Duke Chapel

The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from  the Duke University Chapel days after it was vandalized.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Duke University quickly and quietly removed a controversial statue from its most iconic building over the weekend.

State of Things Host Frank Stasio hosts a broadcast at the Duke Chapel on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 to commemorate the chapel's reopening.
Duke Photography

Duke University has reopened the iconic chapel at the center of its Durham campus after a $19 million renovation.

Crews have been working for a year to restore the limestone walls and ceiling that define the chapel's Gothic architecture. 

In a special broadcast at Duke Chapel, university archivist Valerie Gillispie told WUNC’s "The State of Things" the chapel has served as an institutional icon at Duke for nearly 90 years.

Duke released a new study that looks at the high depression rate in clergy members.
public domain

A close-up look at American churches shows women clergy have hit a “stained-glass” ceiling.

Mark Chaves is a Duke University professor of Sociology, Religious Studies and Divinity.  And for nearly 20 years, he has been studying congregations of all faiths and denominations.  He directs the National Congregations Study.

Chaves says, one thing that has stood out – the number of women leading churches has not budged.

An image of the Duke Vespers Ensemble Choir
Duke Chapel

When Duke Vespers Ensemble Director Brian Schmidt told his choir they would be singing with the Rolling Stones during the band's concert Wednesday at Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium, he was prompted with one question:

 

“Are you serious?”

Duke Chapel, Duke University, Durham
Dave DeWitt

Campus faith leaders will gather for a panel discussion about sacred space at Duke University this afternoon.

This comes one month after Duke canceled plans to let the Muslim Student Association sound a call to prayer from the Chapel Bell Tower.

When that happened, Chapel Dean Rev. Luke Powery said he would work to keep dialogue open on the issue. Powery says this discussion will be part of a larger series of talks held at the chapel called Bridge Panels.

Shorter winters mean fewer days between the first and last freeze in any year.
Duke University via Duke Today

This weekend there is a series of performances of Handel's Messiah at Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. The tradition has been going on for 81 years. This year the performance will be recorded live and broadcast throughout the state and the world.

Dr. Rodney Wynkoop is the Director of Chapel Music at Duke University. He says that the text of the Messiah tells the entire story of the redemption of the world.

Duke Chapel
Skip Bradley / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke Chapel is closing to the public May 11, 2015 for a year-long restoration project. The ceiling will be worked on and the original chapel roof will be replaced. Crews will also work to restore the stained-glass windows and woodwork.

Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke University.
http://www.spdlc.org/faith-life-continues-with-william-willimon-february-4

Will Willimon has served at Duke University in a variety of roles for decades, but he always left to continue his calling as a Methodist minister.

He knew from an early age that he had a special connection to God.

"I think I always had an extraordinary sense of the divine," he said.

Though, he said that his fundamentalist upbringing in rural South Carolina scared him off from faith for a while.  

"I sort of decided that Christianity was for people who weren't very good at thinking things through," he said.

When he went off to Wofford College, he was exposed to a religous studies professor who helped him see a different view of Christianity.  

Meet Luke Powery

Oct 22, 2012

Luke Powery’s father was a minister, but Powery wanted to go a different route.

He considered pursuing computer programming, but ruled it out after one of his first classes. Eventually, his father’s calling came for him, and he didn’t resist. This fall, Rev. Luke Powery became the first black dean of Duke Chapel. He joins host Frank Stasio to discuss his career and preaching suffering in the light of hope.

There's a new Dean of the Duke University Chapel. The Reverend Doctor Luke Powery is the first African-American to hold the position.

Dave DeWitt: Powery comes from the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was an assistant professor. He replaces Samuel Wells, who left Duke Chapel to return to England.

Powery was one of several who gave guest sermons at Duke Chapel in recent months. The one he delivered in June was called "Why Are You Afraid?"

Duke University

The Duke family and hundreds of their closest friends and supporters filled Duke Chapel yesterday in Durham to say good-bye to Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans.   Duke President Richard Brodhead described Semans as the university’s principal link to Duke’s founding generation.  Leoneda Inge produced this audio postcard from Semans’ funeral.

Music performer:  The Ciompi Quartet

The Rev. Dennis Campbell:  When Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was born Duke University was no more than a twinkle in her great uncle’s eye.”