Monday, May 18, 2020 - 4:30pm to Friday, May 22, 2020 - 1:00pm
Duke Divinity School
Valerie Helbert
(919) 660-3594

Editor’s note: This event has been postponed in response to the corona virus. Visit Duke's COVID-19 response site for the most up-to-date information and policies for the university at

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

Our focus on reconciliation is grounded in a distinctively Christian vision and a framework that is richly practical, contextual, and theological. Rooted in Duke Divinity School’s conviction that reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, the Summer Institute for Reconciliation draws on the strengths of a faculty of world-class scholars and practitioners. Since God’s ministry of reconciliation is entrusted to all Christians, the institute is designed to cultivate leaders who “carry the marks of Jesus” on their body (cf. Galations 6:17). These cross-shaped or cruciform reconcilers will have a robust vision and practice of Christian reconciliation that is faithful to the scriptural witness, discerning of the signs of the times, and sensitive to the life of the church. The institute is nurtured by the deepening formation, teaching, and content of a biblical vision of reconciliation that inspires and ferments a movement of transformed communities and relationships. This formation of communities is nurtured by each other’s witness that Christ is strengthening us to the end, affirming us so that we do not “lack any spiritual gift” in our life together (1 Corinthians 1:4-9). As an integral part of the Divinity School at Duke University and rooted in a Christian vision of God’s ministry of reconciliation, the institute aims to serve the academy, the church, and the world.

Institute Overview

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation blends plenary talks given by preeminent scholars and practitioners in the fields of theology and reconciliation, small group seminars led by world-class educators and practitioners, and ecumenical Christian worship to create a rich, vibrant week focused on growing together as scholars and practitioners of reconciliation. Plenary speakers, seminar teachers, and worship leaders use scriptural interpretation, theology, and story-telling to weave a rich tapestry of reflection that is theological, contextual, and practical.

The learning and formation that take place at the Summer Institute for Reconciliation build on critical questions that frame our content and design. These questions address the heart of the journey of reconciliation. Our methodology, which we call “Word Made Flesh,” explores the theological, contextual, and practical dimensions of this movement of hope and liberation.

The questions are:

  • New Creation — “Reconciliation toward what end?”: This is a question relating to the goal, the end toward which reconciliation leads. If we think about reconciliation as a journey, this first day anchors us in our destination. Where does this journey end? This question invites the participant to form a scriptural imagination of the gift of new creation.
  • Lament  —  “Where are we and how did we get here?”: This is a question of context, which seeks to get to a clearer and deeper understanding of the specific challenges through seeing, naming, and standing in the brokenness. What are the historic markers that lead us to our current context? How has the past shaped the present? This question invites the participant to develop the gift and discipline of lament.
  • Hope  — “What does liberation look like?”: This is a question of process, which highlights models, stories, and experiments that shape and sustain a new future in our context. We understand liberation and reconciliation to be concurrent processes. Where can we see signs pointing toward liberation? The question invites the participant into a vision, imagination, and capacity for hope leading toward liberation and reconciliation.
  • Calling“Why me, and why bother?”: This is a question of purpose, which explores issues of personal and communal formation, vocation, and mission. We understand that all Christians have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation, although specific responses to this call may be varied. How have individuals and communities faithfully responded to this call? What practices, rhythms, and life-styles sustain people and communities, even in the face of challenges and obstacles, so they might continue working to achieve this goal? This question invites the participant to reflect on their calling to live as cruciform reconcilers.

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation is intended for:

  • 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;
  • Christians who are committed to the ongoing training and equipping of others, calling forth the gifts of the community to inspire, form, and support people to become ambassadors of God’s movement of hope; that foster a life together that is a witness to now being “the acceptable time,” now being the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2);
  • Grass-roots ministers and Christians living and working among people who suffer or are marginalized;
  • 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; and
  • Every follower of Jesus Christ seeking to become an ambassador of God’s healing and wholeness.


The institute begins Monday, May 18, 2020 with registration, dinner, worship, and an opening plenary at Duke Divinity School. It concludes with closing worship and lunch on Friday, May 22, 2020.

The 2020 schedule will be posted in the spring.

Daily schedule elements:

Morning & Evening Worship
Participants begin and end each day with vibrant Christian worship held in Duke Divinity School’s Goodson Chapel.

Morning Common Journey
All participants gather to learn from and dialogue with plenary speakers about a theological vision and practice of reconciliation. 

In-Depth Seminars
Participants designate their top three choices for seminars. Each participant will be enrolled in two seminars that meet 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
Other activities include shared noon meals, one-on-one conversations with faculty, optional evening events, and access to the many resources of Duke University’s campus.

