The Duke Divinity School Women’s Center supports women in Christian ministry through fellowship, education, advocacy, academics, and outreach.  We aim to bring awareness of gender concerns to the broader Duke Divinity Community, in order to empower all students for fruitful Christian ministry.

Since 1974, The Women’s Center serves as a clearinghouse for information on a variety of issues affecting women and provides opportunities for interaction, networking, challenge and growth, as well as a sacred space for those in the community who experience struggles in their lives or ministries. The Women’s Center continues to affirm the Imago Dei in women and men, and views the participation of women as essential in all aspects of the body of Christ.

How You Can Help

The Women’s Center and the Gender Theology and Ministry Certificate Program are raising money for an endowment that would provide longterm support to enhancing our programs with the expansion of training for clergy in response to domestic violence, additional lecture series, scholarships for divinity students who earn the certificate and more.

Contributions may be made to Duke Divinity School (memo line: GTM Program Code 399-2818), and may be sent to:

Office of External Relations
Duke Divinity School
Box 90966
Durham, NC 27708-0966

Programs

Jill Raitt Lecture Series
A distinguished speaker is invited to speak at the Divinity School in a formal lecture, in honor of Jill Raitt, the first tenured female faculty. Listen to past lectures on iTunes U.

Panel Discussions
Each semester, the Women’s Center organizes a panel discussion on a wide-range of topics such as “Faith and Bodies,” “Theology of Feminism,” “The Church and Homosexuality,” “Ethics, Theology, and Civil Engagement,” as well as many others. Listen to past panel discussions on iTunes U.

Women’s Week
Each year, the Women’s Center sponsors a women’s week with activities that celebrate women. The week includes a Women’s Center-led Chapel service in Goodson, in which a female-student is invited to preach. Other events concerning women's issues are scheduled throughout the week.

Ministry Mentors Program
Women seminary students who seek mentors can be paired with a woman serving in various denominations and ministries in the wider Durham/Triangle community. If you would like to be paired with a mentor, please contact the Women’s Center.

Community Events
Each month, The Women’s Center invites local female clergy, faculty, and non-profit workers from varying denominations to share the joys and difficulties of their journey in ministry in informal conversation-oriented settings. The events are held in classrooms during the lunch hour, and are great opportunities to learn more about and from women who are thriving in ministry.

Domestic Violence Resources

How Churches Can Help

  • Form a committee to address domestic violence issues.
  • Encourage clergy to speak out against domestic violence from the pulpit.
  • Invite staff from local domestic violence programs to make educational presentations.
  • Designate a day or month for educating and activating the congregation.
  • Offer pre-marriage counseling dealing with equality, conflict, violence, and control.
  • Use available curricula for youth that encourage the values of gender equality and nonviolent conflict resolution.
  • Offer meeting space in your faith community facility to the local domestic violence program.
  • Contribute financial support to local domestic violence programs.
Creating a Safe Space

The Women’s Center Office is an official “safe space” on campus. This means that we continually aim to:

  • Make a conscious effort in every conversation and event to not privilege one person or group over another in regards to differences of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class.
  • Create a culture where people become aware of their own assumptions and biases through modeling in word and action.
  • Maintain an atmosphere where emotions can be freely expressed, and where people can have honest and healthy conflict without feeling threatened. 
  • Recognize the Imago Dei in everyone. This means being able to sit with others in the midst of unresolved issue
  • Foster genuineness in relationships. "Safe space" does not mean putting on another mask, and pretending to be polite and nice; but it does mean being respectful and open to growing in understanding for the sake of relationships.
  • Listen and respond with care.

The Women’s Center offers free hot drinks, a warm place to relax and comfy furniture for study breaks and occasional napping, so please stop in. All are welcome

We also offer a breast-feeding area for nursing mothers, equipped with a refrigerator and changing table.