Monday, June 5, 2017 - 3:00pm to Friday, June 9, 2017 - 9:00pm
Duke Divinity School
Valerie Helbert
(919) 660-3594

Come expand your theological imagination, grapple with practical problems, and be equipped to continue a journey of reconciliation within a wider community.

Our focus on reconciliation is grounded in a distinctively Christian vision and a framework that is richly practical, contextual, and theological. Rooted in Duke Divinity School’s conviction that reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, the Summer Institute for Reconciliation draws on the strengths of a faculty of world-class scholars and practitioners. The institute is nurtured by the deepening formation, teaching, and content of a biblical vision of reconciliation that inspires and ferments a movement of transformed communities and relationships. This formation of communities is nurtured by each other’s witness that Christ is strengthening us to the end, affirming us so that we do not “lack any spiritual gift” in our life together (1 Corinthians 1: 4-9).

Institute Overview

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation blends plenary talks given by preeminent scholars and practitioners in the fields of theology and reconciliation, small group seminars led by world-class educators and practitioners, and ecumenical Christian worship to create a rich, vibrant week focused on growing together as scholars and practitioners of reconciliation. Plenary speakers, seminar teachers and worship leaders use scriptural interpretation, theology, and story-telling to weave a rich tapestry of reflection that is theological, contextual and practical.

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation is intended for:

  • Pastors with a desire for their congregations to become communities that live out alternatives to the destructive conflicts and social divisions that fragment our world
  • Christians who are committed to the ongoing training and equipping of others, calling forth the gifts of the community to inspire, form, and support people to become ambassadors of God’s movement of hope; that foster a life together that is a witness to now being “the acceptable time,” now being the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
  • Grass-roots ministers and Christians living and working among people who suffer or are marginalized
  • College, university, and seminary faculty and administrators training young Christians to live in the way of the Kingdom
  • Denominational and organizational leaders seeking to guide their organizations into new practices and structures that enable the flourishing of communities living out God’s vision of peace and justice
  • Every follower of Jesus Christ seeking to become an ambassador of God’s healing and wholeness


Morning & Evening Prayer
Participants begin and end each day with vibrant Christian worship, held in Duke Divinity School’s beautiful Goodson Chapel.

Morning Common Journey
All participants gather to learn from and dialogue with plenary speakers about a theological vision and practice of reconciliation. 

In-Depth Seminars
Participants select one seminar for the entire week, going in-depth with one or two faculty members and a small group of peers in a format of rich teaching and interaction.

Other Activities
Shared meals, one-on-one conversations with faculty, some evenings with community-building events, a fun evening in downtown Durham, and access to the many gifts of Duke University’s campus.

Faculty & Speakers

Abdullah AntepliAbdullah Antepli

Abdullah Antepli completed his basic training and education in his native Turkey. From 1996-2003 he worked on a variety of faith-based humanitarian and relief projects in Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia with the Association of Social and Economic Solidarity with Pacific Countries. He is the founder and executive board member of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains (ACMC) and a board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). From 2003 to 2005 he served as the first Muslim chaplain at Wesleyan University. He then moved to Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, where he was the associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program & Interfaith Relations, as well as an adjunct faculty member.

He previously served as Duke University first Muslim chaplain from July 2008 to 2014. In his current work at Duke, Antepli engages students, faculty, and staff across and beyond campus through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide a Muslim voice and perspective to the discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice, and more. He also serves as a faculty member in the Duke Divinity School, teaching a variety of courses on Islam and Muslim cultures.

Antepli will be co-teaching the Religious Peacemaking for Christian and Muslim Leaders seminar with Ellen Davis.

Vince BantuVince Bantu

Vince Bantu is professor of missiology at Covenant Theological Seminary in Creve Coeur, Mo. He also serves as teaching pastor at Jubilee Community Church in the North Side of St. Louis, Mo., and as an adjunct professor of urban ministry at North Park Theological Seminary and church history at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Bantu's academic interests include missiology, Near Eastern Christianity, community development, church history, and racial reconciliation. He earned a B.A. in theology from Wheaton College, an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education, a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary in church history, and a Ph.D. in Semitic and Egyptian Languages from The Catholic University of America.  He is an active member of the International Congress for Coptic Studies, the North American Patristics Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the St. Shenouda Society for Coptic Studies and the Christian Community Development Association. His current book project—No Further Burden: Exploring the Multiethnic Roots of Christianity (InterVarsity Press)—will engage the origins of Western captivity and explore the diverse spectrum of early Christianity.

Bantu will be teaching the Cultural Appropriation and Christian Origins seminar.

