The Ministry of Reconciliation in a Divided World

The Center for Reconciliation

Duke Divinity School

June 02, 2014 to June 07, 2014


Refresh your spirit. Renew your mind and ministry. Expand your Christian community.

“As a senior leader in a Christian organization that is committed to ethnic reconciliation and justice, I was energized by the biblical teaching and theological reflection, enriched by the diversity of the participants and experienced faculty, and inspired to continue the journey as we celebrated the wonders of reconciliation and lamented the deep places of pain and division in our world. I highly recommend the Summer Institute for leaders who are in search of biblical instruction, relationship-building with experienced practitioners, and personal renewal." Paula Fuller, Vice President and Director of Multiethnic Ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Rooted in a Christian vision and directed by the Center for Reconciliation, this one-of-a-kind intensive institute nourishes, renews, and deepens the capacities of U.S. and international Christian leaders in the ministry of reconciliation, justice, and peace-building.

The Summer Institute creates a community of worship, learning, friendship, and reflection, drawing on the vibrant spiritual and intellectual resources of Duke Divinity School, including a world-class faculty of theologians and ministry practitioners. Participants will experience in-depth teaching, prayer and worship, shared meals, wrestling with real-world contexts and challenges, and an opportunity to reflect on their vocation and ministry context.

Come expand your theological imagination, grapple together with practical problems, and be equipped to continue a journey of faithfulness within a wider community.

“What a gift Duke’s Summer Institute has been for me and my students!  God’s Spirit used this timely gathering to refresh our souls, engage our minds, sharpen the skills of our hands and deepen our hearts’ commitment to God’s call to reconciliation.” Peter T. Cha, Associate Professor, Pastoral Theology Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Summer Institute Schedule (pdf)

This program is intended for:

  • Christians with a hunger to deepen their ministry in peacemaking, justice, and reconciliation
  • Grass-roots ministers and Christians living and working among people who suffer or are marginalized
  • Pastors with a desire for their congregations to become communities that live out alternatives to the destructive conflicts and social divisions that fragment our world
  • College, university, and seminary faculty and administrators training young Christians to live in the way of the Kingdom
  • Denominational and organizational leaders seeking to guide their organizations into new practices and structures that enable the flourishing of communities living out God’s vision of peace and justice
  • Every follower of Jesus Christ seeking to become an ambassador of God’s healing and wholeness

Daily Design

  • Morning & Evening Prayer
    Participants begin and end each day with vibrant Christian worship, held in Duke Divinity School’s beautiful Goodson Chapel.
  • Morning Common Journey
    All participants gather to learn from and dialogue with plenary speakers about a theological vision and practice of reconciliation.  
  • Afternoon In-Depth Seminars
    Participants select one afternoon seminar for the entire week, going in-depth with one or two faculty members and a small group of peers in a format of rich teaching and interaction.

Other Activities

Shared meals, one-on-one conversations with faculty, some free evenings, some evenings with community-building events, and access to the many gifts of Duke University’s campus.

Faculty and Focus

Our focus on reconciliation is grounded in a distinctively Christian vision and a framework that is richly practical, contextual and theological. Rooted in the Duke Center for Reconciliation's mission to form and strengthen Christian leaders in the ministry of reconciliation, the Summer Institute draws on the strengths of a faculty of world-class scholars and practitioners.

“The components of Christ-based reconciliation go beyond strategies of peacemaking or conflict resolution…A Christian vision of reconciliation is not just another program to help us get along with our neighbor. It is an invitation to enter a new reality that God has created, another vision of life where we are called to be God’s new creation.”  (Chris Rice and Emmanuel Katongole, Spring 2012 Divinity Magazine)

“[Summer] Institute was a week of learning and inspiration.  The leadership was outstanding. The participants represented a world-wide network deeply committed to a myriad of reconciliation initiatives.  I left the Institute awakened to the hope and the pain of the reconciliation journey and armed with stories, contacts, and resources to enrich my church’s commitment to the Beloved Community.” Gene Graham, congregational lay-leader, Houston, Texas

Each day of the Summer Institute includes a plenary talk given by preeminent scholars and practitioners in the field of reconciliation. Plenary talks use scriptural interpretation, theology, and story-telling to weave a rich tapestry of reflection that is theological, contextual and practical.

