The interdisciplinary approach of Duke’s Th.D. gave it a distinct edge over traditional Ph.D. programs in religion for Melanie Dobson Hughes, who knew she wanted to study healing within the church.
“With this degree I can look at aspects of suffering, reconciliation and redemption through Scripture, the Tradition, and in the church’s practices,” she says.
“As an ordained United Methodist minister, I also was attracted to the program’s commitment to doing scholarly work that is integrated into the life of the church.”
While Hughes is open to teaching and a return to pastoral ministry, she and her husband, a fourth-year medical student, dream of establishing a retreat center in the North Carolina mountains.
“Our vision is to offer truly integrated, wholistic healthcare in a setting that honors people’s minds, bodies and spirits, as well as creation,” she says.
“I am focusing on courses that will help me reflect deeply on the nature and practices
A registered yoga instructor, Hughes currently teaches classes in Durham as a way of practically embodying healing in her own life.
April 13, 1975, Charlotte, N.C.
M.Div. & Th.M., Duke Divinity School, 2001, 2002
B.A., Furman University, Greenville, S.C., 1997
“Being Real: The Practices of the Body of Christ,” Ministry at Large, Divinity magazine, Winter 2004
2002-2006 – Associate Pastor, Dayspring United Methodist United Church, Tempe, Ariz.
2000-2001 – Student Pastor, Trinitatis Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bonn, Germany
1997-1998 – Teacher/Missionary, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, Utila, Honduras
Elder, United Methodist Church