Each first-year student has been prayerfully placed in a small, intentionally diverse spiritual formation group. These groups are led by local pastors, many of whom are Duke Divinity alumni. Each week the groups gather to share concerns, to reflect theologically on the nature of Christian discipleship, and, most importantly, to pray together.

Sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office of Duke Divinity School, attendance at one of these retreats fulfills the M.Div. requirement for spiritual formation.

As part of the spiritual formation experience, students are also be invited to take time apart from their studies to attend two spiritual retreats, one each semester.

Formation

Duke Divinity School’s curriculum seeks to cultivate a life of worship, study, and service. We are committed to the very ancient idea that to be a person of God for others, one must be with others—in prayer, in study, at work, and at play. Central to this commitment is spiritual formation.

Prayer and ministry are inextricably joined. Through intentional spiritual formation we become acclimated to the divine longing of our hearts and begin to sense that our lives are being turned ever God-ward.

As Ellen Davis writes in Getting Involved with God,

“Once we start reading in a spiritually engaged way, it is evident that the Old Testament is urging us toward certain ‘habits of the heart and mind’ …that encourage us to cultivate counter-cultural habits such as seeking solitude, or repenting of our sins, or offering praise to God …. I will not say that these habits make it easier to be involved with God…, but they deepen our involvement and make it more profitable for our souls.”

Each first-year student has been prayerfully placed in a small, intentionally diverse group. These groups are led by local pastors, many of whom are Duke Divinity alumni. Each week the groups gather to share concerns, to reflect theologically on the nature of Christian discipleship, and, most important, to pray together. As part of the spiritual formation experience, students are also be invited to take time apart from their studies to attend two spiritual retreats, one each semester.

Our group leaders represent a wide spectrum of religious traditions, and it is our hope that students will become familiar with Christian practices of prayer and spirituality other than their own—developing a wider, deeper prayer vocabulary. Students will also have the opportunity to build confidence in their abilities as a spiritual leader as they journey into more faithful Christian service.