Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Center for Reconciliation (CFR) has announced that Crystal DesVignes, M.Div. ‘17, and Elizabeth Styron, M.Div./MSW ‘17, have been named 2016-17 Center for Reconciliation Justice Fellows. The Center for Reconciliation Justice Fellowship provides a $2,000 scholarship, mentorship, and funding to complete a small-scale project that engages the wider Duke University community in a contemporary justice issue of global concern. As fellows, they will complete independent research projects under the mentorship of Professor Luke Bretherton. Funding for this fellowship is provided in part by World Vision US and individual CFR donors.

In previous years, Allen Stanton, M.Div. ’15; Brett Stuvland. M.Div. ’16; and Jarred White, M.Div. ’16 were awarded the fellowship. Bretherton said that “the fellowship helped them deepen and broaden their engagement and continues to shape their sense of mission and ministry as they leave Duke Divinity School.”

The fellows will take Bretherton’s “Listen, Organize, Act!” class on Christian approaches to politics and poverty to develop a strong shared framework for dialogue on how to approach faithful social, political, and economic witness in a "glocalized" context. Says Bretherton, “The program provides me with a structured process for a more in-depth process of mentoring students in constructively developing a vision for holistic forms of faithful witness.”

DesVignes plans to facilitate conversations around race and faith with “the overarching theme [of] how to live in light of the scriptural imperative of reconciliation and Jesus’s promise of liberation for all.” Through her project, she hopes to equip those preparing to be church leaders to “facilitate [race] conversations in their future churches, preach prophetically, and love compassionately in their ministries.”

Styron plans to engage the intersection of faith and politics, asking, “How are we to act in this increasingly divisive sphere?” “As followers of Christ, we are called to engage the world in a way that demonstrates the message that Jesus proclaimed throughout his earthly ministry, a message that was controversial, radical, and disruptive,” she says

Their projects will be presented to the Duke Divinity School community during the upcoming year.