Christopher CarterChristopher Carter

Christopher Carter is assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. His teaching and research focuses on theological ethics, black and womanist theology, environmental ethics, and animals and religion. He is currently completing a book tentatively titled "The Spirit of Soul Food: Faith, Food Justice, and Liberation" which explores the relationship between religion, food, and cultural identity among African American Christians. The central argument of the text is that African American Christians ought to view food justice as an essential element of liberatory Christian practice. He has been a United Methodist pastor for eight years and most recently served as the senior pastor of First UMC of Compton. Currently he is completing the ordination process and hopes to be commissioned as a probationary elder in the Cal-Pac annual conference.

Carter will be co-teaching the Incarnating a CreatureKind Church seminar with Christine Gutleben and Sarah Withrow King.

Ellen DavisEllen Davis
Ellen F. Davis is Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School.

The author of ten books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the environmental crisis and interfaith relations. Her recent book, Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship and Ministry (Westminster John Knox, 2014), explores the prophetic role and word across both Testaments of the Christian Bible. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge University Press, 2009), integrates biblical studies with a critique of industrial agriculture and food production. Preaching the Luminous Word, a collection of her sermons and essays, will be published in 2016.

A lay Episcopalian, she is active as a theological consultant within the Anglican Communion and since 2004 has worked with the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan to develop theological education, community health, and sustainable agriculture.

Ellen will be co-teaching the Religious Peacemaking for Christian and Muslim Leaders seminar with Abdullah Antepli.

Christine GutlebenChristine Gutleben 

Christine Gutleben is senior director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Faith Outreach program.  Since joining The HSUS in 2007, Gutleben has drawn together and worked with hundreds of religious leaders and individuals around the cause of animal protection, facilitating gatherings for religious leaders at HSUS headquarters and across the country to form partnerships that address the widespread abuses of animals.  She created The HSUS Faith Advisory Council, The HSUS Dharmic Leadership Council, The HSUS Millennial Faith Leaders Council, and co-produced the film, Eating Mercifully, which examines Christian perspectives on factory farming.  Gutleben received her master's degree from the Graduate Theological Union and its affiliate, The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, in Berkeley, Calif., where she studied theology and the interplay between food and faith. 

Gutleben will be co-teaching the Incarnating a CreatureKind Church seminar with Christopher Carter and Sarah Withrow King.

David Anderson Hooker
David Anderson Hooker is professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Hooker is a mediator and peace builder with more than 30 years of experience in the field with specialties in managing complex, multi-party, and public policy conflicts, post-violence community building, and transforming historical harms. He is the former senior program associate for the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (NIDR) in Washington, D.C.  He is a Ph.D. graduate of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, a graduate of Emory University’s School of Law (J.D.) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M.Div.). Hooker’s work has taken him to Bosnia, Croatia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Southern Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, and Cuba. He formerly served as faculty for the Institute for Church Administration and Management (ICAM) at the Interdenominational Theological Center (The ITC) in Atlanta, Ga., where he taught conflict transformation, legal principles for clergy and churches, and leadership communications to clergy, episcopal, and lay leadership of historically African American churches. He is also a member of the staff of JustPeace, The United Methodist Church’s Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation.

Hooker will be teaching the Discovering and Embracing Narratives of Reconciliation seminar and co-facilitating the plenary sessions.

Milcah LalamMilcah Lalam
Milcah Lalam is a development specialist with special expertise in trauma recovery, drama therapy, and theater for development. She is the Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) regional coordinator. Her work with GLI covers seven countries in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa. She held various positions in her ten years of work with RECONCILE International--a faith based organization in Sudan and later South Sudan. Living in countries experiencing the trauma of war, poverty, and violence, she worked closely with religious and civil leaders, displaced persons, women, youth, victims of rape and abuse, development and human rights workers in peace-building and trauma recovery. She facilitates strategic projects related to psychosocial rehabilitation, nurturing resilience, conflict resolution, and capacity development for small- and large-scale interventions in corporate, community, and international settings to promote relationship-building and social change. Lalam holds an M.A. in theater and development studies with an emphasis on post-conflict development and trauma healing from University of Leeds, a B.A. in drama from Makerere University, and specialized certificates in strategies for trauma awareness and transformation, theater, and peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University.

Lalam will be co-teaching the Nurturing Leaders for Resilience seminar with Alice Petersen.

Claudia May
Claudia May is an associate professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn. She is a specialist in reconciliation studies and African American, Black British, and Caribbean literature and popular culture, as well as Biblical studies, multiethnic and culture expressions of faith, and Christian Hip Hop. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and has over 12 years’ experience teaching in higher education.

