The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degree is a program tailored to fit the needs of those seeking advanced doctoral studies or careers in teaching or research. It has also proven to be a good fit for students called to serve in lay ministry roles throughout the church, academy, and world. Its two-year curriculum covers the foundational areas of history, theology, and Scripture while leaving plenty of room for elective choices. There is also a required thesis component that students complete during their final year under the direction of one of our distinguished faculty members.

Our academically rigorous curriculum enriched by vibrant worship, opportunities for spiritual formation, the close-knit student community, and mentoring for the doctoral application process make the Duke Divinity M.T.S. a premier program for those seeking academic preparation in an intentional Christian community.

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Admissions Requirements
  • Deadline of February 1: Apply now.
  • Demonstrated program goals commensurate with this degree program
  • Commitment to some form of diaconal or lay ministry
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 in a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the intended date of enrollment
  • Transcripts from each college/university attended
  • Two one-page essays
  • An academic writing sample of 4-6 pages (1000 -1500 words)
  • Five letters of reference (3 academic/professional, 1 church, 1 character)
  • Applicants should upload a resume or CV
  • $55 application fee (collected by credit card when the online application is submitted)
  • There is no January enrollment for degree-seeking students. You are encouraged to apply early in the cycle as classes fill quickly.
  • Online applications must be submitted by midnight E.S.T. on the stated deadline date. All hard copy applications and all supporting documents (e.g., transcripts and any reference letters not submitted online), for both hard copy and online applications 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 hard copy applications and all supporting documents for online and hard copy applications must be received in the admissions office by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding the deadline date.

With careful planning, budgeting, and counseling from our Financial Aid office staff, students often find Duke to be more affordable than they initially assume. By taking advantage of the scholarships, grants, and outside aid available, many students are able to graduate debt-free.


M.T.S. applicants are eligible to be considered for the four Petry merit-based scholarships (100% tuition). Scholarships are awarded based upon the combination of academic performance and promise for ministry. There is no separate application for scholarships, as the application for admission is used by the scholarship committee for selection of merit-based award recipients

Tuition Grants

Students not receiving merit-based scholarships are eligible for need-based grants (a tuition credit) of 22% per year of study.  Most students will receive this grant money. In order to determine eligibility, students should fill out the FAFSA.

Find more detailed information about tuition, fees, and outside financial aid »

A Deep Engagement with Tradition

“The curriculum pushes you to deepen your understanding of the tradition and the church that receives it. Inside and outside of the classroom you’re challenged to articulate the views of your own denomination while deeply engaging the views of others. We see and value our differences, but we also see that across the denominations there is a common tradition with profound agreements. In the past year I’ve developed intellectually through demanding courses taught by incredible scholars. I feel prepared for further work in my field.”