Faculty & Speakers

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

2020 Institute Faculty

Vilma "Nina" BalmacedaNina Balmaceda

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Dr. Vilma "Nina" Balmaceda is a scholar-practitioner whose work focuses on civic leadership development and education for peace and human rights. Beginning May 1, 2020 she will serve as missional strategist at the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. She previously served as dean of Graduate Studies at CETI Continental and as professor of political Science at Nyack College in New York. Balmaceda  is the president of Peace and Hope International, a nonprofit organization that works through local organizations in six countries of Latin America alongside individuals, families, and communities in poverty so that they can live with dignity, free from violence and other forms of injustice. She also serves as trustee of the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C.

Balmaceda will be teaching the Exploring the Role of Justice in Peacebuilding seminar.

Reynolds ChapmanReynolds Chapman

Reynolds Chapman is executive director of DurhamCares and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church. At DurhamCares, he was part of the team that launched the Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope, which has led over 350 people on a journey of connecting to the story of of Durham, N.C., their own story, and God’s story. Reynolds has served in numerous churches and community development organizations, as well as has written about race and place in Red Letter Christians, the Church Health Reader, Christianity Today, and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Theological Journal.

Chapman will co-teach The Power of Pilgrimage seminar with Tammy Rodman.

Edgardo Colón-Emeric  Dr. Edgardo Colon-Emeric

Edgardo A. Colón-Emeric, Ph.D., is the Irene and William McCutchen Associate Professor of Reconciliation and Theology, director of the Center for Reconciliation, and senior strategist for the Hispanic House of Studies, all at Duke Divinity School. 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 most recent book, Óscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor, was published in October 2018 by Notre Dame Press. His research interests focus on the intersections of dogmatic theology and Hispanic questions.

Colón-Emeric will be teaching the Theology of Reconciliation seminar.

Chris De VosChris DeVos

The Rev. Chris De Vos is the vice president of Partnerships and Care at The Colossian Forum. He has threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life, and worked to collaborate across differences in the Christian Reformed and Reformed Church. De Vos graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Ill. Before coming to The Colossian Forum, De Vos worked as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in Boulder, Colo., Dunwoody, Ga., Kingston, Ontario, and most recently in Holland, Mich. In Holland, he led a process of reconciliation at Pillar Church, which became a dual-affiliated church (Christian Reformed in North America and Reformed Church in America). From 2015 - 2017, he led the Ridder Church Renewal initiative at Western Theological Seminary.

De Vos will be teaching the Conflict As Opportunity seminar.

Susan J. DunlapSusan Dunlap

Susan J. Dunlap, Ph.D. is an ordained Presbyterian minister and adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Duke Divinity School, where she teaches classes on churches’ care for the bereaved. In addition, she is the coordinator of the M.Div./M.S.W. dual degree program that the Divinity School shares with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  For ten years Dunlap has also served as the volunteer chaplain at Urban Ministries of Durham, where she leads a prayer service and provides pastoral care. Her chaplaincy work has also included prison and hospital ministry. As a pastor in Baltimore, Md., Dunlap was the solo minister of a small church for four years before returning to school for a Th.M. from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently a parish associate at First Presbyterian Church in Durham. Her roles include teaching classes and coordinating support teams. As a part of this congregation, Dunlap is active in Durham Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods (CAN), especially in the area of affordable housing. She is the author of two books, Counseling Depressed Women and Caring Cultures: How Congregations Care for the Sick, as well as other book chapters and articles. She is currently working on third book based on her ministry at Urban Ministries of Durham.

Dunlap will be teaching the Promoting Reconciliation in Your Community seminar.

Sujin PakSujin Pak

Sujin Pak, Ph.D., is an associate professor of the history of Christianity and vice dean of Academic Affairs, both at Duke Divinity School. She specializes in the history of Christianity in late medieval and early modern Europe. Her teaching focuses on the theology of the Protestant reformers, the Protestant Reformation and the Jews, women and the Reformation, and the history of biblical interpretation. Her research and writing engage the history of biblical interpretation during the Reformation era. Pak is a United Methodist layperson with active roles as a teacher and lay preacher in the United Methodist Church. Her family heritage includes numerous UMC pastors, missionaries, deacons, and district superintendents. In 2009, Oxford University Press published her book titled “The Judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-Century Debates over the Messianic Psalms.”

Pak will be the plenary speaker on Lament on Wednesday, May 20.

