New Duke Divinity Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric Steps into Office
C. Kavin Rowe also appointed as vice dean for facultyThursday, July 22, 2021
On July 1, the new dean and vice dean of Duke Divinity School began their terms of office. Edgardo Colón-Emeric, the Irene and William McCutchen Associate Professor of Theology and Reconciliation and director of the Center for Reconciliation, was appointed to serve a two-year term as the dean of Duke Divinity School by Duke University Provost Sally Kornbluth. C. Kavin Rowe, the George Washington Ivey Distinguished Professor of New Testament, has been named the vice dean for faculty.
“The school has a very strong leadership team with Edgardo at the helm and Kavin partnering so ably as vice dean for faculty,” said Provost Sally Kornbluth. “They have already begun working to move the school forward, and I am confident that the Divinity School will continue on its outstanding trajectory.“
Colón-Emeric earned both his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Duke, and has served on the faculty since 2008. His scholarship covers a broad range of theological areas, including systematics, Wesleyan theology, ecumenism, and Latin American theology. Both his academic research and his ministry experience explore the intersection of Methodist and Catholic theologies, and Wesleyan and Latin American experiences. His most recent book is Óscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor (Notre Dame University Press).
Colón-Emeric is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He directs the Central American Methodist Course of Study and the Peru Theological Initiative and serves in the United Methodist Committee on Faith and Order and on both national and international Methodist-Catholic dialogues. On the 50th anniversary of Methodist-Catholic Dialogue, Colón-Emeric had the chance to meet with Pope Francis and to present him with a book chronicling the discussions held over the years—a book Colón-Emeric translated into Spanish himself.
In addition to his ecclesial, academic, and scholarly work, Colón-Emeric has served as the director for the Hispanic House of Studies and as the director for the Center for Reconciliation (CFR) at Duke Divinity School. Under his leadership, CFR has expanded its capacities, partnerships, and areas of engagement, including convening the Americas Initiative. He has also sought to strengthen connections between Duke Divinity and local Hispanic-Latino/a ministers and churches, often in partnership with The Duke Endowment’s support for rural congregations and pastors in North Carolina.
In his role as vice dean, C. Kavin Rowe, George Washington Ivey Distinguished Professor of New Testament, will work with Colón-Emeric to manage faculty affairs and academic appointments in order to continue excellence in research, teaching, and service; diversification of the faculty and fostering an inclusive environment; stewarding external church relationships; and financial sustainability.
Recognizing that he is entering the dean’s office at a pivotal time for the school, Colón-Emeric stated his commitment to keep the Divinity School heading in a life-giving direction: “The world needs the church, and the church needs the theologically grounded, intellectually vibrant, and socially innovative pastors and leaders that we train. From the heart of Duke University, we cultivate wisdom that is joyfully orthodox, Christ-centered, Spirit-led, and irrevocably anti-racist for the sake of the church in its mission for the life of the world.”