The teaching team of the Summer Institute also includes afternoon seminar leaders, who unite in-depth teaching with small group reflection around a particular theme issue, or context in reconciliation

2014 Faculty Members

Luke Bretherton is an associate professor of theological ethics a Duke Divinity School and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. His current areas of research focus on the intersections between Christianity, grassroots democracy, globalization, responses to poverty, and patterns of interfaith relations. His recent work has focused on faith-based organizations, the church’s involvement in social welfare provision, the treatment of refugees, and fair trade. That work is drawn together in Christianity & Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Before joining the Duke faculty, Luke was a reader in theology and politics and convener of the Faith & Public Policy Forum at King's College London. He has worked with a variety of faith-based NGOs, mission agencies, and churches around the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. When living in the United Kingdom, he was actively involved in politics as part of London Citizens, a broad-based community organization, and had a role advising the Conservative-Liberal government on strengthening civil society. His forthcoming book, with the working title of Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship and the Politics of the Common Good (Cambridge University Press), draws on a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project for which he was principal investigator (2008-2011).

Luke Bretherton will teach the seminar “Keeping the Faith in Faith-Based Organizations.”

Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist with a hopeful passion for overcoming cultural divisions in groups. Through her research, she uncovers the underlying processes that affect relationships within and between groups and helps leaders understand how to promote an appreciation for diversity and build effective collaborations with diverse groups. She recently completed her first book, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart. Christena earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from the University of California.  An award-winning researcher and gifted teacher, she has published numerous scholarly articles and held academic appointments at the University of California, Westmont College, St. Catherine University, and Bethel Seminary. In addition to academic experience, Cleveland brings organizational experience to her efforts to build unity. She coaches pastors and organizational leaders on multicultural issues and speaks regularly at organizations, churches, conferences, and universities. She also serves on the pastoral preaching team at her church and is a volunteer Young Life leader in urban Minneapolis.

Christena Cleveland and Michelle Loyd-Paige will co-teach a seminar called “Transforming Academic Institutions for Reconciliation.”

Edgardo Colón-Emeric is an assistant professor of theology at Duke University and senior strategist of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School, which was established to assist the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church and Duke Divinity School in supporting and strengthening ministries to and with Hispanics and Latinos in North Carolina. He is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Annual Conference. His ecumenical study of Wesley, Aquinas, and Christian perfection received the 2008 Aquinas Dissertation Prize from Ave Maria University and was published by Baylor University Press. His research interests focus on the intersections of dogmatic theology and Hispanic questions.

Sermon by Edgardo Colón-Emeric in Faith and Leadership: The hope of your calling

Article by Edgardo Colon-Emeric in Divinity magazine: The Mestizo Symphony of Heaven

Edgardo Colón-Emeric will teach the seminar “The Theology of Reconciliation.”

Ruth Padilla DeBorst has been involved in leadership development and theological education in her native Latin America as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions for many years: first in student ministry with the Comunidad Internacional de Estudiantes Evangélicos (IFES), then with Seeds of New Creation, a ministry that trains for and promotes holistic mission in El Salvador and finally with the Center for Interdisciplinary Theological Studies. She has a B.Ed. from Argentina, an M.A. from Wheaton College Graduate School and is currently a Th.D. candidate in Missiology and Social Ethics at Boston University. Ruth currently serves as director of Christian formation and leadership development with World Vision International. As a board member of the Latin American Theological Fellowship she is tasked to serve with the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation (INFEMIT). She lives in Costa Rica where she shares parenting of their blended, multi-cultural family with her husband, James Padilla DeBorst, and community life with the members of Casa Adobe.

Ruth Padilla DeBorst will teach the seminar “Holistic Global Mission: Sowing the Seeds of Reconciliation Across Walls.”

