our Daily Bread
Featuring Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Stanley Hauerwas, Ellen Davis, Janice Virtue, Norman Wirzba, L. Gregory Jones, and Carol Bechtel