Dean and professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School Reflects on His 7 years There

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“The University should be thinking about what its heart is,” [Sam] Wells said. “If you don’t have a heart, you simply commit yourself to a commodity culture where you are only here to get an investment, a degree.... It’s an impoverished notion of what a university can truly be.” For the Chapel to effectively operate as a church, Wells said that it is important to interact with the people Jesus spent most of his life with—the poor. He tried to accomplish this through outreach to Durham’s more impoverished areas.

“Success is seeing people’s lives change and not just saying so but actually seeing the differences,” he said. “Poverty is a mask we sometimes put on people to [conceal] their real wealth... [but it is important for] a rich person to see how poor they are or for a person coming out of prison to see how rich he is.... That’s what the kingdom of God is about, those kinds of transformations.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

3 Comments
Posted April 19, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. George Conger wrote:

Nice words—but when Wells was faced with a real life situation his true colors came out.  Wells could have been a voice for good in the Duke lacrosse scandal—he could have stood on his Christian principles, but chose to play it safe. He was, to say the least, a disappointment.

As a Duke alumnus (BA, MBA) and a one time member of the lacrosse team I have a different view perhaps than others of his tenure—but I can only wish him well back in the CoE.

April 19, 9:54 am | [comment link]
2. cseitz wrote:

I gather from various comments that St Martin-in-the-Fields London is what in TEC is referred to as a ‘progressive’ church.

April 19, 11:42 am | [comment link]
3. driver8 wrote:

Yes, great homeless ministry when I worshiped there. But typical liberal catholic parish - all over the place on “private” virtues and vices. In my day it was very much “hear no evil etc…” now it’s a bit more “we have a gospel to proclaim”, if you get my drift.

April 19, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
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