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. This certificate can be earned as part of the Residential and Hybrid M.Div., M.T.S., and M.A. in Christian Practice degrees.


“The Certificate in Worship enabled me to explore the awe and majesty expressed through worship in every moment of living as an authentic and continuous response to God’s call. I highly recommend this certificate as an essential part of your Duke Divinity formation for ministry.” 

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.

Lester Ruth poses for headshot in brown suit jack, brown tie, and cream colored shirt, with Goodson Chapel altar in the background

“The Certificate in Worship is a very useful emphasis to have if for no other reason than the central place that worship has in the life of the church. Congregations are going to worship. That is settled. But how they worship and the vitality of their worship are open questions. This certificate can help a Duke student delve into the possibilities more deeply.” 



Find detailed information about requirements and courses for current students (NetID required) »

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

  • Completion of three courses in Liturgical Studies (LTS) as described in detailed course requirements
  • Completion of Worship Visitations: A Pilgrimage of Adoration, eight in-person ministry visitations
  • Accountability meetings with the director twice annually
  • (M.Div. only) A field education component or contextual engagement project with an emphasis in worship
  • (M.T.S. only) A thesis on a topic related to the certificate, as negotiated with faculty director.