Our Mission

The Duke Divinity School Women’s Center supports women in Christian ministry through fellowship, education, advocacy, academics, and outreach.  We aim to bring awareness of gender concerns to the broader Duke Divinity Community, in order to empower all students for fruitful Christian ministry.

What We Do

The Women’s Center serves as a clearinghouse for information on a variety of issues affecting women and provides opportunities for interaction, networking, challenge and growth, as well as a sacred space for those in the community who experience struggles in their lives or ministries. The Women’s Center continues to affirm the Imago Dei in women and men, and views the participation of women as essential in all aspects of the body of Christ.

Community Education

GTM Certificate Awareness
Provide support to students pursuing the Certificate in Gender, Theology, and Ministry.

Jill Raitt Lecture Series
A distinguished speaker is invited to speak at the Divinity School in a formal lecture, in honor of Jill Raitt, the first tenured female faculty.

Listen to past lectures on iTunes U.

Panel Discussions
Each semester, the Women’s Center organizes a panel discussion on a wide-range of topics such as “Faith and Bodies,” “Theology of Feminism,” “The Church and Homosexuality,” “Ethics, Theology, and Civil Engagement,” as well as many others.

Listen to past panel discussions on iTunes U.

Women’s Week
Each year, the Women’s Center sponsors a women’s week with activities that celebrate women. The week includes a Women’s Center-led Chapel service in Goodson, in which a female-student is invited to preach.

Programs

Ministry Mentors Program
Women seminary students who seek mentors can be paired with a woman serving in various denominations and ministries in the wider Durham/Triangle community. If you would like to be paired with a mentor, please contact the Women’s Center.

Brown-Bag Lunch Program
Each month, The Women’s Center invites local female clergy, faculty, and not-for-profit workers from varying denominations to share the joys and difficulties of their journey in ministry in informal conversation-oriented settings. The events are held in classrooms during the lunch hour, and are great opportunities to learn more about and from women who are thriving in ministry.

Potluck Dinners
Commonly held in someone’s home, potlucks are a great way for women to connect with one another, and generate fresh ideas for the future of the Women’s Center.

Discussion Groups

Men’s Group
Duke Divinity School men meet once each week in the Women’s Center to talk about masculinity, gender, and sexuality through the sharing of personal stories. Each member is invested in the activity and mission of the Women’s Center and believe that being followers of Christ means being sensitive to the Church’s need for safe spaces for all people.

Pub Group
Students meet at a local pub one night a week to discuss a topic related to gender and theology. The group is led by the Women’s Center coordinators.

Women’s Group
Duke Divinity School women meet once each week in the Women’s Center to talk about femininity, gender, and sexuality through the sharing of personal stories and a discussion-oriented topic.

Please contact the Women’s Center for a list of current groups and meeting schedules, or visit us on Facebook.

Provide a Safe Space

The Women’s Center Office is an official “safe space” on campus. This means that we continually aim to:

  • Make a conscious effort in every conversation and event to not privilege one person or group over another in regards to differences of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class.
  • Create a culture where people become aware of their own assumptions and biases through modeling in word and action.
  • Maintain an atmosphere where emotions can be freely expressed, and where people can have honest and healthy conflict without feeling threatened. 
  • Recognize the Imago Dei in everyone. This means being able to sit with others in the midst of unresolved issue
  • Foster genuineness in relationships. "Safe space" does not mean putting on another mask, and pretending to be polite and nice; but it does mean being respectful and open to growing in understanding for the sake of relationships.
  • Listen and respond with care.

The Women’s Center offers free hot drinks, a warm place to relax and comfy furniture for study breaks and occasional napping, so please stop in. All are welcome

We also offer a breast-feeding area for nursing mothers, equipped with a refrigerator and changing table.