Her work has been published by Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Walter de Gruyter, Lexington Books, and Routledge, among others. She is a regular contributor to Patheos, and the author of Jesus is Enough: Love, Hope, and Comfort in the Storms of Life  (Augsburg Fortress Press). May has taught and presented papers at seminaries and universities in the United Kingdom and the United States on subjects that explore the relationship between biblical stories, literature, and popular culture. She lectures on the relationship between reconciliation and the power of story, and how individuals can forge an intimate relationship with God through prayer and reflective writing. As a spiritual director, she also leads courses, facilitates workshops, and leads one-on-one sessions that enable participants to discover how their practice of self-care strategies can benefit their vision for ministry and transform how they serve others. May is a passionate follower of Jesus, a woman of prayer, and a lover of biblical stories and wisdom.

May will be teaching the Theology of Reconciliation seminar.

Alice PetersenAlice J Petersen
The Reverend Dr. Alice Petersen earned her M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and her D.Min. from McCormick Theological Seminary.  During her 37 years as an ordained Presbyterian (USA) Minister, she served the local church in a variety of pastoral positions. Petersen also received the certificate for spiritual direction at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and has 17 years of spiritual direction experience. She served as a faculty member with CREDO, a renewal event for pastors within the Presbyterian denomination. For three years she taught a course in trauma recovery at the Reconcile Peace Institute in Yei, South Sudan. She and her husband, Bill Lowrey, manage Friendship Tree Consulting which focuses on "building resilient leaders for tomorrow, today." Her passion is self-care for those working within the church and other caring professions.

Petersen will be co-teaching the Nurturing Leaders for Resilience seminar with Milcah Lalam.

Jim WilderJim Wilder

James (Jim) Wilder has a B.A. in psychology from Bemidji State University, an M.A. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.  Jim served ten years as an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and is currently an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. Jim has significant experience working in Christian counseling centers providing pastoral care and has served as a consultant for over 30 years. His current interests areas are neurotheology, neuroscience, attachment repair, trauma recovery, relational brain skills, emotional/spiritual maturity, spiritual interventions, men’s development, and community restoration. Raised in Colombia until his late teens, Wilder is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has great interest in cross-cultural applications of his work and research. He speaks and teaches frequently both nationally and internationally. He has authored and co-authored a number of books, most recently Rare Leadership, co-authored with Marcus Warner and published by Moody Press in 2016.

Wilder will be teaching the Trauma Healing in the Church: A Practical Model seminar.

Sarah Withrow KingSarah Withrow King

Sarah is the deputy director of The Sider Center of Eastern University and the co-director of CreatureKind. After college, King went straight to work in the nonprofit world, ensuring her lifelong material poverty. Wanting to combine her faith with her passion for advocacy on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized, she obtained an M.T.S. with a concentration in Christian faith and public policy from Palmer Seminary, where she realized that she wanted to reclaim the word “evangelical” from the people who were giving it a bad name. She is the author of Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Your Faith (Zondervan, 2016) and Animals Are Not Ours (No, Really, They're Not): An Evangelical Animal Liberation Theology (Cascade Books, 2016). King lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son. They share their home with two rescued dogs and two former street cats and are covenant members of Circle of Hope.

King will be co-teaching the Incarnating a CreatureKind Church seminar with Christopher Carter and Christine Gutleben.





Theology of Reconciliation
At the heart of the gospel is the invitation to the ministry of reconciliation. It is a ministry that remembers creation’s original goodness and harmony, wrestles deeply with how sin causes that harmony to be distorted, and anticipates the day when every tribe, tongue, people, and nation will sing in symphony with the Triune God. Jesus is the way to reconciliation. His life, humility, his radical love and teachings provide us with essential insights and strategies on how we can embody the ministry of reconciliation. By reflecting on Jesus' ministry of reconciliation as revealed in Scripture and lived in community we will better understand the significance of diversity in the world. This seminar grapples with the tensions, costs, and joys that come with following Jesus' example of reconciliation. The relationship between the observance of spiritual disciplines and the practice of reconciliation will also guide our discussions. This seminar hopes to stir a holy restlessness in participants so that we will “run with perseverance” the race set before us in tune with God’s call in ever changing, diverse, and multicultural societies.

Dr. Claudia May will teach Theology of Reconciliation.

