Th.D. in Profile

Craig Heilmann
Shedding Light upon Christian Practices


After earning a Th.M. degree last May, the Rev. Craig Heilmann wanted to continue his studies at Duke before returning to ministry in New Zealand.

As a member of The Divinity School’s first class of doctor of theology students, he recognizes he’s been given a rare opportunity. His scholarship will focus on the practice of penance and confession, areas he studied for the master of theology degree. But the program will also feature hands-on experience.

“With its emphasis on practices in the Christian community, it is my hope that I will gain the knowledge and skills to engage real life problems in the context of a church community, so that I end up with a theology ‘with shoes on’ (or should I say sandals?),”quips Heilmann.

A bonus of the doctoral program, he adds, is the flexibility to take courses in areas of the university in addition to The Divinity School. Last semester, for example, he took a course on the French philosopher Foucault in Duke’s Program in Literature.

“In the end, those of us in this program receive encouragement from great faculty to pursue different areas of knowledge that might shed light upon Christian practices,” says Heilmann. “And that has the power to lead to the integrated life of individuals and communities.”

Sept. 17, 1965, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Th.M., Duke Divinity School, 2006

M.T.S., early Judaism & the New Testament, Regent College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1990; Postgraduate Study, 1991

Grad.Dip.CS, early Judaism & the New Testament, Regent College, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1989

B.A., Multnomah College, Portland, Ore., 1988


Hogwarts or Hogwash: The Harry Potter Phenomenon & Your Child, LGHP Ltd., 2002.

“Harry Potter & The Lord of The Rings: A Study of Competing Worldviews,” Parenting with Confidence: Vol. 4, No. 2, April 2001.


2003-2005 – Minister at large, Greenlane Christian Center, which with 3,000 members is Auckland, New Zealand’s largest independent church.

2000-2005 – Executive director, Family Matters Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing and serving the modern family.

1998-2000 – Founder and director of a publishing company.

1995-1999 – Senior lecturer in theology, Hillson College, Sydney, Australia.


Ordained minister in a Free Church in New Zealand; previously an Anglican layperson.

Profiles >>
Copyright © 2007 Duke Divinity School. All Rights Reserved.  (919) 660-3412