Chapel Scholars commissioning

Chapel Student Ministries

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.

Chapel Scholars

Chapel Scholars is an ecumenical Christian program, which means that participating students come from a wide range of Christian traditions. Many Chapel Scholar students also participate in other Religious Life groups, and are encouraged to foster a sense of cooperation and hospitality across ministry groups. Applications to become a Chapel Scholar are due October 3, 2021.
 

Student Engagement Opportunities

Students engage with the Chapel through a range of programs, fellowships, and groups described here:

A Just Faith House Course

In this time of division, learning to respect one another's humanity while addressing our deep communal needs for dignity, housing, food, healthcare, and inclusion is vital. To promote that kind of learning, Chapel Scholar Lizzy Kramer will teach a half-credit house course in the Fall 2021 semester titled "A Just Faith" (HOUSECS 59.28), with support from Chapel Community Minister Rev. Breana van Velzen. In the course, students read academic work, engage with guest speakers, write analytical and reflective essays, and discuss topics such as human sexuality and activism across faith traditions. This class engages with thinkers and practitioners from multiple faith traditions, such as Thich Naht Hahn, Alice Walker, Howard Thurman, Lama Rod Owens, and Shadaab Rahemtulla, who connect their traditions’ theologies with social practice—or in many cases, selfless service and communal liberation. Students will have opportunities to explore and examine their own traditions and cultures around justice topics and movements, learn from one another, and learn from the greater Durham community through local practitioners.
 

C. Eric Lincoln Theology & Arts Fellowship

The C. Eric Lincoln Fellowship is a semester-long program that 1) provides funding to an undergraduate student for a sacred art project and 2) invites the fellow to broaden the reach of artistic expression at the Chapel. Applicants must be active students in good standing at Duke. The fellowship runs the length of the spring  semester. The Lincoln Fellow is expected to produce a visual art exhibit to be displayed in Duke Chapel near the end of the spring semester.
 

Chapel Choirs

Chapel Music aims to create high quality musical experiences, while giving glory to God and stirring the hearts and minds of all those it reaches. Duke students are invited to join one of the Chapel’s three choirs to learn music, form friendships, and be inspired. All students interested in singing are invited to audition at the beginning of each semester.
 

Courses

The Chapel dean and other staff members teach courses that bridge faith and learning. This semester those courses include:

Dean's Scholars

Dean Powery visits with Deans Scholars studentsDuke 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

Through Duke Chapel Reads, the Chapel aims to curate spaces for reflection and conversation, responding to recent national events and contemporary culture. The program contributes to the Chapel’s ongoing commitment to the intersection of theology and the (literary) arts through the C. Eric Lincoln Minister for Student Engagement, as well as our desire to connect with diverse communities.
 

Eruditio et Religio Living-Learning Community

Student in the Eruditio et Religio Living-Learning CommunityDuke Chapel, Housing and Residential Life, and the Department of Religious Studies have partnered to form Eruditio et Religioa 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

BookshelfA 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

One way the Chapel supports students and the wider Duke community in bridging faith and learning is by offering grants, awards, and fellowships for purposes ranging from community service to mission trips to training in the arts. For some awards only Duke undergraduate students are eligible; other awards are open to other people.
 

Mission Trips

Each year, Student Ministries leads mission trips for undergraduate students over spring break. These trips provide opportunities for service, reflection, and making new friendships within the body of Christ.
 

 

'My Grandmother's Hands' Book Group

The Chapel, in partnership with 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 Opportunities

The Chapel partners with other campus departments and units on research projects related to the Duke Chapel Recordings digital archives. Students are part of these research teams.  Projects have included:

 

Student Preacher

Each spring, one Duke undergraduate student is selected to preach in the Chapel's Sunday 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.
 

Student Workers

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:

Worship Leadership

Duke students are invited to participate in the Chapel’s weekly services by serving as ushers, lectors, communion servers, Scripture readers or also by leading prayers.