Richard B. Hays, dean and the George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, is internationally recognized for his work on the letters of Paul and on New Testament ethics. His scholarly work has bridged the disciplines of biblical criticism and literary studies, exploring the innovative ways in which early Christian writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture. His book The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation was selected by Christianity Today as one of the 100 most important religious books of the twentieth century. His most recent books are The Art of Reading Scripture (2003, co-edited with Ellen Davis), The Conversion of the Imagination (2005), and Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage (2008, co-edited with Beverly Roberts Gaventa). Dean Hays has lectured widely in North America, Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. An ordained United Methodist minister, he has preached in settings ranging from rural Oklahoma churches to London’s Westminster Abbey.

Sermon by Richard Hays in Faith and Leadership: The word of reconciliation

Richard Hays will serve as a plenary speaker.

Rick Love is an internationally-recognized expert in Christian-Muslim relations and is the president of Peace Catalyst International, an organization devoted to peacemaking. He also serves as associate director of the World Evangelical Alliance Peace and Reconciliation Initiative and on the steering team for Evangelicals for Human Rights. Rick studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture's Reconciliation Program, which promotes reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, and between Muslim nations and the West. He has been active in the "Common Word" initiative, which promotes dialogue between Muslim and Christian leaders. He has written two books on the topic of peacemaking, as well as numerous articles. Rick lived in Indonesia for nine years as an English teacher, while doing doctoral research, and has traveled extensively. He holds a Th.M. in New Testament studies, a D.Min. in urban studies, and a Ph.D. in intercultural studies.

Najeeba Syeed-Miller and Rick Love will co-teach the seminar “Christian-Muslim Peacemaking for Christian Leaders.”

Michelle Loyd-Paige is the executive associate to the president for diversity and inclusion and the dean of multicultural sffairs at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. In these roles she oversees multicultural programing within the academic division and works with the president’s vabinet to ensure that diversity and inclusion remains a focus of the college. Loyd-Paige holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and has been a member of the faculty in the sociology department at Calvin College since 1985. Her teaching interests include diversity and inequality in the U.S., and a Christian response to racism. In addition to her work at Calvin College, Loyd-Paige is an ordained minister of the gospel and is the president and founder of Preach Sista Inc., a non-profit organization that provides a supportive environment for women to discern, grow into, and celebrate their calling to Christian ministry. She is also the associate pastor at Angel Community Church of Muskegon, Mich. 

Michelle Loyd-Paige and Christena Cleveland will co-teach a seminar called “Transforming Academic Institutions for Reconciliation.”

Mary Nelson was for 30 years the founding president and CEO of Bethel New Life, Inc. Bethel has earned a national reputation for innovative and effective urban ministry, with programs that promote the social, economic, and spiritual welfare of children, families, and seniors. Since her retirement from Bethel in 2006, Mary helped to develop a Loyola University/SCUPE graduate degree (Master’s in Social Justice and Community Development), is on the faculty of Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), chairs the Board of Sojourners, and is currently the interim executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.  She also consults, speaks, and holds workshops in a variety of settings. She wrote the recently released Empowerment Workbook for CCDA. Mary has an earned Ph.D. from Union Graduate School, six honorary Ph.D.s and numerous other awards.  She lives, works, and worships in Chicago’s West Side community.

Interview with Mary Nelson in Faith & Leadership: Embracing God’s vision for community

Mary Nelson will teach the seminar “Building Beloved Communities of Justice and Advocacy with the Poor.”

John M. Perkins is a sharecropper’s son who grew up in New Hebron, Miss., amidst dire poverty. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. However, after converting to Christianity in 1960, he returned to Mendenhall, Miss., to share the gospel of Christ. While in Mississippi, his outspoken nature and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings, and imprisonment. In Mendenhall, Perkins and his wife founded Voice of Calvary Ministries. In 1989 he co-founded the Christian Community Development Association, which represents 6,800 individuals and 600 churches, ministries, institutions, and businesses in more than 100 cities and townships across the country.

Interview with John Perkins in Faith and Leadership: Empowering communities

John Perkins will serve as a plenary speaker.

Shelly Rambo is associate professor of theology at Boston University School of Theology and is one of the faculty leaders in BU’s Religion and Conflict Transformation program. Her research and teaching interests focus on religious responses to suffering, trauma, and violence.  In her book, Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining, she draws on a reinterpretation of “remaining” in John’s Gospel to develop a vision of the Holy Spirit’s witness to the persistence of God’s divine love from within the depths of human suffering.  Through partnerships with military chaplains and veteran-care groups, she is exploring the religious implications of American military involvement and the challenges of trauma healing. Her current research explores the significance of resurrection wounds in the Christian tradition in connection to contemporary discourses about wounding, both in popular culture and in the study of trauma. Through a series of faculty grants funded by the Center for Practical Theology and the Lilly Endowment, she has developed and presented workshops that offer religious leaders critical tools for thinking theologically about trauma.

Shelly Rambo will teach the seminar “Faith and Trauma: How Christian Communities Can Participate in Healing Responses to Suffering, Trauma, and Violence.”

Chris Rice serves as director of the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation. Chris grew up in South Korea, the child of Presbyterian missionaries. A turning point in his life was living and working for 17 years in an inner-city neighborhood of Jackson, Miss., with Voice of Calvary, an interracial church and community development ministry. Chris came to Duke Divinity School in 2000 to pursue ways for the academy to serve the world of Christian activism and helped launch the center in 2005 as a founding co-director. His books Reconciling All Things and More Than Equals each won book awards from Christianity Today magazine, and his book Grace Matters was named a Best Adult Religion Book by Publishers Weekly. Chris has received the Distinguished Service to Mankind Award from Belhaven College. Chris and his wife Donna have three children, and Chris is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He blogs at

Article by Chris Rice and Emmanuel Katongole in Faith and Leadership: A Christian Vision of Reconciliation

Chris Rice will teach the seminar “Forming Christian Leaders through Word Made Flesh Methodology.”

Najeeba Syeed-Miller is assistant professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding. She is a prolific practitioner and effective educator in the area of conflict resolution among communities of ethnic and religious diversity. Her involvements range widely, including conducting gang interventions, implementing diversity training in universities and public agencies, conflict resolution in public schools, interreligious dialogue among the Abrahamic traditions, and environmental conflict resolution. Her model of intervention is to build the capacity of those closest to the conflict. In particular her research and community activist efforts have focused on the role of women as agents of peacemaking. Her track record as a peacemaker has made her sought out advisor for state, federal and White House initiatives, and in international conflicts in Guam, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, India and France. She blogs at

Najeeba Syeed-Miller and Rick Love will co-teach the seminar “Christian-Muslim Peacemaking for Christian Leaders.”

Laura Sumner Truax is the senior pastor at LaSalle Street Church, a non-denominational church in downtown Chicago with a long tradition of uniting individual faith in Christ with God’s call for justice and compassion lived out in the world. Laura holds a master’s degree in pastoral studies with an emphasis in spirituality and an M.Div. and serves as a teaching pastor for the University of Chicago. Laura is a past board member of Interfaith Youth Corps and Opportunity International and is currently on the advisory board of Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the first faith-based legal clinic in the nation to provide criminal defense for those who cannot afford it; The Theological Book Network, a non-profit committed to resourcing seminaries and Bible colleges of the majority world with high quality books and resources; and the Congregational Resource Guide, a group of scholars and practitioners engaged in supporting and resourcing congregational and denominational leaders in developing leadership practices. She blogs at

Sermon by Laura Truax in Faith and Leadership: Reimagining power

Laura Truax and Thurman Williams will co-teach the seminar “Cultivating Flourishing Congregations in the Face of Divisions and Differences.”

William Turner, Jr. is professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Professor Turner's ongoing work focuses on pneumatology and the tradition of spirituality and preaching within the black church. He taught in the areas of theology and black church studies and directed the Office of Black Church Affairs prior to his appointment in homiletics. Professor Turner was a member of one of the first Duke University undergraduate classes to include African Americans and was among the first to integrate Duke's football team as a walk-on player. He retains active involvement in church and community activities. He has served as the pastor of Mt. Level Baptist Church in Durham for over twenty years.

William Turner will serve as a plenary speaker.

