Student Activities and Committees
Duke Divinity School’s community life is enriched by a variety of ongoing and special events planned and coordinated by the Office of Student and Community Life in vibrant partnership with students, faculty, and staff. Offerings have included sports events, fellowship meals, exhibitions, and “spirit” days, along with workshops, brown-bag discussions, and opportunities for community learning and service. The following list represents both long-standing and recent student initiatives.
For more information about the organizations listed below, including current student leadership, contact the Office of Student and Community Life at (919) 660-3548 unless otherwise noted.
Student Life Organizations
The Divinity Student Council (DSC) is made up of students from all programs in Duke Divinity School. The council’s purpose is to help build and sustain Christian community among the student body by serving as a means of communication for events and activities sponsored by various official student organizations. Student organizations and committees are established to provide opportunities to express and share in personal, professional, and spiritual development. DSC serves group needs by publicizing events and activities, listening to and responding to the needs of the Divinity School community, faithfully discerning how those needs may best be met, and representing the needs and concerns of the student body to the school administration.
African Methodist Episcopal (Zion Church) AME/AMEZ Connection seeks to provide educational support, networking, spiritual well-being, and a sense of community for students who are members of the AME Church.
The Asian Theology Group engages theologically with the unique questions that arise within the Asian and Asian American expressions of the Christian tradition. The group also seeks to show hospitality to international Asian students and Asian American students in their transition to a new location and culture. Activities sponsored by this group include guest lectures for school-wide events, reading groups, and monthly potluck dinners.
The Black Seminarians Union seeks to ensure the development of a theological perspective commensurate with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and relevant to the needs of Black seminarians and the Black Church. Its goal is to improve the quality of life theologically, academically, spiritually, politically, and socially for the entire Duke Divinity School community with emphasis on the members of the Black community.
Called Again is a student group that invites all students for whom divinity school and the call to ministry have come after having had other careers. These students have a good deal of life experience behind them, as they have been called out of the military, medicine, the law, politics, homes, engineering, education, business, and other fields to serve the church and the world in Christian ministry. A variety of gatherings are held to encourage and support one another as they navigate this new terrain and seek to understand how their past work informs the call.
Class Representatives are elected by each class—1st, 2nd, and 3rd year—to represent their respective classes in Divinity Student Council (DSC) General Body Meetings, offer opportunities for fellowship and community building among their colleagues, and provide support for their classmates. Class representatives also serve on Divinity Student Council Committees: Executive Committee, Fellowship Committee, Finance and Nominations Committee, and Imago Dei and others as needed.
Deacons@Duke is a group of students exploring or engaged in the United Methodist deacon ordination track. The group meets several times each semester to discuss common concerns and issues related to becoming a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Persons exploring deacon or diaconal ministries (youth minister, Christian educator, minister of music, pastoral counseling, camp director, etc.) in other Christian traditions are also welcome to join.
Divinity Pride aims to serve the Divinity School community by increasing awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the church. All members of the community are invited to participate, and the group seeks to promote understanding about homosexuality in the church through various opportunities for discussion and dialogue.
The Divinity Spouses Group provides social, spiritual, and educational activities for married students and their spouses with the aim of helping spouses know that they are also important, contributing, and welcomed members of the Divinity School community. Contact the Office of Student Life at (919) 660-3548 for current student leadership.
Duke Divinity Fellowship of Parents offers Divinity School parents opportunities to build community and fellowship by providing mutual support while caring for their families and balancing their personal commitment to their education at Duke Divinity School.
Duke Divinity Veterans Partnership cultivates conversations with students, staff, and faculty to advance the interests of prospective, current, and former service members in the church, world, and academy. Its primary aim is to develop a pastoral response to the problems of war and peace based on a fundamental conviction that God directs people toward a peaceful resolution of conflict.
Duke Divinity Pentecostals and Charismatics is a student group that seeks to create a community for students identifying with Pentecostalism, and promote and advocate for Pentecostals and Charismatics within the student body. Contact the Office of Student Life at (919) 660-3548 for current student leadership.
First Fruits Biblical Orchard/Creation Matters aims to inspire students, faculty, staff, and all Christians to recognize their interdependence with all God’s creation, to support biblical and theological reflection on God’s redemptive activity in and for creation, to engage in lifestyles of service and care in response to God’s call to till and keep their “garden” homes, and to empower Christians to take practical steps to reorder and restore humanity’s broken relationships to creation and the Creator. This vision includes stewarding the orchard on Telecom Drive on behalf of the Divinity School community.
Global Fellowship is a group for international students and students in international study and mission that meets for fellowship and to discuss experiences. It aims to partner with international friends in ministry and to advocate for justice issues throughout the world.
La Union is a student-run space for all students who identify as Latinx. The group’s mission is to facilitate and provide opportunities for communal ministry, conversation, celebration, creative liturgy, and collaboration between themselves, other student groups, Duke at large, and the greater Durham community. La Union Latina seeks to spread light on issues that affect not only the Latinx community but also other groups that have historically been marginalized. As such, the group prioritizes collaborations with other student groups doing similar work, opening space for imagining futures together where moments of Shalom will be realized.
