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$6.7M grant to focus on Div School leadership

Duke Divinity School received a “splendid” new $6.7-million gift from Lilly Endowment Inc. to promote innovative pastoral leadership and excellence in ministry, President Richard Brodhead announced Tuesday.

The grant supports “Advancing Pastoral Excellence,” a new phase expanding “Pulpit & Pew: Research on Pastoral Leadership,” a program based at the Divinity School to fund research partnerships with churches across the country and funded by Lilly, an Indianapolis-based endowment.

“This splendid new grant from Lilly Endowment will allow Duke Divinity School to become an instrument helping pastors, churches and other institutions address important challenges, effect significant change and implement creative programs to enhance the formation and development of pastoral leaders and congregations,” Brodhead said.

The grant’s goal is to strengthen the effectiveness of Christian leaders through seven identified themes: the economics of pastoral leadership, nurturing healthy pastoral lives, assessment and evaluation of pastors, pastoral placement and fit, calling a new generation of pastors, getting started well in pastoral ministry and pastoral work and the shaping of communities.

“We do have pastors who are dispirited, confused, feeling isolated, struggling in systems that sometimes diminish them and sap them of their passion,” said Kenneth Carder, director of the Divinity School’s Center for Excellence in Ministry. “We will be working with new models, but models that will be rooted in the Christian tradition—indeed, in the Gospel itself. We would like to see in four years a church that has a clearer vision of what quality, excellent ministry means and how to implement and sustain that ministry.”

Casting call announced for NBC’s The Apprentice

Duke’s alumni, graduate and professional students might get a chance to see Donald Trump badmouth them on TV—to their faces.

Casting directors from NBC’s hit show The Apprentice are coming to campus next week to audition graduate and professional school students and Duke alumni, MBA in hand or not. The show’s producers have promised short lines for the auditions, which will take place in Von Canon Room B in the Bryan Center Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The casting call, hosted by the Graduate and Professional Student Council, requires 21-year-old applicants to bring their Duke IDs and to submit a completed application that can be downloaded at No videotape or particular area of study is required, and students and alumni from all fields are encouraged to apply.


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