Angel Collie headshot

Angel Collie

Growing up gay in rural Eastern North Carolina, Angel Collie experienced homophobia early. When he came out, he was kicked out of the Baptist Church. That sent him on a trajectory toward ministering to the LGBTQ+ community.

“I didn’t want anyone else to go through that,” said Collie, who earned his bachelor’s degree in religious studies with minors in women’s studies and sexuality studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, his master of divinity from Yale Divinity School and his doctor of ministry at Duke Divinity School.

“I thought I was going into parish ministry in an LGBTQI+ affirming church,” he said.

Instead, Collie became director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Duke University, a role he accepted in 2022 after serving as assistant director since 2016.

Collie has worked to make the center not only a welcoming place for students but also one that provides Duke’s entire community with programs that educate and enlighten on issues that impact the students the center serves.

He is most proud of the Queer and Trans Leadership Series, which strives to reframe leadership through a queer and trans lens.

“Often our identities are looked at from a deficit model,” he says. But he suggests that many LGBTQ individuals can use the strength and resilience they have developed to become effective leaders who can bring about positive change.

He’s also proud of the center’s Pursuing Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (PRIDE) training program, which during the last academic year trained 832 people.

Whether working directly with LGBTQ+ students or planning for the year’s budget, Collie sums up his goals simply: “How do I create a space in which students can be cared for and have their needs met?”