In the 2019–20 academic year, the Chapel continues its tradition of compelling preaching with the schedule of guest preachers given below. See the Chapel's calendar for a full schedule of worship services, including dates when Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery and other Chapel staff will preach. A recent archive of services is available on the Chapel website and a podcast of sermons is available on Apple Podcasts. Duke Libraries' maintains the Duke Chapel Recordings collection.
September 8, 2019 — The Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright
The Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright is a research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at St. Mary’s College in the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Dr. Wright is a leading biblical scholar and former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. He has written over seventy books, including the multi-volume work Christian Origins and the Question of God
October 6, 2019 — The Rev. Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert
The Rev. Dr. Kenyatta R. Gilbert is a professor of homiletics at the Howard University School of Divinity. He specializes in the history, theory, and practice of African American preaching. His research focuses on the theology and rhetoric of prophetic preaching, African American religion, hermeneutical theory, and constructive practical theology. He is the author of The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching
, A Pursued Justice: Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights
, Exodus Preaching: Crafting Sermons about Justice and Hope
, and a co-editor for Living the Word
magazine. Dr. Gilbert is an ordained Baptist minister and founder of The Preaching Project: Restoring Communities through Spoken Word
, a website ministry promoting the nurture of the preaching life of ministers serving African American churches and communities.
October 20, 2019 — Dr. Anna Carter Florence
Dr. Florence is the Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is interested in preaching and public proclamation, and preparing leaders who can speak and listen in multiple contexts for ministry. Her research focuses on testimony, pedagogies of preaching, the creative process by which communities engage and embody scripture, and how other fields—particularly poetry and theater—offer models for prophetic speech.
November 10, 2019 — The Rev. Dr. Jerusha Neal
The Rev. Dr. Jerusha Matsen Neal is an assistant professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Her scholarly work examines the action of the Spirit on the performative borders of body and culture. Her research interests focus on postcolonial preaching, preaching and gender, and the implications of Mariology for a Spirit-dependent homiletic. Dr. Neal is an ordained American Baptist minister with broad ecumenical experience, most recently serving as a Global Ministries missionary to the Fiji Islands through the United Methodist Church. Her forthcoming book, The Overshadowed Preacher
, asks the sticky question of what we mean when we say preaching is “anointed.” A former actress and playwright, she has also authored a collection of dramatic monologues in 2012, Blessed: Monologues for Mary
December 1, 2019 — The Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millan
The Rev. Ismael Ruiz-Millan is a United Methodist pastor and the director of the Hispanic House of Studies, Global Education, and Intercultural Formation at Duke Divinity School.
January 19, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah
The Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. He enjoys helping students find answers to difficult questions. As an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Dr. Rah has seen firsthand the denomination’s significant growth in urban areas, and an increasing need for intercultural ministry. He was founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Cambridge, Mass., a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.
January 26, 2020, and February 2, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner
The Rev. Dr. Lauren F.Winner is an associate professor of Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School. She writes and lectures widely on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish-Christian relations. Her books include Girl Meets God
, Mudhouse Sabbath
, a study of household religious practice in eighteenth-century Virginia, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith
, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
, and, most recently, a book on overlooked biblical tropes for God, Wearing God
. She is completing a book called Characteristic Damage
, which examines the effects of sin and damage on Christian practice. Dr. Winner has appeared on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
and has served as a commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” She has written for The New York Times Book Review
, The Washington Post Book World
, Publishers Weekly
, Books and Culture
, and Christianity Today
, and her essays have been included in several volumes of The Best Christian Writing
. She is an Episcopal priest, serving as vicar of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Louisburg, N.C.
February 16, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. Thomas Long
The Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long is the Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching and director of the Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program at Candler School of Theology. His primary area of research is homiletics. His introductory textbook, The Witness of Preaching
, has been translated into a number of languages and is widely used in theological schools around the world. In 2010, Preachingmagazine named The Witness of Preachingone of the twenty-five most influential books in preaching for the last twenty-five years. Dr. Long is also deeply interested in biblical studies, practical theology, and liturgy. He has written commentaries on the biblical books of Hebrews, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Pastoral Epistles, and his books on the Christian funeral, Accompany Them with Singing
and The Good Funeral
(co-authored with noted poet and funeral director Thomas Lynch), have generated interest both in the academy and the media. His book What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith
, which addresses the issue of innocent suffering and the goodness of God, was selected as the Book of the Year for 2011, an award given by the Academy of Parish Clergy to the best book published for parish ministry in the previous year.
