Friday, January 05, 2024

Guest Preachers Spring 2024

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As Duke University celebrates its Centennial, the Chapel is celebrating the fruit of J.B. Duke’s investment in training preachers by welcoming to the pulpit Duke alumni and professors who have earned reputations as potent and faithful proclaimers of the Gospel. All of these preachers will deliver their sermons during the Chapel's weekly Sunday service at 11:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

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 Spotify and Apple Podcasts. For sermons before 2003, see the  Duke Chapel Recordings collection on the Duke Libraries website. The Living Tradition online resource explores the rich and deep tradition of preaching at Duke Chapel through the expertise of Duke Divinity School faculty, research by Duke students, and the reflections of renowned preachers.

January 14 — Rev. Dr. Maurice Wallace, G ’95

The Rev. Dr. Maurice Wallace is professor and associate chair of English at Rutgers University. In all, Rev. Dr. Wallace has published three academic books on Black literature, culture, and history; a short biography on Langston Hughes for junior high and high school studies; and several scholarly articles ranging topically from the religious roots of African American literature to photography, disability, and Black oratory. A scholar and a churchman for most of his career, Rev. Dr. Wallace also has a long and intimate connection to the African American church tradition. A child of the African Methodist church, and ordained in the missionary Baptist tradition, he is twice the past senior pastor of New Red Mountain Baptist Church in Rougemont, North Carolina, serving from 1993-1995 and 1998-2005. In 2008 he joined a small community of unaffiliated believers in organizing Cornerstone Community Church serving north and west Durham. Now giving his energies to teaching full time, Rev. Dr. Wallace lectures and preaches widely, in academic and local parish settings.

February 14 — Casey Stanton, D ’16

Ash Wednesday Services at 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Casey Stanton has spent over a decade working in the field of social concerns ministries within parish life and as part of broader, faith-based coalitions. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, she most recently served as adult faith formation minister at Immaculate Conception parish in Durham and is now co-director of Discerning Deacons, an organization committed to the active discernment of the Catholic Church about women and ordination to the diaconate.

February 18 — Dr. Diana Butler Bass, G ’91 [Rescheduled for Fall 2024]

Dr. Bass's guest preaching appearance at Duke Chapel is being rescheduled for the fall of 2024.

Dr. Diana Butler Bass is an award-winning author, popular speaker, inspiring preacher, and commentator on religion and contemporary spirituality. Dr. Bass holds a doctorate in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of eleven books. Her bylines include The New York Times, The Washington Post,,, USA Today, Huffington Post, Spirituality and Health, Reader’s Digest, Christian Century, and Sojourners. She has commented on religion, politics, and culture in the media widely including on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, CBC, FOX, Sirius XM, TIME, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and in multiple global news outlets. In the 1990s, she wrote a weekly column on religion and culture for the Santa Barbara News-Press, which was distributed nationally by the New York Times Syndicate. Her work has received two Wilbur Awards for best nonfiction book of the year, awards from Religion News Association for individual commentary and for Book of the Year, Nautilus Awards Silver and Gold medals, the Illumination Book Award Silver medal, Books for a Better Life Award, Book of the Year of the Academy of Parish Clergy, the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for Church History, Substack Fellowship for Independent Writers, and Publishers Weekly’s Best Religion Book of the Year.

March 3 — Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Hicks, D ’93

The Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Hicks is president of Davidson College. He joined Davidson from his role as dean of Oxford College at Emory University, where he developed new programs to enhance the curriculum and build intellectual and social community. Rev. Dr. Hicks received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Davidson, a master of divinity from Duke University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in religion from Harvard University. He has written or edited nine books along with fifty articles for scholarly and public audiences. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Hicks has held visiting faculty positions at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and at the Harvard Divinity School. He is a former president of the Academy of Religious Leadership and former chair of the Religion and Social Sciences section of the American Academy of Religion. He previously served as a member of the board of trustees of Agnes Scott College and, earlier, a trustee at Duke University.

