Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Duke Divinity School is pleased to announce that two students, Alma Tinoco Ruiz and Peace Pyunghwa Lee, have been selected to receive a 2019 Doctoral Fellowship from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE).

Alma Ruiz
Alma Ruiz

FTE awarded its doctoral fellowships to 30 students of color to support their Ph.D. or Th.D. program in religion, theological studies, or biblical studies. Students in this year’s class represent 18 institutions across the country and will either receive the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each fellow will receive a living stipend up to $25,000 to help further their studies beyond the coursework stage. See a full list of FTE’s 2019 Doctoral Fellows.

“This class of scholars share an ethos of equity, collaboration, and work that should inspire future fellows and the academy,” said Patrick B. Reyes, FTE director of strategic partnerships for doctoral initiatives. “Each member of this class labors for their ancestors, family, and community, and we are honored to be part of their journey."

As part of the fellowship award, fellows will have the opportunity to attend the 2019 FTE Forum for Theological Educators, held Nov. 22–24, in San Diego, Calif., prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum will provide opportunities for networking, professional development, vocational exploration, and mentoring.

Peace Lee
Peace Lee

Both Ruiz and Lee are Th.D. students focusing on homiletics. Ruiz earned her M.Div. from Duke Divinity in 2013, and Lee earned M.Div. and M.Min. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2016.

"I am elated, but not surprised, that Alma and Peace have been awarded these prestigious fellowships," said Charles Campbell, professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. "They are not only outstanding students but also extraordinary people. Their contributions to the homiletics program at Duke extend far beyond the classroom and include their invaluable leadership in the Duke Preaching Initiative (funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.). Peace serves as the project director of the Duke Chapel Sermons Digitization Project, and Alma is the program coordinator for the Hispanic-Latino/a Preaching Initiative. We are blessed to have Alma and Peace in our Th.D. program."

In addition to its fellowships for dissertation stage doctoral students, FTE provides professional development opportunities for Ph.D. and Th.D. students in the first two years of their studies. FTE developed these doctoral initiatives to help accelerate the completion of doctoral degrees among students of color and to foster diversity across the academy in North America. Since 1999, FTE has awarded more than 550 fellowships to students of color and has maintained a 97 percent retention rate among its doctoral fellows.