Overview

The M.Div./M.S.W. degree is designed to prepare individuals for positions of leadership and service in the social agencies of the church and the community at large. The program equips graduates for various forms of ministry and service in which clinical and administrative skills in social work and theology are critical.

Two integrative seminars are taken in the first and final year of study. These seminars enable the student to integrate theological, Biblical, theoretical, ethical, pastoral, social justice, empirical, and practical dimensions of social work.

The M.Div./M.S.W. program can be completed in four continuous years of full-time study (instead of five years) and leads to a Master of Divinity degree conferred by Duke University and Master of Social Work degree conferred by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

View M.Div./M.S.W. program information on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website.

Support for Field Education

Engagement in Real-World Experiences

Duke Divinity is unique in its ability to provide funding for up to three field education internships (two placements are required for graduation). The Office of Field Education places students in either full-time placements during the summer or part-time placements during the academic year and can provide up to $9,100 per placement. This funding is in addition to any scholarships, grants, or outside aid that a student receives, and can result in as much as $27,300 in additional support throughout the course of the program.

Explore Pressing Societal Issues

Your Calling in Depth

Our electives give students the opportunity for in-depth exploration of critical theological issues that face contemporary society. Take a class with Project TURN, in which incarcerated men and women study alongside Duke Divinity School students; engage connections between food and faith with Professor Norman Wirzba; or explore connections between Christianity and medicine with practicing physicians and theologians.

Houses of Study

Resources and Support

Our houses of study help prepare you for service—and ordination—in the communities and denominations where you’ll serve. They include the Methodist House, the Baptist House of Studies, the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies, the Presbyterian/Reformed House of Studies, Black Church Studies, and the Hispanic House of Studies.

The M.Div. program at Duke boasts an academically rigorous curriculum surrounded by vibrant worship, contextual learning, opportunities for spiritual formation, and a close-knit student community. The MSW program at UNC-Chapel Hill is ranked as one of the best in the nation and develops foundations in social welfare policy and service, social research, and social work practice.

The Robertson Scholars Program (RSX) bus can be used for free transportation between both schools.

Those interested in dual-degree programs are required to pursue admission to each school independently, and upon successful admission to both programs, are enrolled as dual-degree students.

Curriculum

The M.Div./M.S.W. dual degree program enables students to think critically about faith and social work and get practical experience in both disciplines.

The core curriculum of each degree must be completed at each institution. A customized course of study allows students to start the program at either school, with slightly different paradigms governing the course of study in each case. Newly matriculating full-time students complete the first two years of the program at the Divinity School.

View standard four-year course schedules and detailed program description (pdf).

The curriculum for our M.Div. program is designed to give students a solid foundation for wherever their calling takes them—be that ordination, lay ministry, nonprofit work, or a career in teaching. Our classes cover Old and New Testament, Church history, Christian theology, world Christianity, ministry, worship, preaching, Biblical languages, the Black Church, and a variety of electives.

At Duke, we also form students for ministry in a variety of ways—through coursework, corporate worship, field education, service opportunities, houses of study, and denominational associations. Each first-year M.Div. student is also placed in an intentional spiritual formation group led by a local pastor. These small, diverse groups meet weekly to share concerns, reflect on the nature of Christian discipleship, and pray together. Two weekend retreats each year extend the experience.

Transition to Ministry workshops, Commissioning and Full Connection seminars, and Mentoring for Ministry programs provide opportunities for students to engage in vocational discernment, hear from and develop relationships with experienced ministers, strengthen leadership skills, engage in reflective practices, and gain practical knowledge to aid in the transition from academic life to lay or ordained ministry in the church and the world.

Certificates and Concentrations

Duke Divinity School currently offers six certificates and concentrations that give students the opportunity to focus their coursework on a particular area of ministry or study. Dual degree students should consult with the director of the desired certificate in order to clarify requirements.

Certificate in Anglican Studies
The Certificate in Anglican Studies is designed to serve the academic and formational requirements of those preparing for ministry—lay and especially ordained—in the Episcopal Church and other member churches of the Anglican Communion.

Certificate in Baptist Studies
The Certificate in Baptist Studies is designed to serve the academic and formational requirements of those preparing for ministry—ordained and lay—in the Baptist tradition.

Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, Theology, and Ministry
The certificate in Gender, Sexuality, Theology, and Ministry (GSTM) is designed to offer opportunities to women and men to study gender and sexuality in the life of the church, in the Christian tradition, and in contemporary culture.

Certificate in Prison Studies
The certificate in Prison Studies provides students with the opportunity to engage specifically with people in prison and the system that imprisons them in the context of theological education and formation for ministry.

Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture
The Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture will prepare Duke Divinity students for robust theological and practical engagement with contemporary practices in medicine and healthcare.

Concentration in Christian Education
The Concentration in Christian Education benefits persons seeking to practice as church educators, teachers, college chaplains, youth workers, or health care workers.

Application Information

Students interested in dual-degree programs are required to pursue admission to Duke Divinity and UNC School of Social Work independently, and upon successful admission to both programs, are enrolled as dual-degree students. Students who are enrolled in either program may apply to the dual degree program after they have started at either school. However, interested students should be aware that the annual application deadline for the M.S.W. at UNC is January 1.

Visit the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work website to learn more about UNC admissions. You will need to apply to UNC separately in order to enroll as a dual-degree student.

M.Div. Application Deadlines

  • Priority deadline (to be considered for merit scholarships):  January 15
  • International applicant deadline:  January 15
  • Final deadline:  June 15
M.Div. Application Checklist

Note: Visit the UNC School of Social Work website to learn more about UNC admissions. You will need to apply to UNC separately in order to enroll as a dual-degree student.

