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WFU Divinity students make pilgrimage to NYC

March 7, 2008

The Rev. Doug Bailey, assistant professor of urban ministry, and executive director of the Center for Urban Ministry, Inc. at the Wake Forest Divinity School, will lead a group of 16 Divinity School students on an urban ministry pilgrimage to New York City during spring break, March 8 through March 14. Joining their group will be participants from The General Theological Seminary, NYC, and four auditors from the New York City area.  This multicultural immersion course in urban ministry requires 14 hours of classroom work before the students leave campus.  Bailey calls this a pilgrimage because “One can go on a trip for observation; pilgrims go on a journey to be changed.”

Among their scheduled activities are learning and ministering in Lower West Harlem, learning and participating at the nation’s largest soup kitchen in the Chelsea – Hell’s Kitchen area, studying with renowned black pastor and theologian, Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood and studying at Exodus Community, where men and women make a remarkable transition from prison life.  Finally, the students will make a pilgrimage to St. Paul’s Chapel near Ground Zero on March 11, when St. Paul’s holds a special commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the Madrid train bombings by terrorists.   

During the week, the group will participate in a number of worship services, including one at Metropolitan Community Church, a predominantly gay, lesbian and transgender congregation, and another at The Riverside Church, where Wake Forest University Divinity School alumnus, the Rev. Lee Hill, is associate minister for youth and young adults. Hill says he was inspired to pursue urban ministry by this same course four years ago.  Hill serves as adjunct professor for this course on-location in New York City.

Bailey says he places “immense value on practical application of theological education. It is the only way, really, for the Church to make a significant difference in the world.” For further information, visit

Press Contacts:

Audrey Fannin
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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