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


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 yearlong 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?
  • White Supremacy Culture: How does white supremacy culture run counter to the gospel call to reconciliation, and how we can work towards dismantling racism? 
  • Boundaries and Relational Covenants: How can relational covenants define personal and communal boundaries and transform conflict?

Reconciliation Conversations Lecture Series

This lecture series explores the idea of reconciliation and what it means in the life of a Christian from a variety of perspectives. These lectures open up important conversations not only among the faculty, staff, and students at Duke Divinity School, but also in the broader Durham community.  Past lectures and workshops have included:

  • Faith-Rooted Community Organizing in a Time of Travail, Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel
  • Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism, Rev. Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak
  • Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love, Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim
  • Exploring Reconciliation Narratives, Dr. David Anderson Hooker
  • Trustbuilding and Community Change, Rev. Sylvester “Tee” Turner and Robert Corcoran, Hope in the Cities

Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope

Pilgrimages of Pain and Hope are contextual learning trips to locales where deep societal brokenness has been met with a vibrant and holistic Christian witness to the possibility of justice, healing, and wholeness.

CFR partners with non-profit DurhamCares to hold the Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope for Duke Divinity School students and community and other residents of Durham. Through the spiritual practice of pilgrimage, students learn about Durham’s history of oppression by visiting Durham’s historical sites and speaking with community leaders. The pilgrimage invites individuals to gain a sense of “reconciliation from what?” in order to understand “reconciliation toward what?”

Racial Equity Training

In late 2014, the Center for Reconciliation began offering scholarships to Duke Divinity School students, faculty, and staff for training at the Racial Equity Institute. The training offered is designed to build the capacity of clergy, educators, health practitioners, child welfare advocates, judicial representatives, and those interested in understanding and eliminating racial inequities and disparities within our society. Our goal is to use this training as a way to develop a common language and understanding of what race is and how it works in America. 

“One thing I came to grasp through this training is that being a white anti-racist involves speaking out, even when it is uncomfortable. I cannot simply fight racism by advocating for people of color, I must also be willing to fight against racist ideologies of white people. I must name the racist structures present in society, and especially in the church.”

-Michelle Osborne, Program Manager, Faith-Based & Community Partnerships, Rural Advancement Foundation International, M.Div. ‘15

Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Conference

Each year, the CFR funds Duke Divinity students to travel to the annual CCDA conference and learn about the CCDA’s approach to restoring under-resourced neighborhoods. Students hear from plenary speakers, attend workshops, and worship with Christians across the country to deepen their understanding of reconciliation ministry.  

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: