Mission & Goals
“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Cultivate New Leaders
Form students into transformative Christian leaders who are equipped for the mission of reconciliation in the church, academy, and world, connecting to and building on Duke Divinity School’s programs of teaching and learning
Communicate Wisdom, Insights, Hope and Practices
Re-frame scholarship, teaching, and Christian practice of reconciliation, justice, conflict, and peace by generating theologically-formed resources to serve Christian leaders in a divided world.
Connect in Partnership to Strengthen Leaders
Inspire, renew, and strengthen pastors, practitioners, key leaders, and congregations worldwide in the journey of reconciliation.
Reconciliation as God’s Story
The starting point for any work of reconciliation is not humanity or what we must do—the beginning is God and God’s story. Reconciliation is God’s mission (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Center’s first and primary task is to faithfully remember the vision of God’s new creation in Jesus Christ and then to invite others into this vision.
The Breadth and Depth of Brokenness
The Center strives to account for many areas of brokenness in human life, from personal to social to structural, including the story of the Church’s brokenness. We are also committed to forming partnerships with particular geographical locations of brokenness, from the U.S. to the African Great Lakes region.
Standing in the Church
Located in a school of Christian formation, we seek to constantly engage Scripture and the practices through which Christian life and mission is shaped. We take seriously the need for renewal of the Church in the world and for the formation of Christian leadership for reconciliation.
Housed in a Major Research University
The Center’s location within Duke University offers unique gifts of education, leadership development, and innovation for the mission of reconciliation. We pursue vibrant teaching and intellectual inquiry, while engaging the social sciences and collaborating with other schools and disciplines.
A Place of Intersection
The Center weaves a rich interplay across deep divides — theologians and practitioners; intellectual inquiry and everyday life; ecclesial, ethnic, and national divisions; justice and reconciliation; remembering and forgiveness; conversion and social transformation; power and the margins; the seminary, the sanctuary, and the streets.
Seeing Signs of Hope
By locating, describing, and sharing stories of people, places, and practices of hope, we seek to demonstrate that “the ways things are is not the way things have to be” — from one person learning to forgive, to the church living the “alternative,” to small practices of everyday faithfulness, to broader changes in society.
Nourishing & Cultivating Leadership
We form leaders with the vision, passion, and skills integral to the journey of reconciliation. The Center acts as a catalyst — shaping new visions; inspiring learning, partnership, and theological resources; engaging leverage-point leaders from diverse institutions and communities; and helping leaders on the ground to be more faithful and effective in their ministries.