Deanna Durham

Deanna Durham

Office Phone: (540) 432-4912


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: RLN 226

Assistant Professor

Applied Social Sciences Dept

“In every course I teach students are asked to imagine what it would be like to be marginalized, pushed to the edges of society, the church, institutions, peer groups, etc. We explore ways of moving toward inclusion, reaching beyond our own comfort zone into other worlds and communities and deep within ourselves to discern what God is calling us to personally, vocationally, spiritually.”

Deanna F. Durham, graduate of Northwest Nazarene College (undergrad) and Howard University (M.S.W.) began her teaching career at the University of Maryland in 1989 teaching part-time in the Department of Family Studies.

Deanna worked and lived in Washington, D.C. for 17 years from 1982 – 1997. She worked at a faith-based non-profit, Community of Hope, Inc., located in the 14th Street corridor which had burned down during the 1968 race riots. Over her 17 years in D.C. she directed a neighborhood after school educational enrichment and mentoring program for children and youth who were homeless, directed a social services program in three facilities for homeless and drug addicted families and in her final 3 years was the Deputy Director of the entire organization with a budget of more than 1.5 million. During these years she testified before Congress on behalf of families living in substandard housing, served on D.C. Commission of Social Services, Howard University’s School of Social Work Curriculum Committee and served on the boards of Parkmont School, Free the Children Trust, and Bright Beginnings Child Development Center.

Deanna and her family lived in El Salvador for over 4 years serving as the Country Directors for Mennonite Central Committee. Much of their work involved mental health and trauma work after the 12 year civil war. They also focused on sustainable agriculture, education and youth initiatives. They returned to Harrisonburg, VA after their MCC term in late 2001.

Deanna joined the EMU faculty in fall 2003 as the Director of Community Learning, a new initiative of the Lilly Grant: Theological Exploration of Vocation. Her primary focus for the first year was cultivating relationships with the local community with the goal of providing learning experiences for EMU students outside the classroom. Many of these contacts with local non-profits, churches, the local Islamic mosque, public and private institutions and with many of the refugees and immigrants who have recently arrived in the Shenandoah Valley continue to provide excellent “real life” examples and input for her current courses.


B.A. (Psychology), Northwest Nazarene College, Nampa, Idaho
M.S.W., Howard University, Washington D.C.

Other Presentations

  • EMU Faculty Staff conference, The Danger of the Single Story, Fall 2010
  • EMU Academic Support Center Tutoring Training
  • EMU Residence Life Student Training
  • EMU MA Counseling Program – Safe Zone Presentation

Church, Community and Professional Service

  • Teatro Chirmol, Bilingual Community Theater (2004 – 2008)
  • Hispanic Services Council Fall 2003 – 2009
  • Intercultural Alliance Fall 2003 – 2008
  • Linville-Edom School Council (Community Liason) Fall 2009 – present

Professional Conferences Attended

  • Spring 2011: Symposium on Sexual Oreintation & Gender Identity Programs and Policies at Virginia Colleges and Universities, VCU (June 18, 2001)
  • Fall 2010: NEDA Annual Conference, New York City (Oct. 8-10, 2010)

New Courses Taught


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Exploring Conflict and Peace
  • Race and Gender
  • Families in Social Context
  • Social Work Practice II
  • Exploring Social Work

EMU Service

  • Faculty Senate Member: Fall 2011
  • EMU Cross Cultural Committee: Fall 2011 – 2014
  • General Education: Fall 2003 – 2007
  • Community Learning
  • Orientation: Fall 2003 – 2007
  • Cords of Distinction: Fall 2007 – present
  • EMU Honors Program Mentor: Fall 2009 – present
  • Residence Life Prayer Partner: Fall 2008 – present

Faculty Advisor

  • Safe Space: Fall 2009 – present

Cross Cultural Leadership

  • Summer 2007: Local Context
  • Spring 2008: U.S. & Mexico Borderlands/Guatemala
  • Spring 2011: U.S. & Mexico Borderlands/Guatemala
  • Summer 2012: U.S. Border (focus on human trafficking)