Q What will it look like five or 10 years from now?
I hope it will be an even more vibrant place, with more students in more degree programs. Lay people like you would be able to participate in degree programs focused on sustaining vocation in a distinctively Christian way. Some students would be on campus for shorter periods of time, while others would move here to pursue traditional degree programs like the three-year master of divinity.
My hope is that we’ll have far more varied ways to access the extraordinary strengths of the Divinity School faculty—through classes, through videos, through engagements—and that our faculty will help provide resources for the church, provide leadership to the academy, and help a world yearning for spiritual depth and meaning and truth discover the riches of the Christian gospel.
Q Part of your challenge is to keep the school true to its past as you move forward. You touched on that a little bit before but I would like to hear a more about that.
Duke Divinity School’s great tradition is primarily, though never exclusively, focused on preparing pastors, preparing people for ordained ministry. We don’t want in any way to diminish the significance of that. We want also to enrich education for laity through new master’s degree programs, and through ways of engaging Christians in their vocations in the world.
We hope to prepare both laity and clergy for new ways to be part of the body of Christ in and through congregations and vocations in the world. That kind of ongoing learning may be initiated through a degree program at Duke Divinity School, but we hope it will be sustained through lifelong education and formation.