Tammy RodmanTammy Rodman

The Rev. Dr. Tammy White Rodman holds a B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Divinity from Shaw University Divinity School focusing in Theology, and her Doctorate in Ministry from United Theological Seminar with a focus in Christian Education and Urban Ministries. Her doctoral project titled Walking Wounded: Sexual Abuse and Molestation Women finding their healing through God’s Word has come to life as The Sanctuary Outreach Ministry, which she established in 2015 to provide brave space for women from all walks of life who have experienced abuse the freedom to release the silence, shame, and hopelessness, and begin their healing walk with Christ. Rodman’s work in the community has proven her focus as she has served on various boards such as Urban Ministries, board chair for Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network now under the heading of Families Moving Forward, and the founding board chair for Excelsior Classical Academy, which now has over 600 students in grades K-8. She is a trained community organizer through Durham Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods (CAN) and presently is the director of pilgrimage programs for DurhamCares.

Rodman will co-teach The Power of Pilgrimage seminar with Reynolds Chapman.

J. Warren SmithJ Warren Smith

J. Warren Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of historical theology at Duke Divinity School, is interested in the history of theology broadly conceived from the apostles to the present, but his primary focus is upon patristic theology. His books include Passion and Paradise: Human and Divine Emotion in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa (Crossroad, 2004) and Christian Grace and Pagan Virtue: The Theological Foundation of Ambrose's Ethics (Oxford, 2010). Smith’s current project is an outgrowth of his work on Ambrose's theology. Having examined Ambrose's theological foundation for the possibility of the virtuous life, he examines how the theology transforms early Christian conceptions of virtue. Smith is a United Methodist minister from the North Carolina Annual Conference.

Smith will be the plenary speaker on New Creation on Tuesday, May 19.

Bernard WongBernard Wong

Dr. Bernard Wong is associate dean and assistant professor of theological studies at the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong. He is a member of the Collaboration Council for the Northeast Asia Reconciliation Initiative (NARI), helping to organize the Christian Forum for Reconciliation in Northeast Asia as well as speaking frequently at plenaries and workshops of the annual forum. A graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, USA, Wong’s research interests include theology of the family, bioethics, creation care, faith and technology, and political theology. He is the author of Beginning from Man and Woman: Witnessing Christ’s Love in the Family (English) and Communio: A Biblical Reflection on Relationship and Community (Chinese).

Wong will be teaching the Community of Reconciliation in a Fragmented Society: Reflections from Hong Kong seminar.


When registering, each participant selects three seminar choices. Participants will be placed into TWO seminars for the institute week, receiving confirmation of seminar enrollment in early May. Seminar enrollement is based on 1) participant choices, 2) essay responses, and 3) total seminar enrollment numbers.

A limited seminar size allows for a more intimate group experience and enables a smaller group to delve deeply into a particular area of reconciliation.

2020 Seminars

Community of Reconciliation in a Fragmented Society: Reflections from Hong Kong

In this seminar, participants will read Paul’s letter to the Romans for an understanding of salvation as “reconciliation of all things in Christ.” They will then explore how this reconciliation can be fleshed out in the Hong Kong church — a community situated in a politically-divided society. Topics include: 1) reconciliation as Gospel; 2) moral deliberation and community building; 3) judgment, forgiveness, and reconciliation; 4) grace as a practice for peacebuilding.

This seminar will be taught by Dr. Bernard Wong.

Conflict as Opportunity: Polarization, Christian Practices, and Witness

Much of the church today has capitulated to the widespread polarization around politics and other societal issues. At the same time, the calling of Christians centers on Christ’s work to dismantle the dividing walls that separate us. If God is reconciling all things to Godself in Christ, what Christian practices will help us participate in that work? This seminar will probe some of the dynamics of polarization today, provide a model of faithful conflict engagement to remedy our divisiveness, and offer various ways we can implement that model in local settings. 

This seminar will be taught by Rev. Chris De Vos.

Exploring the Role of Justice in Peacebuilding

In a world ridden by conflict, violence, and abuse of power, the tensions between justice and peacebuilding efforts can be understood as differing and even opposed to each other. Peacebuilding, however, must deal with the root causes of conflict and violence, and help parties deal with their differences in nonviolent ways. This seminar will explore the role of justice in peacebuilding by examining two complementary questions: 1) How does the blessing of shalom/eirene incorporate justice?; and 2) How does the pursuit of justice build the sort of relationships that contribute to fostering healthier communities, especially after periods of violence and/or heated conflict? To answer these questions, participants will explore different ways of understanding justice and the five fundamental functions of justice in peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts.

This seminar will be taught by Dr. Nina Balmaceda.

