The Certificate in Theology and Health Care (THC) is a one-year course of study designed to equip Christian health care practitioners with the training to embrace that calling and live into it with theological clarity and spiritual joy. The certificate combines foundational courses in Christian theology, scripture, and church history with courses engaging the practical issues that health care practitioners encounter in contemporary culture. The program was developed for individuals with vocations in health care (e.g., trainees or practitioners of medicine, nursing, and other health care professions) who seek theological formation and further confidence engaging questions of suffering, illness, and the place of health care in a faithful life.

The Fellowship in Theology, Medicine, and Culture

Scholarship Support for Theological Study

Certificate applicants are welcomed to apply for the Fellowship in Theology, Medicine, and Culture. The fellowship is open to students and practitioners in any of the health professions, as well as to others whose vocations and aspirations involve full-time work in health-related contexts. It offers scholarship support for theological study and formation at Duke Divinity School. 


The THC Certificate is structured to provide robust theological and practical engagement with contemporary practices in medicine and health care in order to allow participants to reengage their vocations with clarity, faith, and joy. The certificate requires six courses total: four core courses, two of which build a foundation in Scripture, Christian theology, and church history; and two that study the relation of Christian tradition to suffering, illness, and disability, as well as to the institutions and practices of health care and bioethics. There are also two electives—students may pick a course designated as a TMC area requirement and one additional elective, allowing students to engage with courses of interest from other areas of the Divinity School.

In addition to coursework, the certificate also allows students to pursue additional service opportunities through participation in local ministry involved in health and health care-based practicums. These extracurricular opportunities allow students to have hands-on experience applying what they are learning in the classroom in the local community. 

Certificate Description and Requirements (pdf)

Application Information

Duke Divinity School accepts applications for our three deadlines starting in late August and concluding with the final deadline on April 15. Our admissions requirements include a demonstrated a current vocation or intended vocation in health care and a minimum GPA of 3.00 in a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to the intended date of enrollment.

Application Deadlines

  • Early deadline: November 1
  • Priority deadline (to be considered for merit scholarships):  January 15
  • Final deadline:  April 15
Application Checklist

1. Create an account

We will begin accepting fall 2020 applications in late August 2019 and will update this section when the application reopens. In the meantime, please join our mailing list if you have not already. The process for submitting an application will be largely unchanged for next year. Learn more about that process below. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our office via email: admissions@div.duke.edu.

2. Work on your application form

The system requires you to submit information in three sections in order to complete your application. The first step is to answer all required questions and to submit the application form.

Please upload PDF documents.

Please note: When applying for the certificate, select "Divinity Non-Degree Program," and then in the "Admissions Information" section of the application select "yes" for “I plan to pursue the Theology and Healthcare certificate?”

3. Add your recommender information

  • One (1) letter of recommendation submitted through the online application system is required.

All applicants will be asked to provide recommender’s contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.

Please ask your recommenders to upload PDF documents.

4. Pay the fee and submit your application

A $55 non-refundable application fee is collected by credit card when you submit the online application. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible to ensure that you have adequate time to upload all required supplemental materials by your chosen deadline.

5. Submit required supplemental documents by deadline

Supplemental materials such as unofficial transcripts, essays, resume, and any writing samples can only be uploaded once your application and fee are submitted.

  • Unofficial Transcripts
    • All applicants must have, at minimum, an unofficial copy of their transcript from the college or university that granted or will grant their bachelor’s-level degree. Additional coursework or degree information from previous colleges, universities, graduate schools, study abroad institutions, and seminaries may also be uploaded as part of the application. Transcripts may be submitted regardless of when you attended, how many hours you earned, or whether you earned a degree or not.
    • Transcripts must be uploaded as part of your online application. Do not send paper or electronic copies directly to us. 
    • All students who are admitted and matriculate at Duke Divinity School must submit final transcripts showing that the minimally-required degree has been granted before enrollment.
    • The file limit size is 2.5 MB, so please compress files that are over this size.  
    • Submit PDF documents only
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    You will upload your resume as part of the online application process. The resume should provide an overview of your life and experiences—educational background, work experience, church or vocational preparation, leadership roles, professional affiliations, honors and awards, community service, skills, and interests and hobbies.
  • Recommendations
    • One (1) letter of recommendation submitted through the online application systemisrequired.
    • All applicants will be asked to provide recommender’s contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.
  • Statement of Purpose
    A two- to three-page essay describing (1) how your prior education and/or work experience exhibit your vocation or trajectory toward  work in health care. If your vocation does not include a traditional role in health care—e.g., physician, nurse, pharmacist, etc.—then explain how you believe your vocation relates to the health care field.; (2) how you hope theological studies at Duke Divinity School might help you reimagine and/or reengage your work in health care.

Applications must be complete in order to be considered by the Admissions Committee. All supporting documents (e.g., transcripts and reference letters not submitted online) must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on the stated deadline date. If the application deadline date falls on a weekend, all applications and supporting documents must be received in the Admissions Office by 5:00 p.m. EST on the Monday after the deadline date.

Graduation Requirements

The Certificate is normally completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Requirements for graduation are:

  • Six courses completed in no less than three academic years.
  • The maintenance of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0



We’re available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at admissions@div.duke.edu or (919) 660-3436 or toll-free: (888) GO-2-DUKE. The resources below will also help you learn more about our programs.