Duke Initiatives in Theology & the Arts:  Our Work & Mission

Duke Initiatives in Theology & the Arts: Our Work & Mission


The mission of DITA is to open up theology
to the arts and arts to theology. I arrived here in 2009 and I was asked to
teach theology. But I was also asked to teach theology and
the arts. The wonderful thing about this place is that
we can combine things here that are very hard to combine anywhere else. Here we have a first rate divinity school
in the midst of a major university. Here we have an extraordinary concentration
of Biblically based theology and a large number of faculty in the divinity school who are
committed to the arts. And of course terrific art departments within
the community at large. Add all that together and we have something
here that’s utterly unique. There are three strands to DITA. Research. Teaching. And Art in Action. The heart of that is a cohort of doctoral
students engaged in cutting edge research. They are the leaders in this field of the
future. We’re thrilled to have started a certificate
in theology & the arts. The purpose of that is to allow students to
concentrate within a degree program, to concentrate on theology & the arts. That’s recent and I’m delighted about that
because it validates their interest and enthusiasm and passion for the arts. As far as teaching is concerned what we’ve
seen emerge over the last five – ten – years is a whole range of classes now offered to
students here. We’ve been delighted to welcome a number of
practicing artists to Duke to spend time with us here for a month or more. To have living, breathing, sweating, working
artists in the midst of all this brings an unique dimension. My great hope is that particularly students
in training here – those who go on to be leaders, church leaders, wherever they are going to
lead, will never be quite the same again when it comes to the arts.

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