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.
Need a flexible M.Div. option?
Our Hybrid M.Div. program gives you access to rigorous preparation in a flexible format. It will prepare you to lead and transform your faith without requiring you to move to Durham.
Our M.Div. students come from 40 states and 8 countries to pursue a variety of career paths. Some come to be ministers, church planters, and other leaders of the 21st century church. Others come to deepen their connection to Christian ministry in their nonprofit work, chaplaincy, teaching and writing, or any form their ministry takes. What they share is a desire for a program that is academically rigorous and unabashedly Christian. 57% of M.Div. graduates choose church-based ministry, while 43% choose positions in nonprofit organizations, chaplaincy, education, or further graduate work.
Nurturing the Call
Hear how the M.Div. made a difference in the call of one student, Zoe Cordes Selbin.
Top Tier Faculty
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 their communities, and are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of pastors, thinkers, and doers of theology.
Practical Experience in Ministry
Field Education gives you the opportunity to experience service in a variety of church and nonprofit settings to help you discern where your call is taking you and to help you acquire the practical knowledge that will help you in your future service.
Black Church Studies and Latinx Studies Fellowship
In addition to receiving full-tuition scholarships, Black Church Studies and Latinx Studies fellows participate in signature programming tailored to their vocational aims, including mentoring, cohort-based professional formation and events, and the ability to earn the Certificate in Black Church Studies or the Certificate in Latinx Studies. Fellows are also eligible to receive stipends totaling up to $24,000 through participation in internships offered by the Office of Field Education in Latinx or Black church contexts.
Thriving Communities Fellowship
In addition to receiving full-tuition scholarships, Thriving Communities Fellows participate in signature programming tailored to their vocational aims, including mentoring, a travel experience hosted by Duke faculty, and cohort-based professional formation and events. Fellows are also eligible to receive stipends totaling up to $24,000 through participation in the Communities of Learning program offered by the Office of Field Education.
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
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, the Asian House of Studies, and the Hispanic House of Studies.
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:
Need More Flexibility to Complete Your Degree?
Our Hybrid M.Div. curriculum offers a class schedule optimized for busy students and a pathway to earn your degree while staying in your current context, without moving to Durham. Learn about the Hybrid M.Div. Contact the Office of Admissions for information on other options for completing your degree at (919) 660-3436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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
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.
Duke Divinity School offers certificates 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 Black Church Studies
The Certificate in Black Church Studies offers the opportunity for critical reflection, dialogue, and practice for students who are interested in the intersection of race, faith, and Christian witness, particularly in the tradition of Black churches.
Certificate in Christian Education
The Certificate in Christian Education benefits persons seeking to practice as church educators, teachers, college chaplains, youth workers, or health care workers.
Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice
The Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice is designed for students seeking training and preparation for engaging faithfully in environmental justice work, agricultural production, healthy food access and food systems, creation care ministries, land use issues, policy advocacy, and environmental management.
Certificate in Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy, and Social Transformation
The Certificate in Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy, and Social Transformation is designed for students interested in campaigning and advocacy work, community organizing, community development, and related forms of social, political, and economic witness from a Christian basis.
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 Latinx Studies
The Certificate in Latinx Studies is designed to provide theological and ministerial formation to students preparing for ministry with Hispanic/Latinx churches and communities in the U.S.
Certificate in Methodist/Wesleyan Studies
The Certificate in Methodist/Wesleyan Studies is for pan-Methodist/Wesleyan students who wish to engage in robust and intentional training in Wesleyan theology and spiritual practice in preparation for leadership positions in Methodist and Wesleyan churches.
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 Preaching
Through this certificate, 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.
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.
Certificate in Worship
The Certificate in Worship prepares students to engage in practical formation and theoretical reflection on the worship of God in Christian congregations.
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.
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 $8,000 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 $24,000 in additional support throughout the course of the M.Div. program.
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.
Duke Divinity School accepts applications from students with a demonstrated commitment to some form of ordained or lay ministry and a minimum GPA of 2.75 in a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university prior to the intended date of enrollment.
We’re available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at email@example.com or (919) 660-3436. The resources below will also help you learn more about our programs.