Discovering and Embracing Narratives of Reconciliation
We live our lives within conscious and unconscious narratives. The narratives that structure our lives have been passed to us through children’s literature, folk tales, myths, traditional stories, family and cultural histories, and Scriptural narratives. Conflict and broken relationships can often be understood as a clash of narratives; injustice can be understood as worldly realities that clash with the prophetic narrative of the realm of God; and reconciliation can occur when individuals and communities can build and live into preferred shared narratives. As theologians (both professional and lay) it is helpful to understand the source of the narratives that are structuring conflicts and informing our sense of justice. In this course we will draw on Scripture, children’s stories, and other folk literature to understand how narratives shape our lives. Through a series of guided self-reflections, journal writing, and co-counseling exercises, participants will begin to uncover their own hidden and competing narratives of justice and reconciliation. 

Dr. David Anderson Hooker will teach Discovering and Embracing Narratives of Reconciliation.

Cultural Appropriation and Christian Origins
The demographic shifts that have made people of African, Asian, and Latin American descent the majority of the Christian Church in the twenty-first century are well-known and oft-recited. Yet despite the reality that the center of Christianity is the global south and that the largest church growth sector in the U.S. is the immigrant church, the dynamic of white, Western cultural captivity persists in Christian life and practice. Advanced leadership in prominent evangelical institutions do not reflect the global Church, and contextualized expressions of Christian life and practice are often shunned in favor of imported, colonial expressions of Christianity. This seminar will address the dynamic of white indebtedness among Christian communities of color and encourage indigenous forms of ministry by: deconstructing the historical circumstances contributing to the Westernization of Christianity; exploring the multiethnic roots of the Gospel in Africa, Asia and the Middle East; and providing practical steps in empowering indigenous leadership in the ministry of reconciliation.

Dr. Vince Bantu will teach Cultural Appropriation and Christian Origins.

Incarnating a CreatureKind Church
This seminar explores the theology and praxis of being human in relation to other creatures, of expanding our view of our place in the world towards being creature-kind. What does our faith tell us about God’s view of animals and our responsibilities towards them? What are we doing to animals now? How does our relationship with animals affect our relationships with ourselves, our neighbors, and with the creator? And what can we do, individually and collectively, to help realize a world “on earth, as it is in heaven”?

Our invitational dialogue is grounded in Scripture and supported by stories of creaturely cooperation from church history and modern Christian life. Participants will be able to engage with the course content in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their particular context. Rural church pastors, urban post-evangelicals, mission- and social-justice-minded followers of Christ can all gather together to explore what it means to be made in the image of God, how we can reflect that to all God’s creatures, and how doing so will strengthen and grow the whole church.

Dr. Christopher Carter, Christine Gutleben, and Sarah Withrow King will co-teach Incarnating a CreatureKind Church.

Nurturing Leaders for Resilience
The ever changing political, social, environmental and economic landscape can leave Christian leaders feeling stretched thin, burned out, and unable to cope with the demands of their constituents and communities. Leaders are often burdened by personal tragedies, conflict among staff, or even the loss of major funding support. Even young people face challenges in starting their journey of leadership, as many youth are burdened by student loan debt. Being resilient in the face of such setbacks is a crucial skill that can mean the difference between giving up and bouncing back to see that programs or initiatives are successful in the long-term.  As a Christian leader how can you strengthen your own capacity to bounce back and even experience transformation when faced with either slow or rapid onset challenges or traumatic events?  This seminar will provide a framework for nurturing resilience for both new and experienced leaders.

Milcah Lalam and Rev. Dr. Alice J Petersen will co-teach Nurturing Leaders for Resilience.

Religious Peacemaking for Christian and Muslim Leaders
This seminar will explore Islamic and Christian views of peacemaking, noting both similarities and differences. Participants will deepen their understanding of biblical and quranic peacemaking and will explore core values within each religion’s approach to peacemaking in general and in relationship with other religious traditions.  There will be a special emphasis on analysis of the key peacemaking texts used by both faiths, along with a focus on finding common ground for the common good. The seminar will include site visits to local congregations (both Christian and Muslim) and a public evening event open to the local community. Participants will explore their own practical theology of ministry in interfaith contexts and will leave with intellectual, spiritual, and theological tools to engage in pluralistic settings.

Dr. Abdullah Antepli and Dr. Ellen Davis will co-teach Religious Peacemaking for Christian and Muslim Leaders.

Trauma Healing in the Church: A Practical Model
In this active, experiential seminar participants will gain an understanding of the nature of trauma and will learn and practice a method for addressing trauma in a Christian context. This method has been used effectively in the U.S. and in many differing contexts around the world, including in Sri Lanka between traumatized Tamils and Sinhalese after civil war, in Colombia and Nigeria to resolve trauma with wives of martyrs, in Nepal following a cathedral bombing, and among the Muslim Syrian refugees relocated in Europe. The process is easily transferable across contexts and uses the latest neurological research to increase effectiveness, reduce strain, and prevent secondary trauma and compassion fatigue. Participants will be empowered to better minister to the needs of those who are traumatized within their congregations.

