Roots down – into our rich tradition
Walls down – in God’s church today
The vision of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies (AEHS) is to grow the next generation of leaders in and for the church who will be so steeped in the classic tradition that they will be faithful, flexible, and imaginative applying it, even in confusing times.
Anglican/Episcopal students who study at Duke should expect to be nurtured and stretched in many dimensions ─ academic rigor, ecclesial confession, radical service, and personal holiness. This reflects our Lord’s commandment to love God with all our mind, body, soul, and strength.
Although there has been a significant stream of Anglicans at Duke Divinity School on the faculty and in the student body for decades, the establishment of AEHS in 2006 reflects the recent growth in the number of Anglican/Episcopal students attending the school, as well as a wider ecumenical interest in the Anglican heritage and its contemporary expressions.
A House within a School
We are not an Episcopal or other Anglican seminary. Even though among our number there are many postulants preparing for ordination in the Episcopal Church, as well as others intending to serve elsewhere in the Anglican world, our aims are different. Those who participate in the AEHS, which is itself a diverse group vocationally and politically, work out the meaning of their Anglican identity within a wider ecumenical perspective (a predominantly United Methodist seminary) and across a broader intellectual canvas (a divinity school situated at the heart of a leading university). Through the serious study of theology and the embodied practices of worship – in an environment of committed fellowship and contextual engagement – we expect profound spiritual formation and transformation.
Formation within a Framework
Such spiritual formation and transformation cannot be neatly packaged into courses and credits. Thanks to the relative intimacy of the AEHS (approximately 50 students in a range of master’s and doctoral programs), our events are often informal, sometimes spontaneous, certainly honest, always relational. Yet the house oversees academic courses on a range of disciplines relating to Anglican theology and practice. It fosters field education in relevant parish, social, and clinical locations, accompanied by reflection on experience. AEHS oversees spiritual formation, through both individual and corporate commitments, with the aim of integrating the personal and professional, the academic and practical, and the devotional and ecclesial.
These three elements of AEHS programming – academic, experiential, and formational – form the core requirements of the Certificate in Anglican Studies. These elements have proved ample for equipping students for the General Ordination Examinations, without the need of having a further “Anglican” year elsewhere.