Hope Morgan Ward was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church in 2004, served as episcopal leader of the Mississippi Conference from 2004-2012, and was assigned to the North Carolina Conference in 2012. Previously, she was superintendent of the Raleigh District in the North Carolina Annual Conference. She also previously served as North Carolina Conference director of Connectional Ministries and as a local church pastor.  In 10 years as pastor of Soapstone United Methodist Church in Raleigh, the church grew from 35 members to 600. She is believed to be the first woman to lead a mainline denomination in Mississippi and is only the second female bishop elected to serve in The United Methodist Church’s Southeastern Jurisdiction. She also serves as the president of the board of JustPeace, the Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation of the United Methodist Church.

Hope Morgan Ward will serve as a plenary speaker.

Thurman Williams is associate pastor at Grace and Peace Fellowship (Presbyterian Church in America) in St. Louis, Mo. He was the pastor of New Song Community Church, in the inner-city Sandtown community of West Baltimore, Md., for 13 years. Prior to that, he spent five years as the minister of outreach and youth at Faith Christian Fellowship Church while attending Chesapeake Theological Seminary and spent four years on staff with Young Life. Thurman serves as a member of the PCA’s Mission to North America Committee and was the chairman of Chesapeake Presbytery’s Urban and Mercy Ministries Committee. Thurman completed his D.Min. degree in May 2011 at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, with his dissertation entitled,“Christ-Centered Preaching in Hip Hop Culture.” He and his wife, Evie, have been married for 13 years and have four children.

Thurman Williams and Laura Truax will co-teach the seminar “Cultivating Flourishing Congregations in the Face of Divisions and Differences.”


"The Center is one of the most exciting and fruitful things I see happening in North America universities [and] a constant reminder that reconciliation is at the heart of our faith.  One of the early Christians spoke of the cross as a symbol of reconciliation, pointing out that the cross has a vertical dimension reconciling people to God, a horizontal dimension reconciling people to each other, and is deeply rooted in the earth reconciling all things to creation and shalom.  I see the Center for Reconciliation at Duke doing all of these -- and being holistically, wonderfully, and radically true to the cross." – Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and lover of Jesus

2014 Summer Institute Seminars

Transforming Academic Institutions for Reconciliation
Michelle Loyd-Paige and Christena Cleveland

How can Christian higher learning institutions grow in their capacity to nurture and equip future Christian leaders who can effectively engage in God’s mission of reconciliation in today’s fragmented world?  This seminar is designed to assist leaders in higher education to think theologically and strategically about transforming the institutional culture of one’s school by embracing certain practices and values that promote reconciliation. Participation is limited to administrators and faculty of colleges, seminaries and universities, and doctoral students.

Faith and Trauma: How Christian Communities Can Participate in Healing Responses to Suffering, Trauma, and Violence
Shelly Rambo

Faith leaders are often in a position serve as first-responders for people who have suffered trauma or violence and who are wrestling with the theological questions that trauma often provokes. This seminar will provide participants with a better understanding of the experience of trauma, offer an opportunity to develop vibrant theological frameworks that adequately account for traumatic suffering, and provide space to wrestle with how participants might respond to suffering, trauma, and violence in ways that facilitate healing. This seminar is especially appropriate for pastors, chaplains, people who work with soldiers and veterans, relief and development workers, disaster response workers, urban community leaders, and others who regularly encounter people who have suffered trauma or violence.

Christian-Muslim Peacemaking for Christian Leaders
Rick Love and Najeeba Syeed-Miller

This seminar will explore the Islamic and Christian views of peacemaking, noting both similarities and differences. Participants will deepen their understanding of biblical peacemaking and be introduced to core values of Islam, Islamic teaching on peacemaking in general and with other religions. There will be a special emphasis on analysis of the key peacemaking texts used by both faiths, along with a focus on finding common ground for the common good. Participants will explore their own practical theology of ministry in interfaith contexts and will leave with intellectual, spiritual, and theological tools to engage in pluralistic settings.

Funding for this seminar is provided by the Henry B. Luce Foundation.

