Clouds around Macchu Picchu,
sacred mountain of the Incas.
When she returns in the spring to Peru, this time to a seminary in the tropical rainforest region, she will have made 20 annual trips to the country her husband loved so well.

She says that will be her last trip to Peru with divinity students: “I’m going to be 78 this year, and I have to quit sometime. I might still travel there privately.”

Those who know her have difficulty imagining her forgoing travel to Peru, where two of her husband’s former students named her godmother to their daughter in 2001, or that she will slow down.

“She’s got so much energy — she can wear you out,” says Tiffney Marley, who was a student of Fred Herzog. She praises both for their selflessness and quiet dedication, adding “Dr. Herzog was quite tenacious about the work, and so is Kristin.”

Cusco Methodist Church

Kristin Herzog’s response to this praise is a quiet, “Modesty is an important virtue.” When pressed she admits that her husband would “probably be satisfied” that she’s done her best for the work he began. And it’s clear that her sense of urgency about the remaining work will not diminish any time soon.

Like many Latin American countries, she explains, Peru has suffered a tremendous “brain drain,” leaving the Methodist Church in dire need of trained leadership.

“Duke Divinity School has an important role to play in helping to provide it, while giving its students and faculty members the opportunity of a life-changing experience.”

Debbie Selinsky is a freelance writer who lives in Durham. A former deputy director for Duke News Service, she covered The Divinity School for 12 years.

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