The Master of Arts in Christian Practice (M.A.C.P.) degree is designed for students to engage in disciplined theological reflection to enrich their Christian service in both the church and world. The degree offers students the opportunity to reflect theologically upon practices of lay professional ministry or other Christian service. The degree is provided primarily for those seeking to enhance lay vocations while remaining in a full-time ministry context or other professional position.

Hybrid learning environment

The hybrid learning environment offers M.A.C.P. students the best of both worlds. Six intensive residential sessions scheduled over the course of two years take place at Duke Divinity School’s campus in Durham, N.C. Students also engage in online learning comprising scheduled online classes and self-paced learning while actively engaged in ministry across the country. In this way, students are able to remain in ministry while also engaging in disciplined theological reflection.

Fulfill Deacon’s ordination or certification studies requirements

The M.A.C.P. degree is designed to meet the course requirements for United Methodists seeking certification studies (e.g. children’s or youth ministry) and fulfills the Basic Graduate Theological Studies requirements for ordination as a deacon.

An engaging curriculum

The program’s core course sequence will deepen students’ knowledge and appreciation of the Bible and Christian theological tradition.



Term 1 (Summer)
Old Testament 706 (Intro to Old Testament)
Christian Education 705 (Mission & Ministry/Cornerstone)
Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)

Term 2 (Spring)
New Testament 707 (Intro to New Testament)
Church History 708 (Intro to Church History)
Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration) 

Term 3 (Summer)
Christian Theology 705 (Intro to Christian Theology)
Liturgical Studies 709 (Intro to Christian Worship)
Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)

Term 4
Program track elective
Program track electiveChristian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)

Term 5
Program track elective
Program track elective
Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)

Term 6
Program track elective
Program track elective
Christian Practice 701 (Capstone Course)


Specialized electives

Degree concentrations build upon the core, engaging students in practice of ministry in today’s world. Concentrations include:

Serving Congregations
Engage in specialized training for students interested in serving congregations in positions such as youth and children’s ministers, pastoral caregivers, mission and outreach directors, and church business administrators. This track enables United Methodist students to fulfill requirements for ordination as a deacon.
Engaging the World
Study practices of reconciliation, Christian responses to poverty and injustice, and ministry in intercultural contexts.
Forming Scriptural Imagination
Reflect deeper on Christian practice within the context of your current vocation (law, medicine, and more).

Scholarship Support

All admitted students receive an Engaged Leaders Scholarship, a merit-based award covering 25% of tuition costs for the duration of your studies.

A certified candidate for ordained ministry attending Duke Divinity School to fulfill requirements for an area of ministerial specialization may be eligible for Ministerial Education Fund support. Contact the Ministerial Education Fund Coordinator of the Board of Ordained Ministry in your Conference for application and award requirements. 

Admissions Requirements

  • Currently employed/aspire to be employed in a congregation or in a profession and be committed to lay ministry, ordination as a deacon, or to professional service as a lay vocation.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 in a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to the intended date of enrollment

Application Requirements

  • Review our How to Apply page for specific details on the application process


  • Rolling deadline with applications accepted from September with a final deadline of May 15.
  • Online applications must be submitted by midnight E.S.T. on the final stated deadline date. All applications and supporting documents must be received in the admissions office by 5:00 p.m. on the stated deadline date. If the application deadline date falls on a weekend, all applications and supporting must be received in the admissions office by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the deadline date.