Educational Outreach

Duke Divinity School offers a wide variety of educational outreach programs. The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition provides input and support for the following offerings, which have a significant focus on the United Methodist and related Wesleyan traditions.

Convocation & Pastors’ School

The annual Divinity School Convocation & Pastors’ School is a cooperative endeavor with the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Working with its Board of Managers from the annual conferences, each year it brings together ministers and laity for several days of lectures, sermons and course intensives, along with multiple venues for alumni/ae reunions and opportunities for shared meals and social interaction.

Mentoring for Ministry

Each year during the Fall Term, Duke Divinity School offers a United Methodist Full Connection Seminar as well as a Commissioning Workshop for United Methodist students and those considering entering the ordination process. The United Methodist Full Connection Seminar is designed for students considering entry or those in the early stages of entering the ordination process in their respective denominations. The commissioning workshop is designed specifically for United Methodist students who are writing their ordination examinations and preparing for oral interviews with their Board of Ordained Ministry.

  • United Methodist Full Connection Seminar
    In the early Fall of each academic year, Duke staff and faculty gather with students who are preparing to meet with their Board of Ordained Ministry who will examine their prepared written papers as well as engage them orally to assess their readiness for ministry. Coursework throughout the M. Div. curriculum is foundational in this preparation, but these final written and oral examinations are more about total readiness for ministry than they are about the finer details of theological information. This seminar is open to Duke Divinity School students, but it is also open to other United Methodist students who wish to prepare in a highly intentional way for their day of interview.
  • Commissioning Workshop
    In the Fall of each academic year, the Duke staff and faculty partner with clergy representatives from several United Methodist Annual Conferences in a day-long event that helps prepare divinity students for the first official comprehensive review in the ordination process by their Board of Ordained Ministry. Through teaching devices that vary from brief lectures to role-playing and Question and Answer sessions, students gain insight into the ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ of the commissioning process.

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity cultivates thriving communities that are signs, foretastes and instruments of the reign of God. We design and deliver educational services that build capacity for three interrelated capacities:

  • Traditioned innovation, rooted in the story of the Trinity, that invigorates the present and envisions the future by honoring the church’s past.
  • Transformative leadership, responsive to God through the development of virtues and practices, that equips people to advance the church’s mission.
  • Vibrant institutions, led by hopeful and imaginative people, that act as bearers of tradition, incubators of leadership and laboratories of learning.

Clergy Health Initiative

The Clergy Health Initiative is a joint program of the Duke Divinity School, The Duke Endowment, and the two North Carolina Methodist Conferences. With emphasis on The Wesleyan Way of Life in the 21st Century, its purpose is to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health of United Methodist clergy.

Thriving Rural Communities

The Thriving Rural Communities initiative is an effort on the part of Duke Divinity School, the Duke Endowment, and the United Methodist Annual Conferences of North Carolina to celebrate, resource, and strengthen lay and clergy leadership in our faith communities in Carolina rural settings. The culture of rural congregations has distinctive sets of needs and opportunities for doing God’s work in the world that the programs of this Initiative are distinctively crafted to serve.