1. Application currently offline

We are currently making changes to the Application in preparation for the 2017 season. Please check back in mid-September to create an account and begin applying.

Directions listed below will be largely unchanged for the upcoming season.

2. Work on your application form

The system requires you to submit information in 3 sections in order to complete your application. The first step is to answer all required questions and to submit the application form.

3. Add your recommender information

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.

All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.

4. Pay the fee and submit your application

A $55 non-refundable application fee is collected by credit card when you submit the online application. The online application must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible to ensure that you have adequate time to upload all required supplemental materials by the final program deadline.

5. Submit required supplemental documents by deadline

The online application and fee must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. Supplemental materials such as unofficial transcripts, essays, resume, and any writing samples can only be uploaded once your application and fee are submitted.

  • Unofficial Transcripts
    • Transcripts from all previous colleges, universities, graduate schools, study abroad institutions, and seminaries must be uploaded as part of the application. Transcripts must be submitted regardless of when you attended, how many hours you earned, or whether you earned a degree.
    • Transcripts must be uploaded as part of your online application. Do not send paper or electronic copies directly to us. 
    • All students who enroll at Duke must submit final transcripts before registration.   
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    You will upload your resume as part of the online application process. The resume should provide an overview of your life and experiences — educational background, work experience, church or vocational preparation, leadership roles, professional affiliations, honors and awards, community service, skills, and interests and hobbies.
  • Recommendations
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.
    • All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your sense of vocation in Christian ministry, articulating the significant points of affirmation that led to your understanding of your calling; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your calling; and (3) how you understand your call in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.

Applications must be complete in order to be considered by the Admissions Committee. All supporting documents (e.g., transcripts and reference letters not submitted online) must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the stated deadline date. If the application deadline date falls on a weekend, all applications and supporting documents must be received in the Admissions Office by 5:00 p.m. on the Monday after the deadline date.

Additional Duke Requirements for International Applicants

All non-U.S. citizens must review the application requirements for international applicants.

  • Endorsement Letter
    One letter of recommendation must be from a church official affirming support of your pursuit of theological education in the United States.
  • TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of the application process. Official TOEFL scores must be transmitted electronically from the Educational Testing Services (E.T.S.) to Duke (institution code 5156). Personal copies are not accepted and must be less than two years old.
    A TOEFL waiver question is included in the online application form. You do not need to contact us in advance if you meet the criteria for a TOEFL waiver. No exceptions will be made if you do not meet the criteria:
    • Received or will receive by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree where the language of instruction was English only (the official language of the country is English)
    • Earned or will earn by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree from a college or university in the United States

Financial Certification

Unlike many schools, Duke does not require financial support documents as part of the application; instead, students submit this information after they have been admitted and are enrolled in the program.  

Duke does not automatically issue I-20s to students upon admission.  Instead, students work with the department to submit information and supporting documents to Duke's Visa Services Office. The process is described below.

  • Upon accepting the offer of admission, a student will receive an email from our office with a User Name and password in order to complete the online Request for Temporary Visa Form - Part II.
  • The student completes the online form, prints it off, signs it, and returns it to our office, along with the appropriate supporting documents. 
  • Students must show liquid funds in the total amount listed in the PDF document available on our Tuition page.
  • Financial documents must be less than four months old.
  • Only after we receive everything from the student will our office complete Part I of the Request for Temporary Visa Form. At that time, the student’s entire packet will be sent to Duke Visa Services for processing.
  • Visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are usually issued within 2 calendar weeks from the date that Duke Visa Services received the completed packet.
  • Register for your visa appointment only after you receive your visa documents.

Those on non-Duke visas complete a modified process during the enrollment period.

Additional Requirements for Transfer Applicants

All transfer applicants are evaluated on the same basis as other applicants. However, students applying to transfer from another seminary or theological school must include the following:

  • Essay
    Applicants must include an extra page in their essay that provides an explanation of and purpose for the proposed transfer.
  • Letter of recommendation
    The third letter of recommendation submitted as part of the application, must be written by the director of field education or student life at the school from which the transfer is sought.

Note: Students may not transfer credits from other seminaries toward the Master of Divinity portion of this program.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements are:

M.Div.

  • Twenty Divinity School courses/sixty credit hours (this number is reduced as part of the dual degree status)
  • Two integrative electives unique to M.Div./M.S.W. curriculum
  • Five true M.Div. electives (only one for Methodists, who have at least four judicatory requirements)
  • Core and elective requirements are the same as M.Div. requirements with the exception of dual degree students being eligible to take either AMXTIAN 756 or a WXTIAN elective
  • Student portfolios (middler review and senior portfolio)
  • Two approved units of field education

M.S.W. (U.N.C. Chapel Hill)

  • Fifty credit hours (split between foundation and concentration credits)
  • Select between two concentrations: Direct Practice or Community Practice
  • Four semester-long courses of approved field education (begin in third year)

Resources

We’re available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at admissions@div.duke.edu or (919) 660-3436 or toll-free: (888) GO-2-DUKE, or contact the program directors directly.

Duke Divinity School: Dr. Susan Dunlap, Director of the M.Div./M.S.W. Program: (919) 801-5968, sjd4@duke.edu

University of North Carolina School of Social Work: Dr. Travis Albritton, Program Coordinator: (919) 962-6432, travisalbritton@unc.edu

The resources below will also help you learn more about our programs.