The Center for Reconciliation has named Kate Davelaar as international programs coordinator.
In this role, Davelaar will work to strengthen partnerships with Christian leaders of ministries of reconciliation throughout the world and do what she has loved the most throughout her professional life—bring people together.
“I’m a connector. I like connecting people who I think need to be in conversation with each other,” she said. “I’m excited for my network to expand again—globally but also here in Durham.”
Beginning in 2000, Davelaar spent five years in the Dominican Republic, where she mentored high school students involved in Young Life  programs.
After graduating from Western Theological Seminary in 2008 and becoming an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, Davelaar served as the college chaplain at Hope College in Holland, Mich. There Davelaar led reconciliation initiatives designed to mobilize students and to transform her institution.
“I’m a pastor. That is my primary vocation,” she said. “I will do everything out of that vocation. I can’t help but be that.”
In addition, Davelaar serves on the steering committee of Christian Churches Together—an ecumenical movement whose members reflect U.S. Christian traditions including those of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and African Methodist Episcopal churches.
Davelaar’s love for engaging people throughout the world and those around her—not only with new visions but with strategic ways to focus those visions—will inform her work at the center, she said.
Specifically, Davelaar will organize the annual African Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) in Kampala, Uganda, which brings together hundreds of reconciliation leaders throughout Africa for a week of academic study, theological reflection, and opportunities to build ecumenical partnerships. She will support a new transition plan that shifts leadership of the GLI from the CFR to African partners. She also will coordinate the center’s burgeoning Northeast Asia Initiative, which invites Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ministry leaders to work together toward healing and reconciliation.
“Kate brings wonderful gifts of enthusiasm, collegiality, a passion for mission, and a global perspective to her work at the Center for Reconciliation,” Director Chris Rice said. “We are delighted at the serendipity of her coming at such a time as this as we seek to grow our ministry for peace with colleagues in East Africa and Northeast Asia.”
One of the benefits of being at Duke Divinity School is the opportunity to be around bright, engaged students, Davelaar said. To that end, she hopes to connect the Center for Reconciliation to the student body even more.
“I think the center is a huge resource for the church and the future of the church,” she said. “It is poised to be able to speak into that with these students who are being formed to be future leaders. I would love to see what kinds of conversations come from that.”