Thursday, April 11, 2019
Members of the council pose in Goodson Chapel
National Alumni Council Members gather for a photo in Goodson Chapel; (Bottom Left): Kiki Barnes (B.S.'96, M.Div.'12), Carl King (M.Div.’95), Phyllis Snyder (M.C.M.’07), Sally Bates (M.Div.’95), Marantha Wall (M.Div.’13), Molly White (M.Div.’16), Jane Lyon (M.Div.’08), Mycal Brickhouse (M.Div.’16), (Top Left): Ryan Spurrier (M.Div.’11), Jared Wilkins (M.Div.’08), Jason Villegas (M.Div.’13), Ebony Grisom (M.Div.’13), Sara Bayles Charlton (M.Div.’15). Not Pictured: Daniel Corpening  (M.Div.'12), Alan Felton (M.Div.’14), Katie Anthony Gooch (M.Div.'12), Rickey Alan Letson (M.Div.'99) Michael Long (M.Div.'12, D.Min. '18), Lucy Robbins (M.Div.'12)  

Recently, members of the Duke Divinity National Alumni Council gathered for their spring 2019 meeting at Duke Divinity School. The council, which holds meetings twice each year, met with members of the school's leadership and with student representatives.

The council works to connect the Divinity School to the larger world of ministry in which alumni serve. This involves mentoring current and prospective students, nurturing alumni through continuing education and reunions, and working together to identify new sources of financial aid funding and field education opportunities.

Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology and senior associate dean for institutional and faculty advancement, and Sujin Pak, associate professor of the history of Christianity and vice dean of academic affairs, provided the Alumni Council with an overview of the current trajectory of the Divinity School and the development of school task forces charged with strategizing around Christian formation, thriving communities, university engagements and scholarship, pedagogies and technologies, and engaging Christian faith and media. David Emmanuel Goatley, research professor of theology and Black Church studies and director of the Office of Black Church Studies, provided the council with insight into the ongoing work of the Office of Black Church Studies. The council also heard from three students about their current experience at Duke Divinity School.

“In a time where there are many anxieties about theological education and much is swirling around after the UMC General Conference, I find great hope in the church after the recent National Alumni gathering at Duke Divinity School," said council member Sara Bayles Charlton, M.Div ’15. "During this meeting we were able to hear from faculty, staff, and students about current life at Duke Divinity. I give God thanks that Duke Divinity School is a place of excellence not only in academic formation but also in spiritual life. I know there are many questions and concerns about the church of the future, I myself wrestle with these. Yet, I leave Durham with a renewed sense that God is doing something new at Duke Divinity School.”

At the meeting, the council also discussed plans for Alumni Day, scheduled for August 27, 2019.