The Certificate in Worship prepares Duke Divinity students to engage in practical formation and theoretical reflection on the worship of God in Christian congregations. The certificate serves a variety of students who carry the responsibility of weekly worship planning and leadership for their congregations (as church musicians, worship leaders, pastors, or in other roles) as well as students interested in the interdisciplinary academic study of worship. Through the courses offered within the certificate program, students will:

  • broaden their perspective on the history and theology of Christian worship,
  • enhance their capacities to plan and lead worship, and
  • reflect on the connection between worship and the broader life of the church.

The approach in teaching is inclusive of the broad range of Christian worship across history, geography, language, and race and ethnicity, thus courses engage with a variety of worship styles, denominations, and traditions.

The certificate is open to students in the M.Div. (residential and hybrid), M.A., and M.T.S. degree programs.


M.Div. (residential and hybrid), M.T.S., and M.A. Students

  • Completion of three courses in Liturgical Studies (LTS) as follows:
    • One Liturgical Studies (LTS) course whose course number ends in -00 through -29 in order to broaden one’s perspective on worship (these courses will be offered every Fall and Spring semester);
    • One Liturgical Studies course (LTS) whose course number ends in -30 through -59 in order to enhance one’s practical capacities in worship (these courses will be offered every Fall, Spring, and Summer semester);
    • Any third Liturgical Studies (LTS) course listed in the Divinity Bulletin or any course chosen from the following options (more may be added):
      • Old Testament 766 (Biblical Prayer)
      • New Testament 801 (Church and Ministry in the New Testament)
      • New Testament 809 (Imitation and Transformation in the Letters of Paul)
      • Christian Theology 725 (Christian Vocation)
      • Christian Theology 773 (Introduction to Theology and the Arts)
      • Christian Theology 801 (Theological Grounding for the Practice of Ministry)
      • Christian Theology 815 (Theology and Music)
      • Christian Theology 817 (Spirit, Worship, and Mission)
      • Christian Theology 846 (Music and Scripture)
      • Historical Theology 790 (Images of God)
      • Church Ministry 763 (The Holy Spirit and Ministry)
      • Care of Parish 781 (Leadership in the Ancient and Contemporary Church)
      • Care of Parish 803 (What’s “Christian” about Christian Leadership)
      • Christian Education 766 (Worship and Christian Formation)
      • Spirituality 760 (Introduction to Christian Spirituality)
      • Topics courses may be approved by term and listed in registration materials
  • Attendance at one annual worship-focused ministry event each year after declaring for the certificate (minimum of one attendance at an event), approved by the faculty advisor for the certificate;
  • (M.Div. only) A minimum of one year’s participation in an advanced spiritual formation group in worship; and
  • (M.Div. only) A field education component or contextual engagement project with an emphasis in worship;
  • (M.T.S. only) A thesis that on a topic related to the certificate, as negotiated with faculty director.

Forms and information for current students »

For more information, contact:
Lester Ruth
Research Professor of Christian Worship