Seeking Justice Through Reconciliation

Duke Divinity School

June 06, 2016 to June 11, 2016


Come expand your theological imagination, grapple with practical problems, and be equipped to continue a journey of reconciliation within a wider community.

“The work of reconciliation is often excruciating because it is the work of the cross. If reconciliation work isn't painful, I'd venture to say that it isn't really reconciliation work. Reconciliation requires that we partner with equally imperfect individuals who are also clumsily scaling the crosscultural learning curve, forgive those who carelessly wrong us, repeatedly ask for forgiveness, engage in awkward an unpredictable situtations and, like gluttons for punishment, keep coming back for more.”  - Christena Cleveland, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart.(InterVarsity Press, 2013). p 156

Our focus on reconciliation is grounded in a distinctively Christian vision and a framework that is richly practical, contextual, and theological. Rooted in Duke Divinity School’s conviction that reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel, the Summer Institute for Reconciliation draws on the strengths of a faculty of world-class scholars and practitioners. The institute is nurtured by the deepening formation, teaching, and content of a biblical vision of reconciliation that inspires and ferments a movement of transformed communities and relationships. This formation of communities is nurtured by each other’s witness that Christ is strengthening us to the end, affirming us so that we do not “lack any spiritual gift” in our life together (1 Corinthians 1: 4-9).

“As a senior leader in a Christian organization that is committed to ethnic reconciliation and justice, I was energized by the biblical teaching and theological reflection, enriched by the diversity of the participants and experienced faculty, and inspired to continue the journey as we celebrated the wonders of reconciliation and lamented the deep places of pain and division in our world. I highly recommend the Summer Institute for leaders who are in search of biblical instruction, relationship-building with experienced practitioners, and personal renewal." Paula Fuller, Vice President and Director of Multiethnic Ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship


“What a gift Duke’s Summer Institute has been for me and my students!  God’s Spirit used this timely gathering to refresh our souls, engage our minds, sharpen the skills of our hands and deepen our hearts’ commitment to God’s call to reconciliation.” Peter T. Cha, Associate Professor, Pastoral Theology Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation blends plenary talks given by preeminent scholars and practitioners in the fields of theology and reconciliation, small group seminars led by world-class educators and practitioners, and ecumenical Christian worship to create a rich, vibrant week focused on growing together as scholars and practitioners of reconciliation. Plenary speakers, seminar teachers and worship leaders use scriptural interpretation, theology, and story-telling to weave a rich tapestry of reflection that is theological, contextual and practical.

The Summer Institute for Reconciliation is intended for:

  • Pastors with a desire for their congregations to become communities that live out alternatives to the destructive conflicts and social divisions that fragment our world
  • Christians who are committed to the ongoing training and equipping of others, calling forth the gifts of the community to inspire, form, and support people to become ambassadors of God’s movement of hope; that foster a life together that is a witness to now being “the acceptable time,” now being the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
  • Grass-roots ministers and Christians living and working among people who suffer or are marginalized
  • College, university, and seminary faculty and administrators training young Christians to live in the way of the Kingdom
  • Denominational and organizational leaders seeking to guide their organizations into new practices and structures that enable the flourishing of communities living out God’s vision of peace and justice
  • Every follower of Jesus Christ seeking to become an ambassador of God’s healing and wholeness

Daily Design

  • Morning Worship
    Participants begin each day with vibrant Christian worship held in Duke Divinity School’s beautiful Goodson Chapel.
  • In-Depth Seminars
    Participants select one seminar for the entire week, going in-depth with one or two faculty members and a small group of peers in a format of rich teaching and interaction. 
  • Evening Plenaries (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
    Participants gather to learn from and dialogue with plenary speakers about a theological vision and practice of reconciliation. These events are also open to the public and are held in a local congregation in Durham.

Other Activities

Shared meals, one-on-one conversations with faculty, optional evenings events (learning tours, panel discussions, etc), and access to the many gifts of Duke University's campus.

Learning together through sharing and creating resources that deepen our call and creatively inspire, form, and support our individual and communal spirituality.  Through worshiping, reading, writing, eating, and reflecting together we give ourselves a better chance to hear the Holy Spirit’s stirrings in our midst (Acts 4:23-37).

“[Summer] Institute was a week of learning and inspiration.  The leadership was outstanding. The participants represented a world-wide network deeply committed to a myriad of reconciliation initiatives.  I left the Institute awakened to the hope and the pain of the reconciliation journey and armed with stories, contacts, and resources to enrich my church’s commitment to the Beloved Community.” Gene Graham, congregational lay-leader, Houston, Texas

2016 Faculty Members and Plenary Speakers

Check back for more information - coming soon



2016 Seminars

Check back for more information - coming soon


“The Institute offered me the most important continuing education experience I have had in my 15 years of ministry.  The combination of outstanding lectures from experienced leaders, the conversations I had with a very diverse group of individuals, and the extraordinary worship all challenged me and renewed my determination and hope in the work of reconciliation and justice in my own community.  I thank God for the experience.” Rev. Chip Edens, Pastor, Christ Church, Charlotte, NC

Due to a generous grant, registration fees for the 2016 Summer Institute for Reconciliation continue to be $500, which includes the cost of most meals.

Participants who attend the seminars, lectures and worship services will receive Continuing Education Units (CEU). The intended purpose of these CEUs is to help fulfill continuing education needs of clergy and institutional leaders served by the mission of Duke Divinity School.


All Summer Institute participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. We have arranged for a special rate at the Millennium Hotel, a full-service hotel located 1.25 miles from the Divinity School. Participants in the Duke Summer Institute will be eligible for the rate of $80 (plus 13.5% sales and occupancy tax) per night for a single room (1 king bed) or $84 for a shared room (2 queen beds). To make a reservation, call 1-800-633-5379 or book online by May 16, 2016. If you make a reservation by phone, be sure to mention that you are a participant in the Duke Summer Institute. The Millennium Hotel offers:

  • Complimentary in-room high speed internet access
  • Several complimentary meeting spaces for informal or prearranged evening conversations and meetings among Summer Institute participants
  • Exercise room
  • Indoor pool
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Duke Divinity School
  • Free parking at the hotel
  • Airport shuttle (for an additional charge of $40 per person each way)

If you would like to share a room with two queen beds (reducing your housing costs to $42 per night per person plus tax) but do not have a roommate, please contact us at  We will gladly put you in touch with other participants who are seeking a roommate.


Lunch and dinner will be served buffet style each day, Tuesday–Friday, with the exception of Thursday dinner which is on your own. Monday’s dinner and Saturday’s lunch are also included in the meal plan. A light continental breakfast will be provided each morning, Tuesday–Saturday. Additional options for purchasing a casual breakfast will be included in your participant packet.


Air Transportation

The nearest airport is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), a 20-minute drive to Duke University. Many area hotels offer shuttle service to and from the hotel.  Super Shuttle Service runs from RDU airport to Duke University and the surrounding area. You can make a reservation online prior to your arrival to Duke (provided you have a credit card). There will also be taxi cabs waiting outside each terminal of the airport.

Rail Transportation

The Durham Train Station offers Amtrak service to and from Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington DC, and New York City and points in between. Make reservations in advance online or by phone.

Ground Transportation

Directions to Duke University


We are no longer accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Institute for Reconciliation.

Check back in late October 2015 to apply for the 2016 Summer Institute for Reconciliation.

For more information:

Summer Institute for Reconciliation
Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3594