Alumni Spotlight

Duane Loynes Sr.

Duane Loynes Sr.

How did NIU Philosophy help prepare you for your doctoral program/career in philosophy?

The common word you hear regarding the philosophy program at NIU is "rigor." I would concur. From the broad range of courses offered, to the demanding process of preparing for comprehensive exams, to opportunities to present your research interests, to the significant time spent on seminal subjects in philosophy ... any doctoral program that requires a grounding in philosophy will be manageable after NIU’s program.

In my case, I pursued a Ph.D. in Religious Studies that was interdisciplinary in content and character. Thus, in addition to taking doctoral courses in philosophy, my theology courses also required a substantial understanding of philosophical concepts and history. I was able to come into the program already well-versed in the cutting-edge debates on metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, etc.

Furthermore, the emphasis upon logic and critical thinking sharpened my reasoning skills and helped me develop a writing style that was both clear and precise.

What do you feel is special about NIU Philosophy?

The professors love the subject of philosophy and that passion is evident and contagious. Also, being a teaching assistant was an excellent immersion into the diverse and demanding responsibilities of being a professor.

Why would you recommend NIU Philosophy to applicants to MA programs?

I would recommend NIU’s philosophy program because graduates will have a comprehensive grounding in analytic philosophy and be well-prepared for any doctoral program or career they embark upon.


Assistant Professor of Urban Studies & Africana Studies, Rhodes College, 2019-

Prof. Loynes' research interests are at the intersection of Africana religion/philosophy, methodology, black existential phenomenology, and critical race studies

Previous Appointments

William Randolph Hearst Fellow, Rhodes College, Religious Studies Department, 2017-2019

Faculty Fellow, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Western Theological Seminary, 2015–2017

Adjunct Professor, Department of Theology, Marquette University, 2012–2014

Adjunct Professor, Department of Philosophy, Mount Mary University, 2011–2014


Ph.D., religious studies, Marquette University, 2017

M.A., philosophy, Northern Illinois University, 2007

M.A., Christian history and theology, Wheaton College, 2005

B.A., communication and organizational leadership, Trinity International University, 2003