Guide to the Duke University Church records, 1936-1985


The Duke University Church (Interdenominational) was formed in response to the desire for a campus church at the University. The Church was founded in 1938 and disbanded in 1985. Types of materials include correspondence, financial material, minutes, and reports. Major subjects include Duke University religious life, students, Christianity, and fellowship. Materials range in date from 1936-1989 (bulk 1950-1979).

Descriptive Summary

Duke University Church records 1936-1985
Duke University. Duke University Church.
3 Linear Feet , 2,500 Items
University Archives, Duke University
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of the official records of the Duke University Church. The bulk of the material dates from 1950 to 1979, and consists of correspondence, financial material, minutes, and reports. Major subjects include: financial and budget plans, personal correspondence and notes of gratitude, scheduling and content of meetings, and the projects or proposed projects funded by the institution. Among the items of interest are: a volume of Duke Chapel Prayers, 1953 to 1956, selected by Barney Jones, and dedicated to Dean Herbert Herring; copies of the reports of the Duke University Religious Council, 1943/44 to 1961/62; and printed material concerning projects and causes the Church was involved with, including the Crossnore School (Crossnore, N.C.), and The American Farm School, (Thessaloniki, Greece).

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

Arranged alphabetically.

Agendas, 1943-1980
Budgets and Proposed Budgets, 1942-1957
Committee and Board Rosters, 1940-1956
Constitution, bylaws, and amendments, 1938-1953
Correspondence, 1939-1985
[10 folders]
Expenses, expenditures, and receipts, 1946-1980
Financial Statements, 1942-1982
Guest Preacher Schedules, 1936-1984
Meeting Schedules, 1958-1983
Member Reading Group and Book Reports, 1960-1980
Member Rosters, 1943-1985
[1 folder and 1 bound volume]
Membership Oaths and Guidelines, 1948-1977
Memoranda, 1950-1974
Minutes, 1937-1984
[8 folders]
Motions and Recommendations, 1947-1953
Newspaper Articles, 1958-1973
Pamphlets, 1939-1958
Prayers, Meditations, and Special Services, 1950-1983
[1 folder and 1 bound volume]
Projects and Causes, 1960-1965
Questionnaires on the Future of Duke University Church, 1983 January 28
Reports, 1937-1967
[3 folders]
Schedules and Programs, 1943-1982
Transfer Letters and Certificates, 1957-1965
Treasurer's Reports, 1943-1984

Contains individual volumes of annual reports. Volumes contains information regarding the history, purpose, activities, projects, and reports of various committees of the Duke University Church for that year. The 1956-1957 and 1960-1961 volumes comprise the annual reports of the Duke University Religious Council as the Duke University Religious Council replaced the Duke University Church Board and the Student Religious Council in 1956.


Account books and receipt books in 13 volumes containing receipts of the Church's activities, gifts, and records of its expenses.

Account book, 1948-1952
Membership register, 1937-1948

Historical Note

The Duke University Church (Interdenominational) was formed in early 1938 in response to the desire for a campus church at the University. The institution constituted the collaboration of students, faculty, and administrators who wanted to help "mold Christian character" at the University and make the student body more aware of the place of religion in life. The purpose of the Duke University Church was "to advance the kingdom of God in Duke University." Establishing religious life on campus and aiding in the coordination of religious activities became the primary goals of the institution. Membership in the Duke University Church was extended to individuals from many denominations, regardless of the University's Methodist roots. In 1956 the Church Board and the Student Religious Council were combined into the Duke University Religious Council, which assumed responsibility of the annual reports as of that year. The Duke University Church (Interdenominational) was disbanded in 1985.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Divinity School records. (University Archives, Duke University. )
  • Duke University Religious Council records. (University Archives, Duke University. )

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Duke University Church Records, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Duke University Church records was received by the University Archives as a transfer, 1970-1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Mary E. West

Completed 2000

Encoded by Emily Glenn, April 2003

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.