If you visit the Methodist Church in the small town of Cusco, Peru, you will find a picture of the late Frederick Herzog, along with a loving dedication inside a hymnal of songs in the Quechua language.
The Methodist seminary in Lima closed a decade ago, yet the bishop’s house includes Herzog’s portrait, and his name is painted on the playground of the Children’s Village outside Lima — a place where the professor of systematic theology took Duke students in an effort to sustain and enhance dialogue with the church in Latin America.
Although Herzog taught only one semester at the Methodist seminary in Lima, his former students there haven’t forgotten him, says the Rev. Tiffney Marley D’96, coordinator of Duke Divinity School’s Peru Initiative.
“Even though he is no longer here, his work continues because the seeds he planted are good seeds,” says Marley, who also serves as director of Black Church Studies.
Among those good seeds is the Peru Initiative, which sends students, staff and alumni to various locations within the country to conduct clergy education workshops each year during spring break and, since 2006, sends students for 10-week internships to Huancayo, Peru.
The work, supported by the Frederick Herzog Memorial Fund of Duke Divinity School, also continues through Kristin Herzog, Ph.D., an independent scholar and author and long-time partner in her husband’s work.
Herzog’s early interest in Peru was due, in part, says his wife, to the country’s ancient academic tradition, which included a university that pre-dates Harvard by several decades. The Herzogs belonged to the United Church of Christ, which had no member churches in Peru, so her husband wanted to work through the Methodist churches of N.C. and Peru to establish an ecumenical exchange program for Duke Divinity School.