Directors

Farr Curlin, M.D.
Co-Director

Farr Curlin, M.D., is Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities. A practicing palliative medicine physician, Farr works in both the School of Medicine’s Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, and the Divinity School’s Initiative on Theology, Medicine, and Culture.

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D.
Co-Director

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Th.D., is the Esther Colliflower Professor of the Practice of Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke Divinity School and Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Duke University Medical Center. His scholarly work centers on the role of religious communities in caring for persons with mental health problems and on ways in which Christians engage practices of modern health care. 

Brett McCarty, Th.D.
Associate Director

Brett McCarty, Th.D., is Assistant Research Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences in Duke’s School of Medicine. He is also a faculty associate of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. Dr. McCarty’s work centers on questions of faithful action within healthcare, and these questions draw him into conversations at the intersections of bioethics, political theology, public health, and theological anthropology.

Staff

Victoria Yunez Behm, M.S., M.T.S., C.N.S.
Program Coordinator

Victoria Yunez Behm, M.S., M.T.S., C.N.S., is a program coordinator for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative, providing events management oversight and program support for TMC. She also coordinates the Reimagining Medicine Fellowship program of The Kenan Purpose Project (working with Dr. Warren Kinghorn). She is a graduate of Messiah University (BA), Maryland University of Integrative Health (MS), and Duke (MTS). Behm came to North Carolina with her family in 2020 to attend Duke Divinity as a Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellow. She is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) with expertise in personalized nutrition, family nutrition, and culinary nutrition. For the past eight years, she has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and has led programmatic and scientific initiatives with the American Nutrition Association to educate health professionals about nutrition and food as medicine.

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Margaret Frothingham, B.S.N., M.C.M.
Assistant Director of TMC Spiritual Formation

Margaret Frothingham, B.S.N., M.C.M., is the assistant director of TMC spiritual formation. Trained as a nurse and a spiritual director, Margaret has worked in areas of hospice, rural community health in Haiti, pediatrics and oncology. She earned a masters in church ministry which incorporated classes in theology, scripture, ethics, and pastoral care. She recently retired from 15 years as Director of Congregational Care at a local Presbyterian church. Frothingham’s particular interests are in spiritual direction, Christian friendship ministry for people with and without disabilities, and racial equity work in the face of persistent racism, inside and outside the church.

Rachel Meyer
Managing Director

Rachel Meyer is the managing director for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative. She has 17 years of experience in domestic and international health research, study management, and program development. She first joined Duke Divinity School in 2012, working with the Clergy Health Initiative first as a project coordinator and later as director of program development and operations. In 2016, she joined TMC as the program director for the Reimagining Health Collaborative and later served as TMC’s Community Engagement Director, managing TMC’s events, lectures, and annual gatherings, as well as supporting several faculty translational research projects. Prior to coming to Duke, she worked as a psychometrician and project coordinator at the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Programs center at the University of California-San Diego for almost 7 years. 

Heather Plonk, M.Div., R.B.C.
Program Coordinator of Hybrid and Fellowship Programs

Heather Plonk is the program coordinator of Hybrid and Fellowship Programs for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative. She is a retired board-certified chaplain who, from 2014-2020, served as a Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplain in Pennsylvania. Plonk holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Regent College in Vancouver, BC and a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and B.A. in English from Duke University. She enjoys fostering community through skilled listening and gathering folks around a table for home-cooked meals. 

Carl Weisner
Strategist

Carl Weisner is a strategist for the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative. Weisner has worked at the intersection of theology and health for Duke Divinity School since 2008, when he joined the staff as Managing Director of the Institute on Care at the End of Life. While now serving as the Associate Dean for Administration and Finance at Duke Divinity School, he continues to work with TMC by contributing to strategy and providing oversight and support with a focus on building, integrating, and sustaining the initiative.

Divinity Faculty

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Sarah Jean Barton, Th.D., M.S., OTR/L, BCP
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Theological Ethics

Dr. Barton holds a dual appointment at Duke University School of Medicine in the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division as well as at Duke Divinity School. Her research focuses on questions at the intersections of theology and disability, bioethics, and liturgy. Dr. Barton’s research methodology prioritizes collaborative and participatory research in partnership with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read full bio.

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Martha C. Carlough, M.D., M.P.H.
Consulting Faculty

Martha Carlough, M.D., M.P.H., is professor of family medicine and the director of the Office of Global Health Education at UNC/Chapel Hill, and consulting faculty at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Carlough served for 9 years in Nepal with Interserve/United Mission to Nepal and continues to work in global public health and with refugees. As a spiritual director trained in the Ignatian tradition, she serves as Spiritual Formation group leader for TMC fellows at Duke Divinity. 

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Peter Casarella, Ph.D., M.A.
Professor of Theology and Director of the Th.D. Program

Peter Casarella, Ph.D., M.A. is Professor of Theology and Director of the ThD Program at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Casarella’s primary field of study is systematic theology followed by world religions and world church. Read full bio.

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Amy Laura Hall, Ph.D., M.Div.
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

Amy Laura Hall, Ph.D., M.Div., was named a Luce Fellow in Theology for 2004-05. She has served on the steering committee of the Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy Center, the Bioethics Task Force of the United Methodist Church, and as consultant on bioethics to the World Council of Churches. Read full bio.

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Jan Holton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and Care

Jan Holton, Ph.D., is associate professor of the practice of pastoral theology and care. Professor Holton’s work focuses on the psychodynamic implications of trauma and forced displacement, the intercultural dynamics within traditional pastoral care, and pastoral care to marginalized populations. Read full bio.

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John Oliver
Consulting Faculty

John Oliver is an ACPE Certified Educator who serves as director of Chaplain Services and Education at Duke University Hospital. He is also a consulting professor at Duke Divinity School. Rev. Oliver studied at Samford University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Columbia Theological Presbyterian Seminary.  He grew up in Colombia, South America, but now he and his family call Durham home.

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Patrick T. Smith, Ph.D., M.A., M.Div.
Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics, Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, and Associate Faculty with the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine at Duke University School

Patrick T. Smith, Ph.D., M.A., M.Div., is Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics. He has specific academic interests in the areas of bioethics, social ethics, Black Church studies, and philosophical theology. Read full bio.

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David Toole, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.T.S.
Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health

David Toole, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.T.S., is Associate Professor of the Practice of Theology, Ethics, and Global Health. Professor Toole is jointly appointed in the Divinity School, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Global Health Institute. He teaches courses on global health and health systems, and on various topics in ethics including ethics and humanitarianism, ethics and Native America, and ethics and environmental policy. Read full bio.

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Wylin Wilson, Ph.D., M.S., M.Div.
Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics

Wylin Wilson, Ph.D., M.S., M.Div., is Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Wilson’s research lies at the intersection of religion, gender, and bioethics, including rural bioethics and Black Church studies. Read full bio.