It is with great pleasure that we welcome Julia Duin (pronounced “Deen”) as the newest member of the Union University Communication Arts faculty. Prof. Duin brings 25 years of experience to writing courses across the Communication Arts curriculum and will serve as advisor for Union’s award-winning campus newspaper, The Cardinal & Cream.
Prof. Duin comes to Union from Washington D.C. where she is currently a free-lance reporter, contributing writer for the Washington Post, author, and adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland. She has been nominated three times for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and has won numerous other awards for her writing. She is also the author of five books, most recently 2009’s Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community. In the past year her work has appeared in publications from coast to coast including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN.com, and The Seattle Times.
Prof. Duin spent the previous 14+ years at the The Washington Times, first as cultural page editor, then as religion editor. For seven years, she oversaw interns on the Times’ national desk and edited the Times’ widely read second page, Culture & Etc., which has become known for its timely articles on national trends ranging from media and the arts to spirituality, ethics, and religion. When she switched to the religion beat in 2003, she put together award-winning series on ‘female feticide’ in India, the ‘new sanctuary movement’ among immigrants in America and the future of American clergy. As religion editor, she covered events ranging from inner city ministries in Brooklyn, N.Y. and a church/state conflict in northeastern Alabama to a famous child abuse case in eastern Washington state and the 2005 election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Tackling tough topics extends beyond Prof. Duin’s articles to her first two books, which were on single Christians and sexuality. She demonstrated her versatility in writing styles by producing a children’s book as her third work: Waiting for True Love, a collection of 19th century fairytales that have a message. It was published in May 1998 and reflects her concern that children receive the kind of literature that inspires them to live noble lives. The book has since been renamed Knights, Maidens and Dragons: Six Medieval Tales of Virtue and Valor. Her fourth book, Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do About It, was published in 2008, and has been her best-selling book. Book no. 5, Days of Fire and Glory, is her favorite. She is currently working on a book about Kurds for young adults, called The Kurdish Princess.
Fluent in French, Prof. Duin is also conversant in Spanish and German and speaks portions of Kurdish, Arabic, Russian and Italian. The Kurdish was for her 2004 trip to northern Iraq; the Italian was to help her better cover the papal election in 2005 and the Russian was to help her get through almost seven weeks in Kazakhstan in 2007 as she awaited the adoption of her then 22-month-old daughter, Olivia Veronika, aka “Veeka.”
A native of Baltimore, Prof. Duin has been to nearly every state in the union, as her travels started at the age of six weeks when her family moved to Hawaii. She received her bachelor’s degree at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., and her master’s degree at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. She began magazine writing in high school, and gained national recognition as a correspondent for evangelical publications such as Christianity Today and Charisma.
Prof. Duin will teach Writing Across Media Platforms, Advanced Reporting and Publication Seminar in the Fall semester.