Duke Lutherans Leadership Team
One of the central theological campaigns of the Lutheran Reformation was the equipping and empowering of the layperson. No longer were popes and priests the only ones with a vocation. No longer were monks and nuns the only ones who could live a life in service to God. Suddenly all Christians—with their own gifts and within their own contexts—could serve God and others. Luther’s “priesthood of all believers” is a theology that Duke Lutherans takes seriously, and one that has shaped the creation of the Duke Lutherans Leadership Team. We are grateful to have three new leaders with us this year, each using their own gifts, experience, and passion to form Duke Lutherans this year and for years to come. Let’s meet ‘em!
Name: D.J. Chatelaine
Major: Religion and Political Science
Hometown: Owatonna, MN
Why did you join the Duke Lutherans Leadership Team? Duke Lutherans has been a core part of my four years at Duke and I felt called to share my experience and gifts with our community.
What is one thing you are excited to see happen this year with Duke Lutherans? I’m excited to see Duke Lutherans form meaningful relationships with each other and the wider Duke and Durham communities.
What do you see as one thing you can offer students as president? I hope to serve as a listening presence with other students, as someone dedicated to making everyone feel they are valued, and as a humble example of how to navigate oneself amidst the stressful Duke bubble, all the while rooted in Christ.
What do you hope for Duke Lutherans in years to come? I envision Duke Lutherans as a place where we live out the ideal that all are welcome, a place where people can be vulnerable, where we can challenge ourselves, where we can candidly confront injustices, and where we can learn what it means to live out our faith in Duke, Durham, and throughout the world.
How has this community shaped you over the years? The small community of Duke Lutherans has been a place where I have learned to question the weight behind my Lutheran heritage. It has provided a team of people who have been there with me in life’s ups and downs, a group that engages with issues of social justice, and an environment that has been a fertile ground for the ongoing maturation of my faith.
Name: Julie Tonnesen
Degree: MDiv at Duke Divinity School
Hometown: Salisbury, NC
Role: Divinity School Ambassador
How do you serve your peers in your role with the Duke Lutherans Leadership Team? My role with Duke Lutherans is important because it provides a link between Lutherans in the Divinity School and Duke Lutherans Campus Ministry.
What do you bring to this role? A love for campus ministry and a desire to make sure that my Lutheran peers in the Divinity School are aware of opportunities in which they can meaningfully connect with Duke Lutherans.
What is one thing you are excited to see happen this year with Duke Lutherans? I am so excited to see Theology on Tap happening this year because it provides grad students a meaningful way to engage their faith in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
What do you hope to do after divinity school? After Divinity School, I hope to work as a campus minister or university chaplain.
Name: Alex Miley (“Milo”)
Hometown: Maple Grove, MN
Role: Community Engagement Coordinator
What inspired you to join the Duke Lutherans Leadership Team? I joined the Leadership Team because in high school, service was something I really enjoyed, and service among others really helped me discover who I was. Also, God calls us to be servants for others, so I saw this as a great opportunity to bring glory to God.
What is something the Duke Lutherans community can offer students?
The Duke Lutherans community has many likable attributes, but the one I like the most is how inclusive and welcoming they are all the time. Every time I’m around them they brighten up my day.
What do you bring to this position?
As the Community Engagement Coordinator, I hope to share the light of the Duke Lutherans and brighten other people’s lives. Also, I hope to share the love we have with those we are serving.
Why does being a neighbor in our community matter to you?
Mark 10:45 explains it well: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Being a neighbor is important to me because our Savior selflessly gave his life to service. Who else is better to try to emulate than Jesus Christ?