Rev. Amanda Highben

Pastor Amanda was called to serve as the Duke Lutherans Campus Pastor in June 2020.  She was ordained in 2016 after twelve years in youth and family ministry. She's served diverse congregations in a variety of settings, including downtown Minneapolis, MN, inner-city Columbus, OH, and the college town of East Lansing, MI. During her three years at University Lutheran Church on the campus of Michigan State University, Pastor Amanda developed a graduate student and young adult ministry and was an active member of the undergraduate campus ministry team. She’s led service-learning trips to various parts of the U.S. and the island of Île-à-Vache, Haiti.

Since moving to Durham with her family in 2019, she’s assisted with worship leadership at Duke Chapel and taught a course in Lutheran studies at Duke Divinity School. Pastor Amanda’s husband Zeb is the Director of Chapel Music at Duke and associate professor of the practice of church music at Duke Divinity School. Their energetic, music-loving daughter Cecilia (Ceci) loves to attend Duke Lutherans events too.

Pastor Amanda loves to read, hike, swim, watch college basketball (GO BLUE DEVILS!), visit her favorite Durham coffee shops (especially Cocoa Cinnamon) and practice yoga. She cares deeply about ecumenical and interfaith ministry, lifelong learning, building an inclusive church, and our calling to live as instruments of peace, justice, and God’s boundless love for all people.

Amanda would love to hear from you at amanda.highben@duke.edu.

Student Leadership

Outreach & Neighborliness

Jovita Byemerwa

I am a 5th year PhD student in the department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology studying how breast cancer spreads around the body. I love Duke Lutherans because of its emphasis on how our faith in Christ propels us to love and serve our neighbors.

Fun Fact About Jovita:
I speak 5 languages and I would love to learn more.

Creation Care

Magdalena Phillips

I am a junior undergraduate who is studying marine biology. I'm a Duke Lutheran because I love being able to think deeply about my faith with other people my age. I've met the kindest, most welcoming people through Duke Lutherans.

Fun Fact About Magdalena:
I really love figure skating! I've been watching it for years and started taking lessons when I was a freshman.

Sunday Evening Prayer

Eric Juarez

I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the psychology and neuroscience department. I'm a Duke Lutheran because we are a community committed to living out our mission "called to life together" with our campus community, our partner congregations, and our Durham community.

Fun Fact About Eric:
In college, I made a senior film about plates. 

Fellowship & Social Events

Katie Elkin

I am in my third (and final) year of my Master’s of Divinity, and I am originally from Mooresville, North Carolina. I am a Duke Lutheran first, because I value the community of fellow students and the different perspectives that we each bring to life and faith. And second, because Duke Lutherans values the larger Durham community in which we are located.

Fun Fact About Katie:
When I’m not reading or writing for school, I enjoy riding my bike around Durham, drinking coffee, and trying out new recipes!


Max Miller

I am a first year at Duke Divinity School studying Old Testament. I am a Duke Lutheran because it gives me a community where I can continue to grow in my faith. It also gives me a safe place to develop my vocational calling and skill.

Fun Fact About Max:
My favorite books are The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London.

2021 - 2022 Duke Lutheran Committee Members

Phil Hart, Chair

Claire Cooney

Linda Foreman

Leonard Hango

Aaron Klink

Ellen Lavery

Emily Pauline

Cindy Snyder

Riley Waugh

John Kolba