How do members of faith communities care for the mentally ill—the depressed, or psychotic, or addicted—in their midst?
What does the loss of agency, loss of control, even loss of self often associated with mental illness, mean for a Christian?
And, above all, how should these situations be narrated theologically?
“Christian responses to these questions vary dramatically,” says Dr. Warren Kinghorn, chief psychiatry resident at Duke University Medical Center, and a candidate for The Divinity School’s new doctoral program in theology. “It’s my conviction that the church has much work to do in order to make sense of the questions.”
Psychiatric and neurobiological research is important, but Christians trying to interpret the results of this research need more than scientific knowledge alone, says Kinghorn.
“This is profoundly theological work which requires intensive training in the language and practices of the church. Because of this, the Duke Th.D. program has been a perfect fit.”
Kinghorn hopes to work in a divinity school or medical center where through teaching
and scholarship he will help form clergy and laity ministering to community members who are mentally ill, as well as mental health professionals who care for patients from diverse religious traditions.
March 16, 1975, Greenville, S.C.
Residency, Duke University Medical Center: Internal Medicine/
Psychiatry, 2003-05; Psychiatry, 2005-07; Chief Psychiatric Resident, 2006-07
M.D., Harvard Medical School, 2003
M.T.S., Duke Divinity School, 2002
B.S., Psychology, Furman University, 1997
“Professionalism in modern medicine: Does the emperor have any clothes?” Academic Medicine, January 2007
“‘You are dust:’ Ash Wednesday on a Psychiatic Ward,” The Christian Century, March 21, 2006
2006-2007 – Chief psychiatric resident, Duke University Medical Center
2005-2007 – Residency, psychiatry, DUMC
2003-2005 – Residency, Internal Medicine/Psychiatry, DUMC
1998 – Summer Research Fellow, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
1996 – Duke Endowment Intern, Department of Chaplaincy Services, Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte, N.C.
Presbyterian Church (USA)