Holistic Global Mission: Sowing Seeds of Reconciliation Across Walls
Ruth Padilla DeBorst

At Pentecost, the first disciples were transformed from disconcerted, overwhelmed victims into bold and outspoken witnesses of God’s reconciling love through Jesus’ presence among them and the power of the Spirit. Their witness soon spread from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the Earth. This early peace church, shaped by a new shared identity in Christ, was soon schooled in the challenges of breaking down cultural, political, and relational walls, confronting social divisions and stereotypes, and including the “un-includable” at their fellowship table. In this seminar, we will explore the ways that the global church in mission today faces similar challenges. We will engage models of mission that enable us, like the first disciples, to join with the Holy Spirit’s work to move across cultures, borders, and disparities of wealth and power in ways that are mutually transforming and give witness to the good news of the gospel, rather than replicating the destructive dynamics of economic, cultural, and political domination.

Keeping the Faith in Faith-Based Organizations
Luke Bretherton

This seminar will identify and develop theological frameworks for understanding and responding to key issues and contexts shaping the work of church-affiliated non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Christian charities, social welfare services (whether local, national or global in reach) and Christian political initiatives and social movements. Key contexts addressed are the dynamics of secularization and globalization as these play out in relation to Christian mission and ministry; and the social, political and policy context within which "faith-based organizations" operate at a national and international level.  Key issues and questions addressed include: What is a faithful institution? How should we understand and respond to poverty? And what is the relationship between the church and para-church organizations?

Cultivating Flourishing Congregations in the Face of Divisions and Differences
Laura Sumner Truax and Thurman Williams

We pastor and lead in a climate full of fractures and divisions; a climate where discussions become shouting matches and disagreements become dividing lines splitting congregations in two; where those who look, act, or think differently quickly become "the other." One pastoral response is to simply not talk about difficult topics in church.  A better, more challenging response is to create a respectful space of creative tension, where differing comments and opinions can be tested and examined against Scripture and life. This seminar will be led by two seasoned pastors who have led their respective congregations through living and ministering together in the face of a range of potentially divisive issues, including racial and social-economic differences and differing perspectives about faith and sexuality. Pastors, lay-leaders, and denominational leaders are welcome to participate.

Theology of Reconciliation
Edgardo Colón-Emeric

At the heart of the gospel is the invitation to the ministry of reconciliation. It is a ministry that remembers creation’s original goodness and harmony, wrestles deeply with how sin causes that harmony to be distorted, and anticipates the day when every tribe, tongue, people, and nation will sing in symphony with the Triune God. By reflecting on God’s ministry of reconciliation as revealed in Scripture, interpreted in Christian tradition, and lived in community, we will better understand the significance of diversity in the world. This seminar hopes to stir a holy restlessness in the participants so that we will “run with perseverance” the race set before us in tune with God’s call in ever changing, diverse, and multicultural societies.

Building Beloved Communities of Justice and Advocacy with the Poor
Mary Nelson

This seminar will focus on shaping beloved community in under-resourced community settings using interactive sharing. Under the leadership of Mary Nelson, a pragmatically-oriented, experienced activist and developer in a faith-centered framework, the group will consider God’s vision for beloved community, the opportunity for faith-centered approaches, empowerment, and neighborhood development while addressing issues of justice.

Forming Christian Leaders through Word Made Flesh Methodology
Chris Rice

This seminar is by invitation only and is designed to equip leaders of institutes sponsored by the African Great Lakes Initiative and the North East Asia Initiative.

The Duke Divinity School Summer Institute and the Great Lakes Initiative Leadership Institute are designed around an intentional pedagogy that the Center for Reconciliation has named “Word Made Flesh.”  This pedagogy draws on a deep and vibrant engagement with the Christian narrative and biblical texts as a way of igniting our collective scriptural imagination (theological), is rooted in the stories and histories of particular contexts and lives of those who have sought to be faithful to God’s calling in specific locations and communities (contextual), and includes the practical wisdom and faithful witnesses of seasoned ministry practitioners (practical). Within this pedagogy, we engage themes of new creation, lament, hope, and spirituality within a richly diverse learning community, with the goal of providing space for new catalytic relationships and initiatives to be sparked. The seminar will provide an opportunity for Christian leaders to understand how this methodology works in the creation of catalytic spaces within their cultural and historical contexts.