March 10 — Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland, G ’08, D ’88, T ’85

A native of South Carolina, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland is the executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches. An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, she pastored United Methodist churches in the Upstate region of South Carolina for ten years. Rev. Dr. Copeland attended Duke University several times and in the process earned a bachelor of arts with majors in English and religion, a master of divinity, a doctor of philosophy in religion, and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. Prior to coming to the Council, she spent sixteen years as the United Methodist Chaplain at Duke, where she also taught undergraduate and divinity school classes, served on committees and task forces, and attended lots of basketball games. She writes frequently for various publications when time permits and preaches regularly in congregations across North Carolina.

March 27 — Rev. Shaquisha (Kiki) F Barnes, D ’12, T ’96

Holy Week Midday Service at 12-noon

The Rev. Shaquisha (Kiki) F Barnes is a senior clinical administrative chaplain with Chaplain Services at Duke Regional Hospital. She is an ordained minister in the Baptist Church and endorsed for chaplaincy through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Before joining Duke Health in 2016, Rev. Barnes had chaplain experience from the VA Medical Center and UNC Johnston Health, and also as a hospice chaplain for a private agency. A proud Durham native and “Double Duke” (Trinity ’96 and Divinity ’12), Rev. Barnes understands the deep needs in the spaces she occupies. She realizes the importance of meeting people where they are, and walking alongside them in times of transition, decision, and crisis. Her work at Duke Regional focuses on palliative care and ethics, serving as a member of the daily interdisciplinary Palliative Care Huddle and co-chair of the Ethics Committee. She also serves as a Theological Reflection Group leader for Field Education at Duke Divinity School.

March 28 — Rev. Ben Adams, T ’08

Holy Week Midday Service at 12-noon

The Rev. Ben Adams is the senior associate dean of students for QuadEx and director of new student and family programs for Duke Student Affairs. A graduate of Duke, Rev. Adams is an educator and pastor who is committed to building communities where all have the access and opportunity they need to thrive. Before returning to Duke in 2022, he was a pastor in Cary, North Carolina, and a high school history teacher in rural North Carolina. He also helped launch of a new school in Durham and served as an admissions officer for international and first-generation college students at Duke. He has degrees from Duke, Emory, and Cambridge, but Duke is home.

March 28 — Rev. Marc Antoine Lavarin, D ’18

Maundy Thursday Service at 7:00 p.m.

The Rev. Marc Antoine Lavarin serves as the eighth Pastor of the First Calvary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. His passion lies at the intersection of faith, education, and policy, where he hopes to inspire communities to be moral and ethical agents of change. Prior to his call to First Calvary, Rev. Lavarin served as an assistant minister at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria. He is a published author, including his recent book chapter titled “Let the Schoolhouse Say Amen: The Pedagogical Congruency Between the Black Church and Critical Literacy.” He holds a bachelor of science in political science from Northeastern University and a master of divinity from Duke University where he received the Martin Luther King Jr. and Dean scholarship. A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., he was ordained at the Evangelical First Haitian Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, under the direction of his father, Rev. Antoine Lavarin.

March 29 — Rev. Daniel Corpening, D ’12

Good Friday Service at 12-noon

The Rev. Daniel Corpening is director of field education at Duke Divinity School. In this role, he oversees the contextual education of master-of-divinity students as they are formed to be embodied, imaginative, and reflective Christian leaders for the flourishing of communities. Rev. Corpening is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, and a graduate of Duke Divinity School. Before joining the Office of Field Education, he served as a pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina.

March 31 — Dr. Ellen F. Davis

Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. in Duke Gardens

Dr. Ellen F. Davis is the Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished 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, 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.

April 7 — Dr. Daniel Castelo, G ’05

At Duke Divinity School, Dr. Daniel Castelo is the associate dean for academic formation and William Kellon Quick Professor of Theology and Methodist Studies. Dr. Castelo has focused his scholarship on the doctrine of God; the theological interpretation of Scripture; pneumatology and mysticism; the theologies of Methodism and Pentecostalism; and Latinx theologies. He is a past winner of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise and has held roles in the American Academy of Religion and the Wesleyan Theological Society. In further service to the Methodist scholarly guild, Dr. Castelo is the founding coeditor of the series Wesleyan and Methodist Explorations and an associate editor of Methodist Review. He has also been a member of the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Professor Castelo has tried throughout his teaching and scholarly ministry to maintain connections to those communities that have indelibly shaped him.