Statement on the Standards of Conduct and Value in the Graduate Program in Religion

The Graduate Program in Religion is dedicated to inclusive learning and research as a core value in the academic study of religions. This depends fundamentally on a prevailing attitude of respect for the many forms of difference that our faculty and students bring to their academic work such as, but not limited to, race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. The core values guiding the Graduate Program in Religion are consistent with the values identified by Duke University as fundamental to our institutional culture. Open and honest learning must recognize the importance of confronting the legacies of racism, misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism, and other forms of bias that have menaced free inquiry, citizenship, and human liberty. The Graduate Program in Religion encourages all its faculty, students, and staff to challenge any form of bias that subverts human rights by seeking assistance from appropriate officers (see below). And we urge anyone who encounters any form of bias to avail themselves of several forms of assistance and opportunity provided by Duke University to help them and our organization confront the problem by reporting it to the appropriate officers or units.

The problems may range from discriminatory behaviors that violate federal law, including assault, sexual harassment, or research misconduct. In these cases, any faculty member, staff member, or graduate student who becomes aware of such a complaint is legally required to notify University administrators. Departmental or program officers can assist faculty, staff, and graduate students in identifying the proper administrator. Please consult the resources linked below for additional assistance in defining offences and reporting them.

It is also the case that many behaviors, if not criminal, are nevertheless very hurtful and unethical, and are unacceptable at Duke University. These involve forms of bias, discrimination, or harassment that may be reported for investigation. Faculty members are encouraged to contact their department chair, dean, or program director. They may also feel free contact the following offices directly: the University’s Office for Institutional Equity (link below), the Ombud unit in the Office of Institutional Equity, the dean of humanities, or the Trinity Dean of Graduate Studies. Staff are encouraged to contact the business manager and/or DGS, department chair, or dean of Divinity School. Graduate students are encouraged to contact the DGS, who will work with them on possible solutions. Should the Graduate Program in Religion not be able to help with the solution, graduate students may wish to contact the Trinity Dean of Graduate Studies. Graduate students are also urged to consult the Graduate School’s website on reporting (link below).


The Graduate School website on Reporting Harassment, Discrimination, and Other Concerns—a very useful resource that offers guidance to graduate students facing a variety of situations

Office of Institutional Equity—on reporting an incident, the process, definitions of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, and more

Student Sexual Misconduct—definitions, policies, and procedures

Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct