Sunday, October 15, 2023 - 6:00pm to Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 4:30pm
Duke Divinity School
Stacey Tompkins

The annual Convocation & Pastors’ School is an intensive multi-day conference that offers lectures, worship, alumni gatherings, and seminars for Christian leaders of all traditions. Led by scholars and practitioners from Duke University and beyond, this event is a cooperative endeavor with the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church, The Duke Endowment, The Parish Ministry Fund, and Duke Divinity School.


2023 Theme

Growing Where You Are Planted logo

Please mark your calendars for October 15-17, 2023 for the 2023 Convocation and Pastors’ School at Duke Divinity School. This year, our theme is Growing Where You Are Planted. Registration will open in early to mid-July so keep an eye out for the registration link. Throughout our worship services, plenary sessions, and seminars participants will find a focus on best practices that enable them to survive, grow, and thrive in their current ministry setting. Convocation and Pastors’ School features nationally renowned speakers, powerful lectures, inspiring worship, and thought-provoking seminars.



Featured presenters and Preachers:

  • Kate Bowler, Multiple NY Times Best Selling Author & Associate Professor of Christian History, Duke Divinity
  • Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields since 2012. He has served as a parish priest for 20 years with 10 of those in urban priority areas. He also spent 7 years in North Carolina, where he was Dean of Duke University Chapel.
  • Ben and Erin Napier, Stars of HGTV’s Home Town, the former minister and graphic designer use ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American street.
  • Nina Balmaceda, scholar-practitioner whose work focuses on civic leadership development and education for peace and reconciliation and is the current Associate Director for the Center for Reconciliation
  • Yvette Pressley, is a former United Methodist Church pastor and executive director of an outreach ministry for marginalized communities. She is also a certified family group conference facilitator, a preceptor, and an instructor of conflict transformation at Duke Divinity School.
  • Elizabeth Howze, Director of Teaching, Training, and Learning at the Ormond Center. By bringing together clusters of diverse congregations and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, her program areas serve congregations seeking to be witnesses to and catalysts for thriving within their local communities.
  • Jennifer Moxley, lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sikeston, Missouri. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School where she received her Masters of Divinity in 2014.

Past Events

2018: “Neighboring in a Post-Christendom World” Audio

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





The Parish Ministry Fund