New Creation Arts fosters creative, theological, and liturgical engagement with the arts at Duke Divinity School and the surrounding and global community. It does this through regular art exhibits in the school, including an annual, themed juried arts exhibit; a regular concert series showcasing local singer-songwriters; fellowship activities; and lending support to other groups hosting arts-related events.
The Presbyterian/Reformed Student Group seeks to provide support and opportunities for students in the Reformed tradition in the Divinity School. The group plans regular meetings, seminars, and faculty discussions for all who are interested in a deeper understanding of this tradition and its various related denominations. The group works closely with the Presbyterian/Reformed House of Studies.
Prison and Justice Action Committee (PJAC) is a Duke Divinity School student group that seeks to bridge the theological education of seminary with the reality of those who are affected by incarceration. As future pastors, church leaders, and educators, group members understand that there is a need for education and training for how the church might participate in matters that involve social justice, equity, reentry, and education. Scripture highlights the voices of those who are incarcerated and oppressed, and so group members seek to learn from and with those who are currently experiencing incarceration, those suffering from stigmas and consequences of being formerly incarcerated, and from family members who are affected by the criminal justice system on a daily basis. It is through active participation in this community of formation that individuals can better identify and minister to those whose lives have been touched by the scars of incarceration. PJAC seeks to identify, expose, and connect passionate people to excellent resources and models of ministry in the community, inviting them to get involved in working toward resistance, justice, and reconciliation. The group points to the following scripture in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation from Matthew 25:36b: “…I was in prison, and you came to me.”
The Sacred Dance Group is composed of students who participate in the leadership of community worship through the expression of dance. Contact the Office of the Chaplain at (919) 660-3459 for current student leadership.
STAR (Students Thinking Theologically about Reconciliation) is committed to creating a space for students to openly share their questions about reconciliation in the context of theological education, ministerial preparation, and spiritual formation. The group cultivates a community that explores what reconciliation is and how all might be a part of it through intimate conversation with one another and with the Triune God. STAR works very closely with the Center for Reconciliation.
The Women’s Center serves the entire Divinity School community through a focus on the special needs and contributions of women in ministry in and to the church and society. The office, coordinated by two students, is a resource center for the whole community, in addition to a support and action center for women in particular.
Student Life Activities
Broadway Revue has been an annual Duke Divinity School production of popular Broadway musicals featuring music and dancing, produced and performed by Divinity School students, faculty, and staff, with guest appearances by staff from other offices on campus. This major fundraiser is free to the public with a “love offering” that provides financial support for selected community service organizations.
Divinity Choirs. Membership in the Divinity Choir, Gospel Choir, and Chapel Band is open to all qualified students. The choirs rehearse once a week and sing regularly for weekday worship and at special seasonal programs and services. New members are chosen by informal auditions that are arranged for all who are interested. Contact the Office of the Chaplain at (919) 660-3459 for current student leadership.
Live! at the Lampstand has taken its cue from Matthew 5:15: “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” This lunch event showcases the wealth of gifts and talents of the entire Duke Divinity School community. Live offerings by faculty, staff, and students include vocal and instrumental pieces, original poetry and short story readings, dance, comedy, paintings, skits, etc. Lampstand has been a popular and inspiring event that helps strengthen relationships and spreads joy and appreciation among all members of the community.
Project BRI(DDD)GE (Building Relationships in Durham through Duke Divinity Graduate Education). Incoming residential students are invited to join together as pilgrims to experience a multi-day physical and theological encounter with the Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, and North Carolina. Anchored in the Divinity School, the journey begins with prayer and theological reflection as students connect with their new neighbors as they seek an encounter with Jesus.
The pilgrimage combines practical ministry through encounters with local churches, ministries, and non-profits, followed by theological reflection with the hope of increased awareness of the Divinity School’s neighbors and their challenges. Participants seek to follow in Trevor Hudson’s footsteps of encounter, reflection, and transformation as revealed in his seminal book A Mile in My Shoes.
The time together, like ministry, is rigorous and challenging. It focuses on meeting people and hearing stories that are essential steps to realizing what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as the “beloved community.” The community of pilgrims, “BRI(DDD)GERs,” forge a special bond that helps sustain them through seminary and in many cases lasts a lifetime.
The time includes prayer and worship; visits to historic sites; service with several local ministries, including a community garden; fellowship with Reality Ministries, Friendship House, and Jubilee Home; a meal and worship at a local prison; and conversations with faculty, community, and church leaders.
Student Life Committees
Divinity School Council Committees. The student body is also represented on various Divinity School Council committees. Students serve with faculty and administration on the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Curriculum Committee, Field Education, Divinity Judicial Board, and other committees and task forces as appointed by the school’s dean.
The Fellowship Committee planned community-wide events for students and faculty, and their families. The activities include social gatherings during orientation, meals, and holidays as well as fellowship times throughout the school terms. Members of this team provide leadership to Live at the Lampstand, a popular lunchtime gathering through which students, faculty, and staff share their various musical and artistic talents with the entire community.