The Center for Writing and Academic Support 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 Writing and Academic Support

Judith Heyhoe has taught and practiced writing for over forty years. She began her career as a newspaper journalist in England and then gained experience as an editor. In America, 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. For the last ten years at Duke Divinity School she has acted as editor to the faculty and run the writing center. This year she is overseeing the growth of the center as it offers students not only writing assistance but also academic support.  


Writing Tutors

Julie Morris (Writing Tutor) is a sixth-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, and looks forward to the arrival of his third child later this year.

John Zambenini completed his Master of Divinity in 2015. After graduating from Duke, John served as a chaplain and youth minister. In a former life, he was also a newspaper reporter. He claims he has always done his best thinking while riding a bicycle, but looks forward to thinking about writing while tutoring. He lives in Durham with his wife and son.

Academic Tutors

Kat Burgett (Old 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.

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. He has been an instructor in the Divinity School’s RISE pre-orientation program, precepted Church History for four years, and is now in his second year tutoring in the center.

Contact Details

Tutors and directors can be contacted at:

Judith Heyhoe –

Julie Morris –

Philip Porter –

John Zambenini ‒

Kat Burgett –

Cullen McKenney –