Duke Chapel Student Ministries provides opportunities for undergraduate students to hear and respond to God's call for their lives on campus, in Durham, and beyond through study, artistic expression, counsel, service, and community. Its aim is to help students bridge faith and learning during their time at Duke, so that they can take purposeful steps in bridging their distinctive talents with the world's deepest needs.
Find the Chapel's Student Ministries team in room 0037 of the Chapel basement. To get there, enter through the basement door facing to the Bryan Center and the room will be immediately on your right.
Student Engagement Opportunities
Students engage with the Chapel through a range of programs, fellowships, and groups described here:
C. Eric Lincoln Theology & Arts Fellowship
- Chapel Choir, MUSIC 213-2, taught by Chapel Music Director Dr. Zebulon Highben
- Introduction to Christian Preaching, PREACHNG 758, taught by Chapel Dean Luke Powery
- Survey of Christian Hymnody, LTS 830, taught by Chapel Music Director Dr. Zebulon Highben
Duke Chapel Dean’s Scholars are a select group of juniors and seniors, from any religious tradition, who have been engaged in meaningful and substantive ways with Religious Life at Duke and/or the Chapel throughout their Duke experience. Throughout the year, Dean's Scholars will meet with each other and with the Dean of Duke Chapel for a meal and a focused conversation on meaning, purpose, and vocation. Becoming a Dean’s Scholar will offer students opportunities and tools to reflect on their Duke experience, examine the intersections of faith and learning, and prepare for their future of life and work.
Duke Chapel Reads
Eruditio et Religio Living-Learning Community
Duke Chapel, Housing and Residential Life, and the Department of Religious Studies have partnered to form Eruditio et Religio, a living-learning community committed to growing together in "knowledge and faith." Students who join this LLC will learn about diverse religious traditions through a multitude of frameworks, reading both scholarly texts and children's stories, talking with professors and spiritual leaders, visiting Duke religious groups and Durham spiritual communities. This LLC is for students who are seeking to expand their intercultural awareness as a community and deepen their intrapersonal spiritual reflection as individuals, all while preparing to work together for the common good. Students are expected to attend a House Course in the fall. A service-learning component will be developed by the student for the spring. Syllabus available upon request.
Global Religious Literatures House Course
A student in the Chapel's Eruditio et Religio living-learning community, Akshaj Turebylu, is teaching a half-credit house course in Fall 2021 titled "Litterae et Religio: Global Religious Literatures" (HOUSECS 59.17). Students in the class explore the many different representations of religious belief, emotion, and intellect that have populated the globe. Each week the class examines the origins (scripture and myths) of a religious tradition and how those fundamentals have been interpreted by those in the past (before modernity) and the present (closer to our time). Global religious literature is grasped as a continuous dialogue between and within traditions through an innumerable set of mediums and visions. The course was developed in consultation with Dr. Laura Lieber, a professor of religious studies at Duke, and the Rev. Kathryn Lester-Bacon, the Chapel's director of Religious Life.
Grants, Awards, and Fellowships
Episcopalians United Against Racism, is exploring how racial trauma impacts our bodies and communities, and how we can learn to heal together, by reading the book My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. The online book group will begin Wednesday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m. and meet every-other-Wednesday until December 1. We will hold a culminating racial healing day exploring the somatic movement from the book on Saturday, January 22.
About My Grandmother's Hands from the publisher: "The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn’t just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police."
Research OpportunitiesDuke Chapel Recordings digital archives. Students are part of these research teams. Projects have included:
- When I Was a Stranger: Immigration, Preaching and Religious Imagination (2020-2021), Bass Connections
- #MyVoiceMyBody: Minoritized Bodies in the Pulpit at Duke Chapel (2019-2020), Bass Connections
- #MyVoiceMyBody: Minoritized Bodies in the Pulpit at Duke Chapel (Summer 2019), Story+
Student PreacherSunday morning worship service. All undergraduate students are welcome to apply. Sermons should be based upon one or more of the lectionary scripture texts for that Sunday and should be on a topic deemed appropriate to the worship context.
The Chapel hires students for a variety of jobs from worship coordination to communications.
United in Praise
This student group is an undergraduate gospel choir that professes the Christian faith through song and dance. Watch a video about the group: