Why This Program?

The M.T.S./M.P.P. degree is designed to prepare individuals for positions of leadership, service, and advocacy in nonprofit organizations, government, and in the wider community. The program equips graduates to serve as influencers of positive change on pressing issues around the globe.

The M.T.S./M.P.P. program can be completed in three continuous years of full-time study (instead of four years) and leads to a Master of Theological Studies degree and a Master of Public Policy degree at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

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 dedicated to the church and to nurturing the next generation of pastors, thinkers, and doers of theology.

Mentoring for Doctoral Applications

Preparation for Further Study

Our M.T.S. degree program is a strong platform for students who plan to pursue further academic work. Our professors mentor students for the doctoral application process, providing support and feedback on research projects and support during the process. The M.T.S. program directors and cohort representatives hold various workshops to assist students in preparing for further graduate work.

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 top tier research institution with 10 graduate and professional schools.

Learn about our certificate programs.

The M.T.S. program at Duke boasts an academically rigorous curriculum surrounded by vibrant worship, contextual learning, opportunities for spiritual formation, and a close-knit student community. The M.P.P program at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy offers students outstanding preparation for dynamic careers as analysts, leaders, and managers at various levels of government, nonprofits, and corporations—both domestically and internationally.

Those interested in dual-degree programs are required to pursue admission to each school independently, and upon successful admission to both programs, are enrolled as dual-degree students.

Program Overview


The M.T.S. curriculum 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, Christian ethics, and a variety of electives. There are two curricular tracks available to students. M.T.S. Core is for those considering a wide variety of applications for their degree (including lay ministry, deacon's orders, nonprofit work, and secondary teaching) and who are seeking an all-around theological education in church history, biblical studies, and theology. All M.T.S./M.P.P. students complete the Core track.

The M.P.P program at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy offers students outstanding preparation for dynamic careers as analysts, leaders, and managers at various levels of government, nonprofits, and corporations—both domestically and internationally. The program's mission is to develop ethical and inclusive leaders who are committed to using evidence-based tools and rigorous analysis to solve public policy challenges and strengthen society through public service. Coursework focuses on policy making and analysis, quantitative evaluation, statistics, and microeconomics. The program offers six policy-area concentrations that span domestic and global policy issues—environment and energy policy; health policy; international development policy; national security and foreign policy; social policy; and technology policy—for which the concentration is recorded on student’s transcript upon graduation.

The core curriculum of each degree must be completed at each institution. Students spend the first year at Duke Divinity School and the second year at the Sanford School of Public Policy. The final year is a blended year at both schools.

    Graduation Requirements


    • 12 Divinity School courses/48 credit hours (this number is reduced as part of the dual degree status)
    • Senior student portfolio


    • 39 credit hours (split between foundation and concentration credits)
    • Summer internship
    • Master’s project
    • Two public policy electives

    Center for Writing and Academic Support

    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.


    Duke Divinity School currently offers multiple 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 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 Faith-Based Organizing 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 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 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. Students in the program take courses in Latinx theology, participate in the Caminantes advanced spiritual formation program, and, in the case of M.Div. students, have at least one field education placement or contextual engagement project in a Hispanic/Latinx ministry setting

    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, including the United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Korean Methodist Church.

    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.

    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.T.S. 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.T.S. 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. 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. FAFSA should be completed for external aid. More information can be found in our Financial Aid section.

    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 will have access to the best academic resources in theological education and will use those tools throughout your career. Theses that are crafted with Duke Divinity faculty members become seeds that may grow into future doctoral projects. By being able to fully participate in a top tier research university, your scholarship can create room for surprising and creative interdisciplinary connections. The overwhelming majority of our students say their investment is worth it.


    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.