CPS 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015

Duke Divinity School’s annual Convocation & Pastors’ School will return Oct. 12-13, featuring lectures by renowned scholars and practitioners, seminars that foster in-depth discussion, worship services, and the opportunity to reconnect with friends and faculty. 

This year’s event, “Body and Belonging: Nurturing Wholeness in Christian Community,” will explore ways of ensuring that the church serves as a place of welcome and belonging for all.

During morning sessions on Monday and Tuesday, Rev. Dr. John Swinton will deliver the James A. Gray Lectures, drawing on his research and writing on the theology of disability. Swinton, the Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies and Director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health, and Disability at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, has a background in mental health nursing and is one of the world’s leading voices in the theology of disability and mental illness.

On Monday afternoon, Rev. Claire Wimbush will deliver the Franklin S. Hickman Lecture. An Episcopal priest, Wimbush was born with spastic cerebral palsy. Drawing on experiences in parish ministry and chaplaincy, she will explore a theology of disability that focuses on Christ's broken and resurrected body and how it calls the Church to minister in and through that brokenness.

Seminars give participants an opportunity to explore subjects in greater depth.The Tuesday afternoon session will feature a lecture by Rev. Deb Richardson-Moore, pastor and director of Triune Mercy Center, a non-denominational mission church in Greenville, S.C. Her congregation brings people from all socioeconomic levels, including those who are homeless, into community and embodies a holistic approach to care, partnering with hospitals, clinics, and churches to serve people who are poor and marginalized. In a very practical session, Richardson-Moore will highlight ways churches can engage and address needs present in their communities, drawing on experiences chronicled in her memoir, The Weight of Mercy, about her first three years as Triune’s pastor.

Augmenting the event’s larger discussions will be 14 one- and two-day seminars on topics ranging from using plain language in worship to creating community programs that truly help. Led by faculty, church leaders, and practitioners, these more intimate learning experiences will give participants the opportunity to explore additional ways to be faithful witnesses of the gospel.

The events include numerous opportunities for alumni to reconnect.Alumni and friends of the Divinity School are invited to reconnect with each other and with current faculty and students on Monday at the annual alumni homecoming luncheon. The Clergy Health Initiative/Spirited Life, Project BriDDDge, and the Baptist House of Studies will also host alumni gatherings. The Convocation also will feature multiple opportunities for worship, with Rev. William Lee, pastor of Loudon Avenue Christian Church in Roanoke, Va., preaching.

Registration for Convocation & Pastors’ School is now open. Pastors serving churches eligible for grants from The Duke Endowment, current Divinity School students, and 2015 graduates of the Divinity School can attend at a discounted rate.

Learn more and register for Convocation & Pastors’ School »