Overview

The Master of Arts in Christian Practice (M.A.C.P.) degree is designed for students to engage in disciplined theological reflection to enrich their Christian service in the church and world. The degree, which combines intensive on-campus sessions with online learning, offers students the opportunity to reflect theologically on practices of lay professional ministry or other Christian service. This program is designed primarily for those seeking to enhance lay vocations while remaining in full-time ministry or in other professional positions.

Fulfill Deacon’s Requirements

United Methodist Certification

The M.A.C.P. degree is designed to meet the course requirements for United Methodists seeking certification studies (in, for example, children’s or youth ministry) and fulfills the Basic Graduate Theological Studies requirements for ordination as a deacon.

Scholarship Support

All Accepted Students Receive Funding

All admitted students receive an Engaged Leaders Scholarship, a merit-based award covering 25% of tuition costs for the duration of the program. Certified candidates for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church may also be eligible for Ministerial Education Fund support. Contact the Ministerial Education Fund coordinator of the Board of Ordained Ministry in your conference for more information.

The hybrid learning environment offers M.A.C.P. students the best of both worlds. Six one-week intensive residential sessions scheduled over the course of two years take place at Duke Divinity School’s campus in Durham, N.C. Students also participate in online learning that includes scheduled online classes and self-paced learning. In this way, students are able to remain in ministry while also engaging in rigorous theological reflection.

Curriculum

The program’s core course sequence is designed to deepen students’ knowledge and appreciation of the Bible and Christian theological tradition.

Year 1

  • Term 1 (Summer)
    • Old Testament 706 (Intro to Old Testament)
    • Christian Education 705 (Mission & Ministry/Cornerstone)
    • Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)
  • Term 2 (Spring)
    • New Testament 707 (Intro to New Testament)
    • Church History 708 (Intro to Church History)
    • Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)
  • Term 3 (Summer)
    • Christian Theology 705 (Intro to Christian Theology)
    • Liturgical Studies 709 (Intro to Christian Worship)
    • Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)

Year 2

  • Term 4
    • Program track elective
    • Program track elective
    • Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)
  • Term 5
    • Program track elective
    • Program track elective
    • Christian Practice 701 (Spiritual Formation/Ministry Integration)
  • Term 6
    • Program track elective
    • Program track elective
    • Christian Practice 701 (Capstone Course)

Program courses, both online and on campus, are taught by regular Duke faculty and give students the opportunity to engage in a world-class education no matter where they are located. In addition to their classes, students participate in an ongoing seminar in Christian formation that seeks to integrate learning with spiritual practice. 

M.A.C.P. intensive residential seminars typically occur at the following times:

  • June: mid June
  • January: first week of January
  • May: end of the third week of May to the beginning of the fourth week of May
  • August: end of the second week of August to the beginning of third week of August
Specialized Electives

Degree concentrations build upon the core curriculum, engaging students in contemporary practices of ministry. Concentrations include:

Serving Congregations
Engage in specialized training for students interested in serving congregations in positions such as youth and children’s ministers, pastoral caregivers, mission and outreach directors, and church business administrators. This track enables United Methodist students to fulfill requirements for ordination as a deacon.

Engaging the World
Study practices of reconciliation, Christian responses to poverty and injustice, and ministry in intercultural contexts.

Forming Scriptural Imagination
Reflect deeper on Christian practice within the context of your current vocation (law, medicine, and more).

Application Information

Duke Divinity School accepts applications for the Master of Arts in Christian Practices program beginning in September concluding with the application deadline in April.

Requirements include:

  • Currently employed/aspire to be employed in a congregation or in a profession and committed to lay ministry, ordination as a deacon, or to professional service as a lay vocation
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 in a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to the intended date of enrollment

Application Deadline

  • April 15
Application Checklist

1. Create a ChooseDuke account

Our application is part of ChooseDuke, a university-wide system for applicants. To begin your application to Duke Divinity School, you will need to create an account (or resume an in-progress application).

You must log out of other social media accounts before attempting to create a Duke OneLink (social media login). If you need assistance with creating a social media account or logging in to ChooseDuke, you may contact our office at admissions@div.duke.edu or request help from our Applicant Help Desk at chooseduke-support@duke.edu

2. Work on your application form

The system requires you to submit information in 3 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

3. Add your recommender information

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.

All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' 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 files.

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. The online application must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. 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 the final program deadline.

5. Submit required supplemental documents by deadline

The online application and fee must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. 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 files 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
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.
    • All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' 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 files.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your sense of vocation in Christian ministry, articulating the significant points of affirmation that led to your understanding of your calling; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your calling; and (3) how you understand your call in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.

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.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

All non-U.S. citizens must review the application requirements for international applicants.

Note: International applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure that the visa process is complete before the June residency. The Duke Visa application process takes between 1-2 months to complete.

  • Endorsement Letter
    One letter of recommendation must be from a church official affirming support of your pursuit of theological education in the United States. Please ask your recommender to upload .pdf files.
  • TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of the application process. Official TOEFL scores must be transmitted electronically from the Educational Testing Services (E.T.S.) to Duke (institution code 5156). Personal copies are not accepted and must be less than two years old.
    A TOEFL waiver question is included in the online application form. You do not need to contact us in advance if you meet the criteria for a TOEFL waiver. No exceptions will be made if you do not meet the criteria:
    • Received or will receive by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree where the language of instruction was English only (the official language of the country is English)
    • Earned or will earn by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree from a college or university in the United States

Financial Certification

Unlike many schools, Duke does not require financial support documents as part of the application; instead, students submit this information after they have been admitted and are enrolled in the program.  

Duke does not automatically issue I-20s to students upon admission.  Instead, students work with the department to submit information and supporting documents to Duke's Visa Services Office. The process is described below.

  • Upon accepting the offer of admission, a student will receive an email from our office with a User Name and password in order to complete the online Request for Temporary Visa Form - Part II.
  • The student completes the online form, prints it off, signs it, and returns it to our office, along with the appropriate supporting documents. 
  • Students must show liquid funds in the total amount listed in the PDF document available on our Tuition page.
  • Financial documents must be less than four months old.
  • Only after we receive everything from the student will our office complete Part I of the Request for Temporary Visa Form. At that time, the student’s entire packet will be sent to Duke Visa Services for processing.
  • Visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are usually issued within 2 calendar weeks from the date that Duke Visa Services received the completed packet.
  • Register for your visa appointment only after you receive your visa documents.

Those on non-Duke visas complete a modified process during the enrollment period.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Arts in Christian Practice is normally completed in two years. Requirements for graduation are:

  • Twelve courses completed in no less than two academic years, plus satisfactory participation in an ongoing spiritual formation seminar
  • Student portfolio: compile a portfolio to be reviewed by a faculty advisor
  • The maintenance of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0
  • Completion of all degree requirements for the degree within a four-year period

Please note that students enrolled in the M.A.C.P. cannot apply transfer credits from another institution to their program.

Resources

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