an image of Duke chapel

The Civil Discourse Project (CDP) sponsors courses, events, and scholarship that promote civil discourse through modeling or teaching the capacities and virtues necessary to engage in healthy exchange across difference. At CDP, we aim to create, both inside and outside the classroom, intellectually diverse communities of friends who will both support and challenge each other in a collective pursuit of truth and knowledge—enabling all to become better thinkers, people, community members, citizens, and leaders. We maintain that such community requires freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression for faculty and students alike.

Upcoming Events

Event Image5.20-22

2024 Teaching Civil Discourse in the Classroom - 1st Session

A two-day faculty seminar made possible by a generous grant from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Led by John Rose and Nasser Hussain, the seminar will cover topics including potential course content and best practices for effectively promoting civil discussion over sensitive topics in the classroom.

Event Image6.10-12

2024 Teaching Civil Discourse in the Classroom - 2nd Session

A two-day faculty seminar made possible by a generous grant from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Led by John Rose and Jennifer Smith (Pepperdine), the seminar will cover topics including potential course content and best practices for effectively promoting civil discussion over sensitive topics in the classroom.

Event Image6.13-15

2024 Medical Ethics Seminar

A seminar is designed for physicians in training and open to nursing students that invites students to examine the central ethical questions that arise in the everyday practice of medicine and to interpret those questions through a moral framework drawing from both natural law and medicine’s traditional orientation toward the patient’s health. Led by Farr Curlin (Duke) and Christopher Tollefsen (South Carolina).

See previous events


Member Image

Aaron Ebert

Barry Postdoctoral

Dr. Ebert earned his PhD from Duke’s Graduate Program in Religion, focusing on Early Christianity. He studies and writes on various aspects of early Christian thought and practice, especially in its relation to ancient and modern philosophy. His dissertation explored envy, rivalry, and schadenfreude in the thought of Augustine.

Member Image

Ejuerleigh Jones


Ms. Jones’s research interests are rooted in nineteenth-century American literature with particular attention to religion and conceptions of God, the extremes of human nature, and the role of confession. She is a PhD candidate in English at Duke University.

Member Image

John Rose


Dr. Rose teaches courses on Human Happiness, Christian Ethics, Conservatism, and Political Polarization. His research concerns the tradition of virtue ethics and Christian theology. He earned his PhD from Princeton Seminary and is the author of Until Our Minds Rest in Thee: Open-Mindedness, Intellectual Diversity, and the Christian Life.

Member Image

Delaney Thull


Ms. Thull's research interests are in moral and political philosophy. She is PhD candidate in Philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill, writing a dissertation about political emotions. She completed her M.A. in Philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill and received an A.B. in Philosophy with a Certificate in Values & Public Life from Princeton University.

Member Image

Abby Van Vliet


Ms. Van Vliet holds a BA in History from George Fox University and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School.

Member Image

Kathryn Wagner


Dr. Wagner’s research interests include late medieval religious writing, liturgical theology, postcritical reading, and liberal arts pedagogy. She earned her PhD in English from Harvard University and currently serves as the Director of Academic Programming for the Center for Christianity and Scholarship, a Duke Chapel Affiliate.


How to Think in an Age of Political Polarization, (Ethics, Political Science, Public Policy), RoseThe Good Life: Religion, Philosophy, and Life's Ultimate Concerns, (Classics, Public Policy, Religion, Philosophy, Ethics), AtkinsDemocracy: Ancient and Modern, (Classics, History, Political Science, Ethics), AtkinsLiberty and Equality: Ancient and Modern Perspectives, (Classics, Political Science, History, Ethics), AtkinsHuman Flourishing in a Digital Age, (Computer Science, Ethics), Ebert and HarteminkInvestigating Human Nature in American Literature, (English), JonesConservatism, (Political Science, Public Policy, Ethics), RoseThe Seven Deadly Sins, (English, Ethics), WagnerEcology and the Human Good, (Political Science, Environmental Sciences, Ethics), Ebert, Whitbread, Wirzba Happiness and the Virtuous Life, (Ethics), RoseChristian Ethics, (Religious Studies, Political Science, Public Policy, Ethics), Rose
View course descriptions

Fellows Program

Member Image

Our new Student Fellows program is designed for Duke students wishing to continue the conversation outside the classroom. Within this student community, those who share a passion for and commitment to genuine truth-seeking amidst honest disagreement will be given the opportunity to meet together and with guest speakers or faculty, while engaging in real conversation about important questions.


The Civil Discourse Project relies on the support of Duke alums, parents, and friends. For more information about how you can help support CDP, contact Associate Director John Rose at