Communications Strategist


Communications Strategist, Duke Clergy Health Initiative 

The Duke Clergy Health Initiative (CHI) is in its 15th year of studying the health and well-being of United Methodist Church (UMC) clergy in North Carolina. Our mission is to assess and understand the well-being of clergy, including understanding the development and lifecycle of clergy. We use this information to identify, rigorously test, and promote wellness practices and policies in support of thriving clergy. Our activities include:

  • Collecting data on clergy to identify the predictors and outcomes of clergy well-being

  • Developing and testing interventions to improve the health and well-being of clergy

  • Leading conversations about the calling and formation of pastoral leaders

  • Researching the evolving needs of the leadership of congregations

  • Studying seminary students and theological education

  • Helping denominations best support clergy wellness, formation, and training

Our highly collaborative CHI team members are in Duke Divinity School, the Duke Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research and the Duke Global Health Institute, with other collaborators across several other schools and departments in the University. We work in partnership with leaders in the United Methodist Church at the national, state, and local levels.

Our primary focus is on United Methodist clergy in North Carolina, and 95% of this job will share that focus. About 5% of the job will include letting other populations know of the broader relevance of our lessons learned.


The current position can be 0.5-1.0 FTE, as determined in conversation. 

Position Overview

The Communications Strategist is an important member of the Clergy Health Initiative leadership team and will be responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies for the initiative.   The incumbent will lead communications strategy and implementation, assist senior leadership in establishing standards and manage production of print and digital content. Areas of focus include expanding CHI’s reach and impact by increasing the accessibility and publicity of CHI research and findings.

Work Performed

  • Be a consistent presence at meetings across the multiple CHI teams (SEM, Reflections, Panel, Selah, Common Table) to identify areas of unique value to communicate out

  • Be familiar with communications content consumed by clergy to determine areas of interest that CHI can speak to

  • Identify audiences and determine modes and tactics for communications (e.g., webinars, social media, radio, e-newsletters). Implement those tactics.

  • Establish strategic direction and goals for CHI communications, including advising, for example, on: well-being program materials and whether CHI should update old programming materials (e.g., Pastor & Parish videos); how to package and market CHI programs, and also non-CHI programs we endorse; and how to network with seminaries nationally

  • Educate the CHI leadership team on the communication strategy across all CHI studies and findings and provide guidance as CHI team members provide data, reports, and other appropriate materials to fit what the strategy needs

  • Develop and execute communication plans to identify objectives, strategies, target audiences, tactics and key messages for CHI

  • Establish editorial guidelines for various communication channels

  • Manage a budget for website development, production of print materials, CHI swag, mailing communications, and video production of findings and for health and well-being programs

  • Direct the work of outside contractors to produce content to support communication needs 

  • Redesign the existing CHI website and determine the best strategy for website location, features, and driving traffic across the multiple CHI projects

  • Develop and maintain content for websites, social media, publications and other communication channels

  • Write, edit, and develop content across multiple media

  • Partner with the Divinity School, University, and other publications to produce news releases, articles, and feature stories to publicize and promote CHI events, programs and research

  • Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with key communication offices and staff for The United Methodist Church, Divinity School and University



Work requires communications, marketing, strategic planning, analytical and organizational skills generally required through completion of Bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations, communications, English or a related field.



Requires four years of experience, with a preference of eight years or more, in journalism, public relations, marketing or related field with experience posting and publishing through print and electronic mediums, including content management systems. Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills necessary to manage and coordinate a variety of tasks. Experience working in an academic environment is preferred.



  • Strong project management, writing and editing skills

  • Skills translating research for lay audiences and media

  • Developing and executing strategic marketing and communications campaigns

  • Ability to develop and execute earned and social media strategies

  • Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite

  • Knowledge of web content management systems

  • Interest in health and/or ecclesiastical studies

  • Knowledge of Christian faith is a plus


To apply

Please apply through the Duke Human Resources system:

Optionally, you may also send a resume and cover letter to Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell at

Contact: Rae Jean Proeschold Bell

Church/Org/Business Name: Duke University

Address: 310 Trent Dr. Durham NC 27710

Email: Click to email