Why This Program?

The call to serve in ministry is compelling, and answering it is complex. Deep academic study and theological reflection are necessary to embrace your call and develop the imagination to build the church, academy, and world of tomorrow. At Duke Divinity School, our Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program gives you time and structure for academic immersion. It will prepare you to lead and transform your faith. 

Nurturing the Call

Why Choose the Master of Divinity Degree from Duke

Hear how the M.Div. made a difference in the call of one student, Todd Campbell.

 

Top Tier Faculty

Study with Thought Leaders

Our faculty are at the pinnacle of their fields of study and their work is at the cutting edge of research. Students benefit by studying directly with academics who are not only the best at what they do but are active in the life of the church and dedicated to nurturing the next generation of pastors, thinkers, and doers of theology.

Practical Ministry Experiences

Opportunities to Prepare for Ministry

Duke Divinity is unique in its ability to provide funding for up to three field education internships (two placements are required for graduation). Learn how Field Education is nurturing the call of one student, Allison Morgan.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Creative Connections

Within Divinity courses, students have opportunities for in-depth exploration of critical theological issues that face contemporary society. For instance, you can take a class with Project TURN, in which incarcerated men and women study alongside Duke Divinity School students; engage connections between food and faith with Professor Norman Wirzba; discover the intersections of theology and the arts with DITA; explore connections between Christianity and medicine with practicing physicians and theologians. Students can take two classes outside of Divinity School course offerings, taking advantage of our position at the center of a premier research institution with 10 graduate and professional schools.

Houses of Study

Resources and Support

Our houses of study help prepare you for service—and ordination—in the communities and denominations where you’ll serve. They include the Methodist/Wesleyan House of Studies, the Baptist House of Studies, the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies, the Presbyterian/Reformed House of Studies, the Office of Black Church Studies, and the Hispanic House of Studies.

Program Overview

Curriculum

The curriculum for our flagship degree program is designed to give students a solid foundation for wherever their calling takes them—be that ordination, lay ministry, nonprofit work, or a career in teaching. Our classes cover Old and New Testament, Church history, Christian theology, world Christianity, ministry, worship, preaching, Biblical languages, the Black Church, and a variety of electives. For a sample of a three-year residential M.Div. curriculum at Duke Divinity, see below:

First Year

Fall Semester
  • Old Testament Core Course Part 1
  • Church History Core Course Part 1
  • Church Ministry Elective
  • Biblical Language or Elective

Spring Semester

  • Old Testament Core Course Part 2
  • Church History Core Course Part 2
  • New Testament Core Course
  • Biblical Language or Elective

Second Year

Fall Semester
  • Christian Theology
  • Preaching Core Course
  • Black Church Studies Elective
  • Elective

Spring Semester

  • Christian Ethics
  • New Testament Exegesis
  • Elective
  • Elective

Third Year

Fall Semester
  • Practicing Theology in Ministry Elective
  • World Christianity Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

Spring Semester

  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

    Spiritual Formation

    We form students for ministry in a variety of ways — through coursework, corporate worship, field education, service opportunities, houses of study, and denominational associations. Each first-year M.Div. student will have multiple options for intentional formation that will complement your academic work and field education opportunities. Students receive support and mentoring for vocational discernment and spiritual direction.

    Graduation Requirements

    The Master of Divinity is normally completed in three years. Requirements for graduation are:

    • 24 courses comprising 8 core courses, 5 limited electives, and 11 electives
    • 2 units of field education
    • A spiritual formation component
    • 2 student portfolios (one each in second and third years)

    Intellectual Diversity in the Classroom

    Preparation for the 21st Century Church

    One of the particular strengths of Duke Divinity School is the diversity of our students and professors. Our community comes from many different backgrounds and more than 30 denominations. As students and faculty learn from each other, challenge one another, and grow together, our Christian witness and theological training is enriched and deepened, making us more effective in our ministries in a changing church. 

    Academic Support at Duke Divinity

    Helping You Succeed

    The Center for Writing and Academic Support provides services for writers of all abilities. In addition, we offer the RISE pre-orientation workshop to introduce the fundamentals of theological thought and writing; ongoing academic support workshops throughout the year; and tutors who are available to work with students one-on-one.

    Certificates and Concentrations

    Duke Divinity School currently offers nine certificates and concentrations that give students the opportunity to focus their coursework on a particular area of ministry or study:

    Certificate in Anglican Studies
    The certificate in Anglican Studies is designed to serve the academic and formational requirements of those preparing for ministry—lay and especially ordained—in the Episcopal Church and other member churches of the Anglican Communion.

    Certificate in Baptist Studies
    The certificate in Baptist Studies is designed to serve the academic and formational requirements of those preparing for ministry—ordained and lay—in the Baptist tradition.

    Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, Theology, and Ministry
    The certificate in Gender, Sexuality, Theology, and Ministry (GSTM) is designed to offer opportunities to women and men to study gender and sexuality in the life of the church, in the Christian tradition, and in contemporary culture.

    Certificate in Missional Innovation
    The certificate in Missional Innovation provides training in church planting and contextual evangelism for students interested in innovative forms of ministry.

    Certificate in Prison Studies
    The certificate in Prison Studies provides students with the opportunity to engage specifically with people in prison and the system that imprisons them in the context of theological education and formation for ministry.

    Certificate in Theology and the Arts
    The certificate in Theology and the Arts provides firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts and the church, the university, and beyond.

    Certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture
    The certificate in Theology, Medicine, and Culture will prepare Duke Divinity students for robust theological and practical engagement with contemporary practices in medicine and healthcare.

    Concentration in Christian Education
    The concentration in Christian Education benefits persons seeking to practice as church educators, teachers, college chaplains, youth workers, or health care workers.

    Concentration in Preaching
    Through this concentration students will engage deeply with both the theory and practice of preaching.  The goal is to prepare students to be more faithful and effective preachers, as well as to equip students for ongoing critical reflection and growth in their preaching ministry.

    Affording Duke

    An education from Duke Divinity School is worth your investment, and you do not have to figure out the finances alone.

    All M.Div. students receive funding.

    Duke Divinity School is investing in you, too. It is an investment in your education, the church, and our shared future. All M.Div. students receive some form of scholarship support from Duke Divinity School that will cover between 25% and 100% of tuition costs, and there is no separate application needed in order to be considered. The M.Div. program offers many fellowships that also provide tuition support. Many other internal and external scholarships, as well as federal financial aid in the form of work study and loans, make it possible for students to afford Duke Divinity. We are committed to ensuring that every student who hears the call to ministry can fund their education here. FAFSA should be completed for external aid. More information can be found in our Financial Aid section.

    Opportunities That Bridge Thinking and Doing

    Duke Divinity is unique in its ability to provide funding for up to three field education internships (two placements are required for graduation). The Office of Field Education pairs students with dynamic ministry placements that can provide up to $9,100 per internship. This funding is in addition to any scholarships, grants, or outside aid that a student receives, and can result in as much as $27,300 in additional support throughout the course of the M.Div. program.

    Lifelong Dividends

    In addition to earning a degree from Duke Divinity School, you also receive benefits that continue to impact your life long after you leave. You’ll have space for learning timeless ministry skills, cultivating holy friendships that will sustain you, and forming relationships with faculty who can serve as mentors as your vocation unfolds. The overwhelming majority of our students say their investment is worth it.

    Resources

    We’re available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at admissions@div.duke.edu or (919) 660-3436. The resources below will also help you learn more about our programs.