Gift Honors Former Faculty Member Gayle C. Felton
Monday, October 3, 2016

Duke Divinity School has announced the establishment of the Gayle C. Felton Reconciliation Endowment. The $50,000 endowment, made in honor of  the former Divinity School professor by members of her family, will provide annual funds to support the Center for Reconciliation (CFR) at the Divinity School.


Felton was an active clergy member in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church who left behind a legacy of teaching and commitment to social justice. She contributed to the authorship of This Holy Mystery and By Water and the Spirit, both of which serve as important teaching resources on the sacraments in the United Methodist Church. Her numerous other studies and works are used widely by churches and church leaders.

“My mother spent her life tirelessly working for reconciliation among persons of different races, genders, and sexual orientations,” said Rev. Alan Felton, Gayle’s son and a minister in Durham. “This endowment will allow her to continue to influence a new generation of church leaders so that through their work and faithfulness one day we may truly experience life in the beloved community for which she so passionately hoped.”

The endowment will help fund the CFR, which works to inspire, form, and support leaders, communities, and congregations to live as ambassadors of reconciliation. Its programs includes student formation groups at the Divinity School that, combined with ongoing courses and faculty research, give students the opportunity to wrestle with important reconciliation issues. In addition, the center sponsors an “Encountering Place: The Power of Pilgrimage” curriculum in Durham, N.C., and the Summer Institute for Reconciliation, which annually welcomes more than 100 leaders of churches and parachurch groups to a week-long conference on the Duke University campus. On the international front, the center collaborates with in-country partners to offer theologically rich lectures and curriculum throughout the Great Lakes region of East Africa and in Northeast Asia. 

Said Associate Dean for External Relations and Interim Director of the CFR Dan Struble, “The primary goal of the Center for Reconciliation is to equip current and future leaders to be agents of reconciliation. We are grateful that the Gayle C. Felton Reconciliation Endowment will provide funds in perpetuity to enable the center to continue and extend this valuable work.”

Additional gifts to the Gayle C. Felton Reconciliation Endowment may be made online or by mail to Duke Divinity School, Box 90966, Durham, NC 27708.