Dr. Jim Wilder will teach Trauma Healing in the Church: A Practical Model.



Cost, Registration & Scholarships


Due to a generous grant, tuition fees for the 2017 Summer Institute for Reconciliation continue to be $500 per person. This fee includes the cost of most meals throughout the week (breakfast, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and dinner) with the exception of Thursday dinner, which is on your own. Please note that lodging, transportation, and campus parking costs are not included in the $500 tuition fee and are the responsiblity of the participant.

Participants who attend the entire program (seminars, lectures and worship services) will receive Continuing Education Units (CEU). The intended purpose of these CEUs is to help fulfill continuing education needs of clergy and institutional leaders served by the mission of Duke Divinity School.


Registration for the 2017 Summer Institute for Reconciliation is now open. We recommend reviewing the information on this website fully before beginning the registration process. Please contact program coordinator Valerie Helbert if you have any questions.

Please note: You will need to create an account to register. If you have attended any events at Duke University in the past, you may already have an account and will need to use it register. If you no longer know your password, please use the password recovery link, as our staff cannot access user passwords.

Limited scholarship funding is available through the Center for Reconciliation (CFR). Scholarship recipients will receive reduced tuition fees. The CFR does not typically offer any full-tuition scholarships or financial support for travel or lodging.

Scholarship priority will be given to leaders who are actively involved in reconciliation ministry and who have both financial need and significant influence in their community or organization, and to emerging leaders with financial need. We are looking for scholarship applicants who have a concrete plan to share what they learn at the Summer Institute for Reconciliation within their circles of influence. We are also particularly interested in applicants who have secured some funding from an outside source other than their personal funds.

All scholarship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and recipients are notified as funds are awarded.  If you are awarded a scholarship, you will be provided with a code to enter when you register for Summer Institute for Reconciliation. The code cannot be applied retroactively, so please be sure to complete the scholarship process before registering to attend Summer Institute.

Email for a scholarship application form if you wish to apply.

Accommodations, Meals & Travel


All Summer Institute participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. We have arranged for a special rate at the Hilton Hotel on Hillsborough Road, a full-service hotel located 2.2 miles from the Divinity School. Participants in the Duke Summer Institute will be eligible for the rate of $95 (plus 13.5% sales and occupancy tax) per night for a single room (1 king bed) or $109 for a shared room (2 queen beds). To make a reservation, call (919) 383-8033 by May 1, 2017. If you make a reservation by phone, be sure to mention that you are a participant in the Duke Summer Institute for Reconciliation. 

Hilton amenities:

  • Complimentary in-room high speed internet access
  • Fitness room
  • Pool​
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Duke Divinity School
  • Free parking at the hotel
  • Complimentary printing service

If you would like to share a room with two queen beds (reducing your housing costs to $54.50 per night per person plus tax) but do not have a roommate, please contact us at  We will gladly put you in touch with other participants who are seeking a roommate.


Lunch and dinner will be served buffet-style each day, Tuesday–Friday, with the exception of Thursday dinner, which is on your own. Monday’s opening dinner is also included in the meal plan. A light breakfast will be provided each morning, Tuesday–Friday. A morning coffee/tea break and an afternoon snack will also be provided Tuesday-Friday.

Additional options for local dining will be included in your participant information when you arrive.


Air Transportation

The nearest airport is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), a 20-minute drive to Duke University. Many area hotels offer shuttle service to and from the hotel. Super Shuttle Service runs from RDU airport to Duke University and the surrounding area. You can make a reservation online prior to your arrival to Duke (provided you have a credit card). There will also be taxi cabs waiting outside each terminal of the airport.

Rail Transportation

The Durham Train Station offers Amtrak service to and from Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington, D.C, New York City, and points in between. Make reservations in advance online or by phone.

Ground Transportation

Directions to Duke University


If you are staying at the Hilton Hotel, a free shuttle service will provide transportation to and from Duke Divinity School every day and a parking pass is not necessary or recommended due to limited parking available on campus. Local transportation will be arranged for any off-campus events during the week of the Institute.

If you are driving to the Summer Institute any day of the event, you must register and pay in advance for a pass to park on-campus. Parking passes may be picked up at the registration table on Monday, June 5. No extra passes will be available onsite.

There are two options for parking on campus:

1.) Green Zone Lot (map): 10-15 minute walk (no shuttle) to the Divinity School. Green Zone parking costs $13 for the week.
2.) Bryan Center Parking Garage (map): 3 minute walk to the Divinity School. Bryan Center parking costs $40 for the week.