Monday, September 14, 2020 - 12:00pm to Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 1:00pm
Zoom Webinars
Stacey Tompkins

This year due to the pandemic, the annual Convocation & Pastors’ School will consist of five, one-hour webinars free of charge and designed for Christian leaders of all traditions. These free webinars will be led by Duke Divinity School faculty and staff and will occur throughout September and October. This year's theme is "Christian Leadership in Turbulent Times." Convocation and Pastors' School is a cooperative endeavor with the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church, The Duke Endowment, and Duke Divinity School.

2020 Theme

Christian Leadership In Turbulent Times

Webinar Leaders

William Willimon
Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School

A bishop in the United Methodist Church, Professor William Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and Willimonprofessor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Willimon is a graduate of Wofford College (B.A., 1968), Yale Divinity School (M.Div., 1971), and Emory University (S.T.D., 1973). He has served as pastor of churches in Georgia and South Carolina. A prolific and internationally known author, he has published more than 70 books with more than a million copies sold. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the ten most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. His Pulpit Resource is used each week by thousands of pastors in the USA, Canada, and Australia. A 2005 study by the Pulpit and Pew Research Center found that Bishop Willimon is the second most widely read author by mainline Protestant pastors.


L. Gregory Jones
Dean of the Divinity School; Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry

The Rev. Dr. L. Gregory Jones is the Dean of Duke Divinity School, a position he also held earlier from 1997-2010.Jones Jones also is the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry, a senior fellow at the Fuqua-Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics, and a senior fellow at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. Jones is dedicated to cultivating strategic and visionary leadership and innovation in partnership with individuals and institutions. His focus on leadership and innovation builds on his scholarly work in forgiveness and reconciliation, as well as his years of leadership in higher education. He founded Leadership Education in 2008 and directed its work until 2010 when he began service as Duke’s chief international strategist to advance and coordinate the university’s global engagement. In 2016-17, Jones served as executive vice president and provost of Baylor University, helping lead the university through a year of challenges as well as several key leadership transitions. He is the author or editor of 17 books, including Christian Social Innovation, the co-authored Forgiving As We've Been Forgiven: Community Practices for Making Peace (with Celestin Musekura, in 2010), Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry (with Kevin R. Armstrong, in 2006) and the widely acclaimed Embodying Forgiveness (1995). Jones has published more than 200 articles in a variety of publications. He is an ordained United Methodist pastor and is married to the Rev. Dr. Susan Pendleton Jones.


Stephen Chapman
Associate Professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity School Chapman

A proponent of theological interpretation of the Bible, the Rev. Dr. Stephen B. Chapman has studied, lectured, and taught internationally and domestically in a variety of academic and church settings. His work focuses on the formation of the biblical canon, the nature of the Old Testament as Scripture, the literary dynamics of biblical narrative, the challenge of biblical violence, and the history and use of the Old Testament within the Christian tradition and Western culture. He is the author of 1 Samuel as Christian Scripture (2016), which was named Reference Book of the Year for 2017 by the Academy of Parish Clergy, and The Law and the Prophets (2000; 2nd ed. 2020), as well as numerous essays.


Laceye Warner Warner
Royce and Jane Reynolds Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies; Associate Dean for Wesleyan Engagement at Duke Divinity School

The Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and currently serves as the associate professor of the practice of evangelism and Methodist studies and associate dean of Wesleyan engagement. Before coming to Duke in 2001, Warner taught at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University as the E. Stanley Jones Assistant Professor of Evangelism. She has served urban congregations in the Methodist Church of Great Britain. Warner’s research interests in the historical theology of evangelism seek to inform and locate contemporary church practices within the larger Christian narrative. These interests are reflected in two books published in 2007: Saving Women: Retrieving Evangelistic Theology and Practice (Baylor University Press) and The Study of Evangelism, co-edited with Dr. Paul Chilcote (Eerdmans Publishing Company).


Alma Tinoco Ruiz
Lecturer in Homiletics and Evangelism; Director of the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School

Professor Alma Tinoco Ruiz is currently working on her Th.D. degree at Duke Divinity School and is theTinoco Ruiz first recipient of the Lilly Endowment Inc. fellowship for Hispanic-Latino/a students in the Th.D. program in homiletics. She was awarded the Denman Fellow of the Foundation for Evangelism (FFE) in 2016, the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Doctoral Fellowship in 2019, and the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI)/Lilly fellowship in 2020. Professor Tinoco Ruiz is a practical theologian whose work centers on the intersection of homiletics, pastoral care, and evangelism. She is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church.


