The Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture (TMC) combines scholarship and coursework with practical experience and community engagement. It prepares Duke Divinity students for robust theological and practical engagement with contemporary practices of medicine, community, and public health.

Students in the TMC certificate program complete three courses that explore the intersections of theology, medicine, and culture and complete a research paper or project that addresses these issues. In addition, students gain practical experience engaging matters of health and illness and participate in regular TMC colloquia.

The certificate can be earned within the M.Div., M.T.S., and Th.M. degree programs.


The requirements for the certificate are:

  • Completion of three courses exploring the intersections of theology, medicine, and culture. One of these courses must be The Healing Arts:  Suffering, Illness, and the Witness of the Church (XTIANETH 761) or Introduction to Medical Ethics/Theological Bioethics (XTIANETH 807). The other two courses must be listed by the registrar as fulfilling the Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture. If approved by the program director, directed study courses may count toward this requirement.
  • Participation in a program, elective, or professional service providing practical ministry-related experience engaging matters of health and illness. A unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) or a relevant field education placement will satisfy this requirement. Students may substitute alternative practical experiences with the approval of the program director. Students who have served in an ordained capacity in healthcare settings or who have completed CPE or a healthcare-related field placement in their prior study at an accredited theological school may petition for a waiver of this requirement.
  • Completion of a research paper or scholarly project directly engaging the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture. This project may be a paper or presentation fulfilling requirements for coursework. The project must meet standards for quality and rigor of graduate-level work, and must be presented publicly at a TMC seminar or the year-end TMC symposium.
  • Regular participation in the semi-monthly TMC colloquium. The schedule of these informal seminars and discussion is available from the TMC website and on the school’s calendar of events. Candidates for the certificate are expected to attend as many of these events as possible.

Forms and information for current students »

For more information, contact:

Warren Kinghorn, M.D., Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology
Farr Curlin, M.D., Josiah C. Trent Professor of Medical Humanities
Co-Directors of the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Certificate