The Center for Theological Writing helps students in the Divinity School write theology well. We offer tutoring services and organize events to promote the role of writing within the church and the academy.

Writing is a central part of ministry, and words are fundamental for conveying our beliefs. Writing allows us to discern and clarify our ideas and to transmit them to others. At the Center for Theological Writing, we hope to strengthen theological interpretation, teaching, preaching, and communication.

Using the Center

Appointments at the Writing Center are now made online through Sakai.

The Writing Center is located in the lower level of the Westbrook building, rooms 0021, 0035, and 0037.


Director of the Center for Theological Writing

Judith Heyhoe has taught writing for nearly twenty years. She taught for five years in the Freshman Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame and then worked as a high school teacher of English for Chicago Public Schools. She began her career as a journalist for a British newspaper and has done freelance work as an editor in Chicago. In addition to her duties as director of the writing center, she is editor to the faculty of Duke Divinity School.

Assistant Director of Academic Support

Matt Jantzen is responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of the Academic Support program at Duke Divinity School. He leads the Academic Support staff in providing innovative programs and services that empower students for success in the classroom. Matt received his Th.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke Divinity School in 2017. His academic research examines the intersections between Christian theology, politics, and race in the modern world. In addition to serving as a preceptor for a number of courses in the Divinity School, he has taught undergraduate courses in the Religious and Ethical Studies department at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., and through the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. Matt also serves as co-chair of the Strategy Team of Durham C.A.N. (Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods), a broad-based community organization affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation.


Writing Tutors

Aaron Ebert (Writing Tutor) received his Master of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity in 2017. His chief academic interests are in early Christianity, especially the Christian reception of pagan thought, theological interpretation of scripture, divinization soteriology, and the thought of Augustine. He is also always up for a conversation about Karl Barth, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and good (or bad!) academic writing.

Julie Morris (Writing Tutor) is a fifth-year Th.D. student working in theological anthropology and gender studies at Duke Divinity School. Specifically, she studies how the notion of self-improvement within American consumer culture gets mobilized within Christian soteriology.

Philip Porter (Writing Tutor) is a doctoral student in theology at Duke Divinity School, having previously completed an M.T.S. at Loyola University Maryland. His primary research areas are philosophical theology, contemporary Catholic thought, Latin Patristics, and the theology of death and martyrdom. Before beginning his theological studies, he served as a Marine Corps Officer for six years. Philip lives in Durham with his wife, Kristi, and two children, Oliver and Evelyn.

Academic Tutors

Kat Burgett (New Testament Tutor) received her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in 2015. After spending a year as the Christian Education Director at a church in South Africa, she has returned to Duke to work on a Ph.D. in New Testament. Her research interests include Paul, the Old Testament in the New, and Christian reception of Scripture. She is also a New Testament preceptor and thinks working with divinity students is the best part of her job.

Mary Dance Berry (Old Testament Tutor) received her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in 2017. Her academic interests center on the Hebrew Bible (particularly instances of divine violence within the Pentateuch and prophetic texts) as well as its reception in Jewish and Christian traditions. In addition to serving as a tutor, she is precepting for the Old Testament course and completing the ordination process for the PC(USA).

Cullen McKenney (Church History Tutor) received a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, then worked in England for two years as a Ph.D. student in the Centre for Catholic Studies at the University of Durham, returning to Duke to complete his dissertation. His research focuses on theology, culture, and poetry in the Middle Ages through a study of William Langland’s extraordinary poem Piers Plowman. This is his fourth year precepting Church History in the Divinity School.

Contact Details

Tutors and directors can be contacted at:

Judith Heyhoe –

Matt Jantzen –

Aaron Ebert –

Julie Morris –

Philip Porter –

Kat Burgett –

Mary Dance Berry –

Cullen McKenney –