The First Black Dean of the Duke Chapel

Luke E. Powery was named dean of the Duke University Chapel. He is the first African American to hold the position. Dr. Powery has served since 2006 as the Perry and Georgia Engle assistant professor of homiletics at the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. His appointment is effective on September 1.

Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, stated, “Luke Powery is a compelling preacher whose gifts of mind and heart will be evident to all who hear him. He will give a powerful presence to the life of the spirit and will connect with every part of our community — students, faculty, staff and our Durham neighbors.”

Dr. Powery is a graduate of Stanford University. He holds a master of divinity degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctorate in theology from Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. He is the author of Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration of Preaching (Abingdon Press, 2009) and Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope (Fortress Press, 2012).


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