Warren Kinghorn
Esther Colliflower Associate Research Professor of Pastoral and Moral Theology; Co-Director, Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical CenterKinghorn

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., is a psychiatrist whose work centers on the role of religious communities in caring for persons with mental health problems and on ways in which Christians engage practices of modern health care. Jointly appointed within Duke Divinity School and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Duke University Medical Center, he is co-director of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative and is a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center. He has written on the moral and theological dimensions of combat trauma and moral injury, on the moral and political context of psychiatric diagnosis, and on the way that St. Thomas Aquinas’ image of the human as wayfarer might inform contemporary practices of ministry and mental health care. 


Regina Graham
Associate Director, Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School

The Rev. Regina Graham is the associate director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School. Her diverse experience of 25 years runs the gamut from sports marketing and business development to pastoral ministry and chaplaincy. In her current role, she provides direction in program management, pastoral ministry, pastoral care, mentoring, and academic student support. Graham is an ordained minister with the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc. and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Drew University, a Master in Business degree from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree from Loyola University Chicago.

Webinar schedule


September 14, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm

Preaching and Leadership led by Dr. William Willimon

September 28, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm

Navigating the Future in the Midst of Heavy Fog led by Dean L. Gregory Jones

October 15, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm

Light to the Nations: Old Testament Resources for Missional Ministry led by Professors Stephen Chapman and Laceye Warner

October 19, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm

Leadership and Trauma led by Professor Alma Tinoco Ruiz

October 28, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm

Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 and Racial Divisions led by Dr. Warren Kinghorn and Rev. Regina Graham

Registration and Questions

Registration has closed for this event due to reaching capacity but thank you for your interest in Convocation & Pastors' School.

For questions, contact Duke Divinity School at

Past Events

2018 Convocation & Pastors’ School: “Neighboring in a Post-Christendom World” Audio

  • Two sermons by Cynthia Hale, founder and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga.: Cynthia Hale Monday Worship in Goodson Chapel and Cynthia Hale Tuesday Worship in Duke Chapel.
  • A lecture by David Goatley, research professor of theology and Black Church Studies and director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School titled "Aiming for the Ditch."
  • A lecture by Ian Douglas, missiologist and bishop diocesan of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut on the topic of "Participating in God’s Mission: Ecclesial Lessons from the Post Christendom Frontier."
  • A conversation with L. Gregory Jones , dean of the Divinity School and Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry, and Christine Pohl, professor emeritus of Christian Ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary on the topic of "Reweaving the Social Fabric: Hospitality, Community, and Learning to be Good Neighbors."
  • There are no recording for Barbara Brown Taylor’s plenary sessions.

Closed Captioning available on all recordings. Activate closed captioning [CC] by clicking CC on the lower right-hand corner of the audio recordings and YouTube video.

2016: Who Needs Theology? Inside and Outside the Church
Featuring Elaine A. Heath, Norman Wirzba, Ellen F. Davis and panel, Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. and panel, and Brian E. Combs

2015: Body and Belonging
Featuring John Swinton, Claire Wimbush, Deb Richardson-Moore, and William Lee

2014: Life After Christendom: Resident Aliens 25 Years Later
Featuring Stanley Hauerwas, Will Willimon, James Davison Hunter, and Hope Morgan Ward
Due to technical difficulties, recordings of this event are not available.

2013: Renewing the Church
Featuring James K.A. Smith, Jorge Acevedo, Laceye Warner, and Jeremy Troxler

2012: Form/Reform: Cultivating Christian Leaders
Featuring Richard J. Mouw, Andy Crouch, Sarah Coakley, and Prince Raney Rivers

2011: Drawn into Scripture: Arts and the Life of the Church
Featuring Jeremy Begbie, Marilynne Robinson, Anthony Kelley and the BLAK Ensemble, and Lillian Daniel

2010: The Living Witness: Tradition, Innovation, and the Church
Featuring N.T. Wright, Rob Bell, Andy Crouch, and Vashti McKenzie

2009: The Next Generation
Featuring Os Guinness and Philip Jenkins

2008: For Such a Time as This
Featuring L. Gregory Jones, Janice Riggle Huie, Ron Heifetz, Al Gwinn, Greg Palmer, Larry Goodpaster, and Adam Hamilton

2007: Our Daily Bread
Featuring Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Stanley Hauerwas, Ellen Davis, Janice Virtue, Norman Wirzba, L. Gregory Jones, and Carol Bechtel