“The Institute offered me the most important continuing education experience I have had in my 15 years of ministry.  The combination of outstanding lectures from experienced leaders, the conversations I had with a very diverse group of individuals, and the extraordinary worship all challenged me and renewed my determination and hope in the work of reconciliation and justice in my own community.  I thank God for the experience.” — Rev. Chip Edens, Pastor, Christ Church, Charlotte, NC

Due to a generous grant, registration fees for the 2014 Summer Institute have been reduced to $500, which includes the cost of most meals.

Lunch and dinner will be served buffet style each day, Tuesday–Friday, with the exception of Thursday dinner, which is on your own. Monday’s dinner and Saturday’s lunch are also included in the meal plan. A light continental breakfast will be provided each morning, Tuesday–Saturday. Additional options for purchasing a casual breakfast will be included in your participant packet.

All Summer Institute participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. We have arranged for a special rate at the Millennium Hotel, a full-service hotel located 1.25 miles from the Duke Divinity School. Participants in the Duke Summer Institute will be eligible for the rate of $66 (plus 13% sales and occupancy tax) per night for a single room (1 king bed) or a shared room (2 queen beds). To make a reservation, call 1-800-633-5379 or book online by May 13, 2014. If you make a reservation by phone, be sure to mention that you are a participant in the Duke Summer Institute. The Millennium Hotel offers:

  • Complimentary in-room high speed internet access
  • A hot breakfast buffet for a special rate of $7.95 per day
  • Several complimentary meeting spaces for informal or prearranged evening conversations and meetings among Summer Institute participants
  • Exercise room
  • Indoor pool
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Duke Divinity School
  • Free parking at the hotel
  • Airport shuttle (for an additional charge of $35 per person each way)
  • Luggage storage for those departing after noon on June 1

If you would like to share a room with two queen beds (reducing your housing costs to $31.50 per night per person plus tax) but do not have a roommate, please contact us at  We will gladly put you in touch with other participants who are seeking a roommate.


Air Transportation

The nearest airport is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), a 20-minute drive to Duke University. Many area hotels offer shuttle service to and from the hotel. There is now Super Shuttle Service from RDU airport to Duke University and the surrounding area. You can make a reservation online prior to your arrival to Duke (provided you have a credit card). There will also be taxi cabs waiting outside each terminal of the airport.

Rail Transportation

The Durham Train Station offers Amtrak service to and from Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington DC, and New York City and points in between. Make reservations in advance online or by phone.

Ground Transportation

Directions to Duke University

We will accept admissions and scholarship applications on a rolling basis, while space and scholarship funds are available, until May 1, 2014.

Scholarship priority will be given to leaders who are actively involved in reconciliation ministry and who have both financial need and significant influence, or to emerging leaders with financial need.

Successful scholarship applicants will have a concrete plan to share what they learn at the Summer Institute within their circles of influence. We are also particularly interested in applicants who have secured some funding from an outside source other than their personal funds.  You will be given the option of applying for scholarship funding when you apply to the Institute.

Scholarship recipients will be eligible for reduced registration fees. Please note that we do not offer any full-fee scholarships or financial support for travel or lodging.



We will accept admissions and scholarship applications on a rolling basis, while space and scholarship funds are available, until May 1, 2014. All applicants must make a $100 deposit when they complete their application. This fee will be credited towards your registration fee and is non-refundable. We will notify you of your admissions and scholarship decisions (if applicable) within one month of receiving your complete application. If you are admitted, the remaining cost of your registration fee (minus any scholarship awarded) will be due by May 19.

As part of your application, you will be asked to respond to the following short essay questions:

  • Please describe the relevant work and personal experiences, past and present, that you feel prepare and motivate you for participation in the Summer Institute.
  • Please describe your objectives for participating in the Summer Institute and the ways in which you expect to apply the training you receive.

Please note that the online application form allows for limited formatting capacity, so you may want to compose your essay responses in a word processing application and paste them into the online application form.

For more information:

Summer Institute
Center for Reconciliation, Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3578