Promoting Reconciliation in Your Community

Have you wondered how churches can engage in the sometimes complex process of reconciliation in their own town or city? Where does the faithful Christian begin? This seminar helps participants consider their own communities and their call to reconciliation in them. Examples of local ministries involved in areas of criminal justice, homelessness, and community organizing for affordable housing will stir participants to discern where they are called to the ministry of reconciliation in their own context.

This seminar will be taught by Dr. Susan Dunlap.

The Power of Pilgrimage: Journeying through Place for Personal and Social Transformation

This seminar will explore pilgrimage as a transformational practice for the journey of reconciliation. Participants will learn the theological underpinnings of pilgrimage as they reflect on themes of place, story, encounter, lament, hope, reflection, and transformation. The seminar will highlight examples of pilgrimage and offer practical guidance for implementing a pilgrimage in participants' own contexts. Most of all, participants will reflect on their own lives as pilgrimage and their own homes as contexts for cultivating a pilgrim way of life, leaving this seminar with a fresh imagination as they journey back home. 

This seminar will be co-taught by Rev. Tammy Rodman and Rev. Reynolds Chapman.

Theology of Reconciliation

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.

This seminar taught by Rev. Edgardo Colόn-Emeric, Ph.D.


Registration is now open for the 2020 Summer Institute for Reconciliation. Registration will be open until April 30, 2020.

As you prepare to register, have the following materials ready:

  • Selections of first, second, and third choices for seminars
  • Prepared responses for three essay questions (2,500 character limit for each):
    • Describe the relevant work and personal experiences, past and present, which you feel prepare and motivate you for participation in the Summer Institute for Reconciliation
    • Describe your objectives for participating in the Summer Institute for Reconciliation
    • Share the ways in which you anticipate applying the training you receive
  • Scholarship code (if applicable).

NOTE: Duke Divinity School Students enrolled in WXTIAN 764 (World Christianity 764 — God's Ministry of Reconciliation: Explorations in Missiology and Ecclesiology) need to contact Valerie Helbert for the appropriate registration link/codes to register.

For more information about registration, please contact program coordinator Valerie Helbert.

Accommodations, Meals & Travel


All Summer Institute for Reconciliation participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. We have arranged for a special rate at the Hilton Hotel on Hillsborough Road in Durham, N.C., a full-service hotel located 2.2 miles from the Divinity School. Participants in the Duke Summer Institute will be eligible for the rate of $119 (plus 13.5% sales and occupancy tax) per night for a single room (1 king bed) or for a shared room (2 queen beds). This rate will be in effect until April 30, 2020, or until the room block is filled.

How to make a reservation:

  • Phone:  Call 1-800-HILTONS (445-8667) and be sure to reference the Duke Divinity Summer Institute 2020.
  • Online: (Link coming soon).

Hilton amenities:

  • Complimentary in-room, high-speed Internet access
  • Fitness room;
  • Pool​;
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Duke Divinity School;
  • Free parking at the hotel; and
  • Complimentary printing service.

If you would like to share a room with two queen beds (reducing your housing costs to $54.50 per night per person plus tax) but do not have a roommate, please contact us at We will put you in touch with other participants seeking a roommate. 


Participants and faculty share some meals together throughout the week. We understand this space and time to be a crucial part of the Summer Institute for Reconciliation, allowing for one-on-one or small group conversations, new friendships that will help nurture participants in their ministry, and the practice of shared table fellowship among a diverse group of believers. Therefore, the $500 institute registration fee includes the following meals:

  • Opening dinner Monday evening
  • Coffee/ snacks   Tuesday-Friday
  • Lunch Tuesday-Friday

Other meals are on your own. Additional options for local dining will be included in your participant information when you arrive.

NOTE: For currently enrolled Duke Divinty School students taking the Summer Institute for Reconciliation for credit, catering costs have not been included in your tuition payments for the year. When you register for the institute, you will have the opportunity to pay a fee to be included in the catering, or are invited to bring your own food and join us during meals.


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 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, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Washington, D.C, New York City, and points in between. Make reservations in advance online or by phone.

Ground Transportation

Directions to Duke University


If you are staying at the Hilton Hotel, a free shuttle service will provide transportation to and from Duke Divinity School every day, and a parking pass is not necessary or recommended due to limited parking available on campus. Local transportation will be arranged for any off-campus events during the week of the institute.

If you are driving to the Summer Institute any day of the event, it is recommended that you register and pay in advance for vouchers to park on-campus. Purchased vouchers are for the Bryan Center (PGIV) Parking Garage (see map): a three-minute walk to the Divinity School (see map), and cost $50 for the week. You will receive five single use vouchers to exit the parking garage.

Parking vouchers may be picked up at the registration table on Monday, May 18, 2020. No extra vouchers will be available onsite during the institute.