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William H. Willimon was elected bishop during the July 2004 United Methodist Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Willimon, who joined the Duke Divinity School faculty in 1976, was named minister to the university in 1984, and dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry five years later. His appointment to the Birmingham, Ala., area began September 1.

Craig Kocher D’01, assistant dean of the Chapel, will serve as acting dean until the search for Willimon’s successor is complete. Charles Michael Smith T’62, D’65, a member of the university’s board of trustees, is chairing the search committee.

Three Duke Divinity School graduates were elected to serve as bishops in the United Methodist Church. Hope Morgan Ward T’73, D’78, who is currently on the divinity school board of visitors, Tom Bickerton D’83, a board member emeritus, and Charles Crutchfield D’68 are serving Mississippi, the Pittsburgh area, and Arkansas, respectively. In other changes, Bishop Lawrence McCleskey D’66 now serves as the new bishop of Western N.C. Conference.

Newly elected bishops Al Gwinn and Mary Virginia Taylor will be serving the N.C. and S.C. conferences, respectively. Bishops Gwinn and McCleskey join the board of visitors as a new and returning member ex officio.

Scott Jones, older brother of Dean Greg Jones, was elected a bishop and will oversee Kansas.

Duke Divinity School’s Youth Academy found itself on a national stage in September as the subject of a Public Broadcasting Service feature on the series “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.”

A crew filmed for more than six hours on three different days to capture the mission and vision of the Youth Academy, a two-week summer program for Christian formation begun at the school four years ago. More than 50 students participated in the academy this summer.

“This is an indication that our innovative approach to youth ministry is drawing national attention,” said Fred Edie, faculty director of the Youth Academy. “Hopefully this will help us strengthen our program and ultimately strengthen congregations and the faith formation of youth.”

For details about “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly,” visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/. For details about the Youth Academy, visit www.duyouth.duke.edu.

The Art of Reading Scripture , edited by Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hays, has been named one of the Top Ten Books for 2004 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. The book is the result of the Princeton Center of Theological Inquiry’s Scripture Project, a four-year research initiative involving 15 scholars representing Old Testament, New Testament, systematic theology and historical theology, as well as parish pastors.

In addition to professors Davis and Hays, the group included Dean L. Gregory Jones and Professor of Church History David Steinmetz, each of whom is represented by essays in the book. Davis is professor of Bible and practical theology at Duke. Hays is the George Washington Ivey professor of New Testament.

Richard Lischer, the James T. and Alice Mead Cleland professor of preaching at the divinity school, preached the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Sept. 19, in Duke Chapel culminating a week-long celebration of the inauguration of Richard H. Brodhead as Duke University’s ninth president. Read the Inaugural Sermon for President Brodhead by Divinity Professor Richard Lischer.

Brodhead, 57, assumed Duke's presidency on July 1, succeeding Nannerl O. Keohane, who stepped down after 11 years to return to teaching and research. A scholar of 19th-century American literature, Brodhead previously was the dean of Yale College and the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English at Yale University.

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