The CFR’s programs equip Duke Divinity School students with the tools and resources to practice Christian reconciliation in their future ministries. 

The Berean Cohort

The Center for Reconciliation offers a reconciliation-centered spiritual formation group specifically for master's-level students at Duke Divinity School. The Berean Cohort aims to form students into transformative Christian leaders who are deeply prepared for the mission of reconciliation in the church, academy, and world by connecting to and building on Duke Divinity School’s programs of teaching and learning. Students who participate in the cohort can expect to gain the following: 1) an opportunity to learn from CFR Missional Strategist Nina Balmaceda; 2) a deepened understanding of the interconnectedness of reconciliation work, vocational ministry, and Christian faith and practice; and 3) an awareness of the Word Made Flesh methodology as a framework to underestand and participate in God's mission of reconciliation. Through participation in a series of activities (regular seminar meetings, retreat, spring pilgrimage, and Summer Institute for Reconciliation) Bereans will deepen their vision of reconciliation and form a community of support with a sense of shared journey and mission. Bereans will aslo be encouraged to attend events and community-wide activities sponsored by the CFR. The cohort will remain small (up to 10 students) to ensure an intimate and meaningful journey for each participant in the program.

Berean Cohort dates for 2020-2021

  • Cohort launch: Sept. 3, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Seminar meeting dates: Thursdays 12:30 – 2 p.m.
    • Sept. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Nov. 5, Jan. 28, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 11, April 15
  • Summer Institute for Reconciliation:
    • May 17-21

Interested students should complete and submit an application by Aug. 19, 2020. All applicants will be interviewed Aug. 20-26. Final decisions will be communicated on Aug. 28, 2020.

Why “The Bereans”? 

The Bereans mentioned in Acts 17:10-15 were members of the Jewish diaspora living in the city of Beroea in Macedonia, today’s Northern Greece. Paul and Silas preached to them during Paul’s second missionary journey. The context of this encounter was one of conflict and even violence against the early Christians, but the Bereans had a humbler and more positive attitude when they heard the message than other groups.  

The Bereans are described by Luke in verse 11 as more receptive (NRSV), open-minded (NLV), fair-minded (NKJ), of more noble character (NIV), more willing to listen (NCV), because they were not quick to condemn. In fact, they demonstrated that they were eager to learn but they would not accept any doctrine without considering it carefully in the light of the Scriptures.   

They are particularly remembered in the New Testament as a group of God-fearing people who listened to the teachings of Paul and Silas and, as a community, searched the Scriptures to examine the content of what they had heard. Their diligent attitude led them to faith in Jesus of Nazareth.  

Conflict Conversation Series

Conflict is a natural part of life and bound to occur, whether in the home, school, community, church, or workplace. However, the way we manage conflict has the potential to support personal, community, and institutional transformation. In partnership with the Conflict Transformation Ministries of the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Center for Reconciliation is pleased to host a series of conversations about key conflict resolution skills. The goal of this series is to help the Duke Divinity School community understand the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. In addition to giving a short presentation and engaging participants’ questions, speakers will provide practical resources and lists of materials to help equip us in our journey to be more self-aware and more confident as we work in and on conflict. Past topics have included:

  • Your Brain on Conflict: How do our brains respond to conflict?
  • Understanding Implicit Bias: What are our biases, and how do we unlearn our unhelpful implicit associations?
  • Cultural Humility: How does white supremacy culture run counter to the gospel call to reconciliation, and how we can work towards dismantling racism by practicing cultural humility? 
Academic Courses

Duke Divinity School is one of the country’s best centers for theological learning, with a historical commitment to reconciliation. In addition to the courses taught by the Center for Reconciliation faculty, many professors focus their core classes and advanced seminars in topics of reconciliation.

Past courses have included:

  • Christian Identity and the Formation of the Racial World
  • Prophetic Ministry: Shaping Communities of Justice
  • Agrarian Theology for an Urban World
  • God’s Ministry of Reconciliation
  • Restorative Justice, Prison Ministry, and the Church
  • Journeys of Reconciliation
  • Feminist Theology: Globalization
  • Disunity in Christ: Difference, Conflict, and Resolution in the Church 
  • Power, Inequality, and Reconciliation 

The Divinity School also offers two certificates related to the fields of justice and reconciliation. These certificates can be earned alongside a degree: