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Duke Receives $12 Million to Strengthen Divinity Leadership, Service

December 11, 2019


A $12 million grant from The Duke Endowment will bolster the leadership that Duke Divinity School provides across the church, in academia and in the communities served by the school, Duke University President Vincent E. Price said Thursday.

The grant from The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, North Carolina, will enable Duke Divinity School to better prepare Christian leaders, develop new research and collaborations, and foster thriving local and global faith communities.

“Duke Divinity School is known for its education of pastoral leaders, its intellectual rigor, and its contribution to the culture in North Carolina and our region,” said Price. “We are so grateful for The Duke Endowment’s latest investment, which builds on its longstanding support for Duke Divinity as a leader in theological education and an integral part of Duke University.”

The Duke Endowment award will support the Divinity School’s three core priorities and traditions: Thriving communities enlivened by healthy congregations and gifted pastors, embodied wisdom through rigorous intellectual vitality, and creative institutions that inspire imaginative and transformative leadership.

“As a keystone leader, Duke Divinity School is intentionally focused on ways to be a catalyst, partner and symbol of Christian formation, scholarship and witness at its best,” said Divinity Dean L. Gregory Jones, the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry. “Duke Divinity must be bold by leading in the midst of turbulence by bringing healing and flourishing to a divided and hurting world. We are grateful for the support of The Duke Endowment over the years, and we believe this grant will make a transformational difference in the future.”

The grant will enhance the school’s Christian ministry by creating new master of divinity scholarships for prospective pastors, provide fellowship support to strengthen the doctor of theology program and support lifelong learning for pastors.

Funds also will enable new research into pastoral leadership, and foster collaborative partnerships across the university to create cross-sector learning and initiatives.

“Our founder believed that clergy played a critical role in helping rural communities thrive and he wanted his philanthropy to support excellent training for them at Duke University,” said Minor Shaw, chair of The Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees. “We are proud to continue that strong connection, and to help Duke Divinity School prepare leaders and changemakers for making an impact in the Carolinas and beyond.”

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