Elaine Heath Steps Down As Divinity School Dean; Greg Jones To Lead School

Jones was dean of Duke Divinity from 1997-2010

Elaine Heath, who has served as dean of Duke Divinity School since 2016, is stepping down from that position today, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this morning in a message to Divinity School faculty and staff.

Heath will remain on the Divinity School faculty as a professor of missional and pastoral theology.

“President Price and I are grateful to Elaine for her leadership over the past two years, and we share her excitement about continuing as a member of the Divinity School faculty to advance her work on several emerging initiatives that bridge the academy to the church and the world, including the Neighborhood Seminary,” Kornbluth said.

L. Gregory Jones, the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry, will serve as dean. Jones, who earned M.Div and Ph.D. degrees from Duke, was previously dean of Duke Divinity from 1997-2010. 

“Greg is an experienced leader who knows the Divinity School and the university as well as anyone, and who is devoted to our shared goals of excellence and inclusion,” Kornbluth said. “He will help guide the school through an important transition and transformation, and prepare us to conduct a national search for a new dean.”

In a separate mail to the Duke Divinity community, Jones said, “We have important challenges to address, including continuing the work of diversifying the faculty, staff, and student body, and building an ever-more inclusive and welcoming environment for all, so that we may have a richer common life. We need also to build bridges across various divides in the church, the academy, and across society. Christian faith can play a significant role in this bridge-building.”