February 26, 2020 (Ash Wednesday) — The Rev. Ali Tranvik
The Rev. Ali Tranvik is the campus minister for Duke Lutherans. Born and raised in Minnesota, she has made a home in Durham after working as a writer in Minneapolis, a college access coach in St. Louis, and an English teacher in Ecuador. During her time as a seminarian at Duke Divinity School, she spent a summer living and working in a migrant and refugee shelter on the US-Mexico border, further shaping her call to ministry. Beyond being a pastor, Rev. Tranvik’s vocations include being a spouse, sister, friend, daughter, citizen, and neighbor.
March 22, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. John Kinney
The Rev. Dr. John Kinney has devoted himself to the pursuit of excellence in theological training and ministerial preparation and has distinguished himself as a systematic theologian, academician and administrator in a career that spans more than forty years. This includes twenty-seven years of service to Virginia Union University as dean of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology and senior vice president of the university. Dr. Kinney has lectured extensively across the breadth of this nation and in Africa. He is recognized for his theological constructions addressing the designed harmony in creation and the subsequent fragmentation and separation with particular attention to racism, sexism, and materialism. His thoughts are included in several publications and crystallized in an article entitled The Theology of Fallenness: The Roots of Racism
. Dr. Kinney has served as a consultant to the American Baptist Convention, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Virginia and the United States Air Force, Army and Navy Chaplain Corps. He has been a member of the American Society of Church History, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. He has served the larger community of theological educators through multiple leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. He also has served as the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam, Virginia, for more than forty years.
March 29, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale is the founder and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Her vision and leadership led her to establish two ministries: Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc. and the Women in Ministry Conference, Inc. Dr. Hale is a contributing writer for many books and publications. In January 2010, she authored her first book entitled, I’m A Piece of Work: Sisters Shaped by God
. As a recipient of numerous honors and recognitions, she was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College, and the Atlanta Business League Women’s Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the National Urban League’s “Women of Power” award, the Preston Taylor Living Legacy Award, the Balm in Gilead Keeper of the Flame Award, and she was recognized on Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” list as one of the nation’s most influential African-American leaders. Dr. Hale presently serves on the board of trustees at Hollins University, she is the chairperson of the board of directors at Beulah Heights University and the vice president for the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference.
April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunrise Service) — Dr. Valerie Cooper
Dr. Valerie Cooper is an associate professor of religion and society and black church studies at Duke Divinity School.Using historical and theological methodologies, her wide-ranging scholarship examines issues of religion, race, politics, and popular culture. She has published essays on African American evangelicals (particularly in Pentecostalism and the Holiness Movement), on African Americans’ use of the Bible, and with political scientist Corwin Smidt, co-authored an essay on the roles of religion and race in the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Her book, Word, Like Fire: Maria Stewart, the Bible, and the Rights of African Americans
, analyzes the role of biblical hermeneutics in the thought of Maria Stewart, a pioneering nineteenth-century African American woman theologian and political speaker. Cooper is working onSegregated Sundays, a book evaluating the successes and failures of the racial reconciliation efforts of Christian congregations and ministries from the 1990s to the present. Professor Cooper, the first African American woman to earn tenure at Duke Divinity School, joined the faculty in 2014.
April 26, 2020 — The Rev. Dr. Charles Campbell
The Rev. Dr. Campbell is the James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Campbell’s work focuses on the biblical, theological, and ethical dimensions of preaching. He is specifically interested in the apocalyptic aspects of preaching, the role of preaching in relation to the “principalities and powers,” and contemporary homiletical theory. Dr. Campbell is a past president of the Academy of Homiletics and the author of five books: Preaching Jesus: New Directions for Homiletics in Hans Frei's Postliberal Theology
; The Word on the Street
: Performing the Scriptures in the Urban Context
(co-authored with Stanley P. Saunders); The Word before the Powers: An Ethic of Preaching
; Preaching Fools: The Gospel as a Rhetoric of Folly
(co-authored with Johan H. Cilliers); and 1 Corinthians
(Westminster John Knox Belief Series). An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.), Dr. Campbell served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Stuttgart, Arkansas, from 1982 to 1988.
May 3, 2020 — Dr. Ellen Davis
Dr. Ellen F. Davisis the Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School. The author of eleven books and many articles, her research interests focus on how biblical interpretation bears on the life of faith communities and their response to urgent public issues, particularly the ecological crisis and interfaith relations. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible
, integrates biblical studies with a critique of industrial agriculture and food production. Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship and Ministry
, explores the prophetic role and word across both Testaments of the Christian Bible. Her most recent books are Preaching the Luminous Word
, a collection of her sermons and essays, and Opening Israel’s Scriptures
(forthcoming), a comprehensive theological reading of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. A lay Episcopalian, she has long been active as a theological consultant within the Anglican Communion. Her current work explores the arts as modes of scriptural interpretation.