Current Th.D. Students

Tanner Capps is the son of Susan and Gene Capps and the husband of Hannah Swiger Capps. He grew up on a cattle and sheep farm outside of Westminster, South Carolina. Tanner received his B.A. in English literature and visual art from Anderson College (2004) and the M.A. in Religion with a concentration in theological studies from Westminster Theological Seminary (2009). His research focuses on 16th century iconoclasm and accompanying early modern understandings of visuality, the image, idolatry, and sacramental theology. In connection with these topics, he is also interested in the role the visual arts play in theological and religious formation. He is currently teaching courses in medieval and early modern literature and religion at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Tanner is a devotee of Atlanta Braves baseball.

Brian Curry grew up in Nashville, Tenn. At Vanderbilt, he studied music, German, and biology and graduated with a B.S. in 2003. After college, he spent time doing research in clinical pharmacology and teaching music. In 2008 he received an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary. As a doctoral student, his research investigates the consequences of a covenantal, Christ-centered doctrine of creation for the practices of art-making. Other interests include theological ethics, New Testament theology, and theology and natural science. He attends All Saints Church, and in his free time, enjoys playing saxophone and guitar, and spending time with his wife, Andrea, and their four children.

Joelle Hathaway grew up near Seattle, WA and studied at Seattle Pacific University, where she met her husband Brent Smith. She graduated SPU in 2005 with a major in Sociology and a minor in Christian Scriptures.  In 2009 she completed her M.T.S. at Duke Divinity School, her thesis comparing the architectural visions of hope for Coventry Cathedral and Memory Foundations, the master plan for Ground Zero. As a doctoral student, her research interests continue to be focused on Theology, Architecture and the Built Environment, specifically their role in shaping Christian worship, identity, and imagination. Issues relating to Christian engagement with urban spaces and ecological concerns, as well as sacred architecture, will be central to her study. Joelle and her husband attend St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Durham. When time allows, they also enjoy ballroom and salsa dancing.

Having grown up in the mountains of Colorado, Bo Helmich enjoys the oxygen-rich air of the South (except during the summer, when heat and humidity make him wonder why he ever left). Bo holds degrees from Stanford, Oxford, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Duke, he served for a number of years as a local church pastor, teacher and worship leader. Building on this foundation, his dissertation research treats theological aesthetics as practical theology, essentially considering the place of beauty in the normal Christian life. Bo and his wife Anne have four excellent children, all named for saints and poets. As time allows he pursues his love of songwriting by escaping to Nashville, guitar in hand.

Nate Jones grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, the son of two United Methodist ministers. He graduated from Duke University in 2009 with a B.A. in American history and religion, and from Duke Divinity School in 2012 with an M.Div. focused on Christian theology. His doctoral work focuses on the intersection of theology and music, with a particular emphasis on modern aesthetics. Nate is also a classically-trained baritone, who has won vocal competitions in the US and Europe, and has sung professionally in both opera and oratorio. His wife, Amy, is an internal medicine resident at Duke Hospital, and in his spare time, he enjoys playing disc golf, brewing beer and working for the Duke football team.

Jacki Price-Linnartz grew up in the woods near Boone, N.C.  In 2005, she graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in psychology and a minor in English, and after that she nabbed an M.T.S. and Th.M. from Duke Divinity School.  As a doctoral student, her research asks how the arts shape our identities, including race and gender, and how this interacts with Christian formation.  Jacki attends Resurrection United Methodist Church with her husband and best friend, Isaac, who practices law in Raleigh.  In her free time she tries her hand at visual art and creative writing, and she has been sighted wearing face paint for Duke basketball.

Before arriving at Duke, David Taylor worked as a pastor for twelve years in Austin, Texas. Born and raised in Guatemala City, he studied at the University of Texas, Georgetown University, the University of Würzburg and Regent College in Canada. His research interests include liturgical theology, pneumatology, and the arts, with a particular emphasis on resources within the Reformed tradition. He edited the book For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts (Baker Books, 2010).  He has written for Books & Culture, Comment, The Living Church, The Curator, CIVA SEEN and Christianity Today. His artistic interests include playwriting and photography, though he is also quite fond of modern dance. His wife Phaedra is a gardener, cook and visual artist who teaches art to adults and children in Durham.