The Thriving Rural Communities initiative works to foster thriving rural north Carolina communities by cultivating faithful rural Christian leadership and fruitful rural United Methodist congregations.
Thriving Rural Communities is a partnership of Duke Divinity School, The Duke Endowment, the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. It also is a part of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.
Profiles of Service: Laura Beach
Rev. Laura Beach, a Thriving Rural Communities fellow and Duke Divinity alumna now serving Longtown UMC in Yadkinville, N.C., describes the richness she finds in rural ministry.
On a ministry fellowship in rural North Carolina, Divinity student Jason Villegas sees God in dancing—and popsicles. Read the story in Duke Magazine.
Elaine Heath Video Available
Heath shares her experiences developing faith communities in the United Methodist tradition at Rural Convocation.
2012 Convocation on the Rural Church
Join us for the August 13-15 event featuring Rev. Dr. Elaine Heath and the FolkPsalm Trio.
The Garden of Reconciliation
In the small farming town of Cedar Grove, N.C., an unsolved murder helped whites and blacks imagine a better future.
Rural Ministry Colloquia: Evangelism for the Rural Church
Rev. Tim Reaves discusses practical, faithful, and fruitful ways for small churches to share Christ with their communities. Download audio via iTunes U.
A Theology of Food
Research professor Norman Wirzba addressed questions about the connection of theology to food and food production on an episode of Duke’s “Office Hours.”
Rural Ministry Colloquia: Faith and Bodies
Thriving Rural Communities joins the Divinity Women’s Center for a panel discussion.
Rural Ministry Colloquia: Ministry in the Lonely Valley
Download an audio recording of Jeremy Troxler’s discussion of the loneliness of rural ministry via iTunes U.