Divinity School Welcomes New Entering Class

Printer-friendly version
Friday, September 2, 2011

New students arrived for orientation last week.With the start of the academic year this week, Duke Divinity School welcomed its largest entering class yet, with 257 new students.

The entering students were selected from 749 applicants, and came to the Divinity School from 34 states and the countries of China, Denmark, England, Germany, and South Korea. 

This year’s class is more diverse in several areas. Women make up 43% of the entering class, up 5% compared to last year and up 9% over the past two years. The number of Hispanic students has also increased, doubling over the past year. Across all degree programs, students who identify as white make up 77% of students; black, 10%; Hispanic, 4%; and Asian, 4%.

McKennon Shea, director of admissions, said, "Due to the new degree programs, we are welcoming more incoming students than ever before. And this is a wonderfully diverse class in many ways. They come from all over the world and from many different contexts.”

With the addition this year of the M.A.C.P., D.Min. and M.A.C.S. degree programs, the Divinity School now offers 7 degree programs. Across all programs, UMC-affiliated students represent 42% of students; Baptist, 11%; Presbyterian, 9%; non-denominational, 7%; and Anglican/Episcopal, 5%. Twenty-one other denominations are also represented. In the M.Div. program, UMC-affiliated students account for 55% of students; Baptist, 9%; Anglican/Episcopal, 6%; non-denominational, 5%; and Presbyterian, 6 students. Sixteen other denominations are also represented among M.Div. students.

The student picnic took place Aug. 26.The Divinity School welcomed the entering class with an orientation program and picnic last week, and Opening Convocation this past Tuesday.

“One thing I've noticed in this class is how quickly they are meeting one another and starting to get to know one another,” Shea said. “The conversation during breaks at orientation was deafening, and we had to interrupt great conversations often to move the students along to the next scheduled event. Seeing the community forming together so quickly gives me a lot of confidence about the year to come."

Watch the 2011 Orientation Sermon by Shaquisha "Kiki" Barnes