The Certificate in Theology and the Arts (CTA) offers M.Div. (residential and hybrid), M.T.S., Th.M., and M.A. students firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts in the church, the university, and beyond.

To complete this certificate, students must complete the core course and two other courses from an approved list (normally one of these will be a course offered outside the Divinity School). In addition, all students must complete a research or service learning project. Finally, participants are required to participate in events sponsored by Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, as well as bimonthly CTA colloquies.

Program Details

The primary objectives of the certificate program are:

  • to help students recognize and put into practice the constructive possibilities of the mutual enrichment of theology and arts
  • to provide students with a firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts in the church, the university, and beyond
  • to offer students an appreciation of the current shape of the arts-theology conversation
  • to foster and support research and community-service projects which responsibly integrate the arts and theology
  • to increase the opportunities for field-education placements in the arts with community and church organizations
  • to encourage and facilitate a community of students with a particular interest in engaging the arts as they discern their particular vocations
  • to encourage interdisciplinary education and cross-departmental collaboration within Duke Divinity School and the university
Requirements

M.Div (Residential and Hybrid), M.T.S., and Th.M Students

  • Completion of three courses in theology and the arts:
    • Required core course: XTIANTHE773 (Introduction to Theology and the Arts)
    • Two approved courses in theology and the arts
    • (Students may take Divinity theology and arts courses listed below, but may also petition for other Duke courses to count provided there is a significant opportunity to complete research at the intersection of theology and art.)
  • Completion of a research or service-learning project in theology and the arts. The project may be conducted in one of the following ways:
    • within a course (but not within any of the three courses that fulfill the previous requirement)
    • within a directed study or a thesis
    • as an internship with a director of music or arts pastor at a church
    • as an independent community-building project
    • within the context of a field education placement
  • Regular participation in bimonthly CTA colloquies and DITA-sponsored events

M.A. in Christian Practice (all M.A. certificates are subject to course availability)

  • Completion of two courses in theology and the arts:
    • Required core course: XTIANTHE773 (Introduction to Theology and the Arts)
    • Approved elective course in theology and the arts
  • Completion of one assignment related to Theology and the Arts for a non-Theology and the Arts course, with permission from instructor
  • Completion of 500-word summary of how coursework integrates with current vocation, with specific reference to the certificate in Theology and the Arts
  • Regular participation, if feasible, in bimonthly CTA colloquies and DITA-sponsored events

Approved Arts Electives

  • Duke Divinity courses that count:
    • BCS 768 (Religion, Race and Film)
    • BCS 769 (Dreaming of a White Apocalypse:  Religion, Race, Popular Culture, and the Eschatological Imagination)
    • HISTTHEO 790 (Images of God) 
    • LTS 804 (The Role and Function of Music in Corporate Worship)
    • LTS 830 (Survey of Christian Hymnody)
    • NEWTEST 803 (The Passion Narratives)
    • OLDTEST 861 (Bible and/as Poetry – Strawn)
    • PARISH 762 (Christianity and Contemporary Literature)
    • PARISH 764 (The Poetic Imagination)
    • PARISH 800 (Women and Spiritual Autobiography)
    • PARISH 807 (Theology of Spirituality of Place)
    • SPIRIT 802 (Spiritual Writing Workshop)
    • XTIANTHE 815 (Theology and Music)
    • XTIANTHE 852 (Modern Theological Anthropology I: Pascal)
    • XTIANTHE 968 (The Theological Aesthetics of the Image)
    • XTIANTHE 970.01 (Beauty, Suffering and the Arts)
  • Many Arts courses at Duke Divinity are offered as Special Topics courses. Recent courses offered include:
    • XTIANTHE 790.02 (Theology and Film)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Introduction to Christianity and Literature)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Contemporary Art and Theology)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Modernism and the Recovery of Tradition: T.S. Eliot)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Theological Topics: Flannery O’Connor)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (THEOLOGICAL TOPICS: WITTGENSTEIN)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Theology of Christian Visual Art)
    • XTIANTHE 890 (Visual Art as Theology)
    • XTIANTHE 890.02 (Visual Art as Theology)
    • XTIANTHE 890.03 (Theology Through the Visual of Art and Theology of Art)
    • XTIANTHE 890.05 (The Theological Imagination of Flannery O'Connor)
    • XTIANTHE 890.01 (Reform and Revolution: John Milton in Christian Tradition)

Forms and information for current students »

For more information about the certificate contact:
Daniel Train
Assistant Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts