The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery

Denomination: Other
Organization: Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC


The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery is the dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Prior to his appointment at Duke, he served as the Perry and Georgia Engle Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He has written two books, titled Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching, and Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope and is currently working on a co-authored introductory textbook on preaching, Ways of the Word: Learning to Preach for Your Time and Place, as well as two devotional books of meditations on the Spirituals for the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent.

Powery was ordained by the Progressive National Baptist Convention and has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches throughout Switzerland, Canada, and the United States. He is a member of the Academy of Homiletics, for which he has served as secretary; the American Academy of Religion; and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Powery served as a member of the executive lectionary team for The African-American Lectionary and is the recipient of numerous scholastic fellowships and awards. In 2008, the African-American Pulpit named him one of 20 outstanding black ministers under the age of 40 who are helping shape the future direction of the church. More recently, in 2014, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College for his ethical and spiritual leadership in the academy, church, and broader society.

He is married to Gail Powery, and the couple has two children.



Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery

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Continuing Education - Faith & Science Series Part 8

Tuesday November 10, 2015
In the final program in our Faith & Science series, Dean Luke Powery encourages us to continue the conversation between faith and science. He says our continuing education is a gift as we keep inquiring, listening, and being curious and open to new ideas and fresh experiences.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery

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Luke A. Powery: There's Work to Do - or, An open letter to my children

Tuesday June 15, 2021
Some may shake their heads in disapproval or approval of the election results, but the bottom line is that there’s work to do, says the dean of Duke Chapel in this sermon.

Luke A. Powery: Brutalizing Black bodies is an assault against God

Wednesday September 16, 2020
The torture inflicted on Black people dates back to enslavement and continues to this day as a denial of their humanity, writes the dean of Duke Chapel.

Luke Powery: Life on the Other Side of Easter in 2020 - Church Anew

Friday May 01, 2020
You don’t have to be a super human or a super Christian in this Eastertide 2020. Just be human, a beloved child of God.

ON Scripture: Domestic Violence: Are the Children Safe? (Mark 10: 2-16) By Luke Powery

Monday September 28, 2015
Through this lens, it might not be a coincidence that directly following the teaching about marriage and divorce (vv.2-12) is a short story about how Jesus blesses children (vv.13-16). We can’t avoid this literary connection that points to existential realities. Children are affected by divorce, not just the partners.