Duke Divinity School seeks to engage the life of the church in an increasingly interconnected world. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, the Divinity School encourages students to explore the wider world as part of their education and formation. The school also seeks to contribute to the international growth of Duke University as a whole.

Faculty sit in a circle in a metal freight container and talk

International Field Education

Learning in Context

The Divinity School’s summer internships in international Field Education place theological education and pastoral training in the context of an increasingly interconnected global community. Students selected for 10-week summer placements receive a stipend to offset travel and living expenses as well as tuition assistance.

The Divinity School offers several international study-abroad programs, described below, as well as international field education opportunities. In addition to providing students with opportunities for learning and service around the world, the school encourages faculty to develop cross-cultural research programs by maintaining partnerships with several international church and academic institutions.

Divinity School faculty, graduates, and students have a strong history of living and working abroad, often to carry out missions of the church. More than 100 alumni are now in ministry overseas. Students regularly participate in international service projects and missions on a short-term basis as well. Examples of these include Spring Break trips to Haiti, Africa, and Peru, and trips to the U.S./Mexico border.

Faculty and staff also frequently engage in church- and school-related activities outside the U.S., including teaching, leading worship, participating in conferences, and presenting lectures and papers.


World Christianity Courses

The Divinity School requires many of its students to take a course in World Christianity. The following are examples of course offerings in World Christianity, as well as other courses related to international studies. For a complete listing of courses, see the Divinity Bulletin.

  • Israel and the Nations
  • Creation, Cosmology and World Order
  • Byzantium and Islam: Eastern Perspectives
  • History and Theology of Byzantine Iconography
  • Engaging with Islam and Muslims as Faithful Christians
  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Theology of Las Casas
  • Church, Mission and Society
  • Christian Identity and the Formation of the Racial World
  • Race, Modernity and Theology
  • Out of Africa: Christianity in North Africa before Islam
  • World Christianity in America
  • World Christianity, Contemporary Politics and Responses to Poverty
  • God’s Ministry of Reconciliation: Explorations in Missiology and Ecclesiology
  • The Catholic Church in Global Context
  • Christianity in China
  • Protestantism and the Making of Modern China
  • Toward a Theology of the Other: Interfaith Perspectives on God and Salvation
  • Local Polity, Global Vision: The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion
  • Christianity in Asia
  • Beyond Borders: Latin American, Latino, and Hispanic Theologies
  • Healing in the Developing World and Care of the Underserved
  • The Nation State and Theology in Africa
  • Thinking Theologically in a Global Context
  • Postcolonial Identities and Theologies in Africa
  • The Rwanda Genocide and the Challenge for the Church
  • African Christian Spirituality

International Study

International study is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duke Divinity School has several student exchange programs with prestigious universities in Hong Kong, England, Germany, and the Netherlands. The distinctive culture and educational settings of each of these universities offer Duke Divinity exchange students significant opportunities to broaden intellectual, cultural, and theological horizons that will enrich and inform their theological perspectives as they return to Duke to complete their degree programs.

Divinity students interested in the exchange programs should contact Deborah Hackney, senior director of academics and registrar.

Through a partnership with The Methodist Centre and Anglicanism's Cranmer Hall at St John’s College (Durham University), full-time Duke Divinity School students may matriculate for a full year in residence at Durham University.

This matriculation will give students full access to all the course offerings at The Wesley Centre and Cranmer Hall, as well as the theological faculty at Durham University. This formal agreement allows matriculation for no additional tuition at Durham University. The student is responsible for travel, room, and board. St John’s College and Cranmer Hall facilitate room and board at the lower “in-house” rate. The exchange program allows for a maximum of two students per year. Furthermore, Duke Divinity may welcome a maximum of two students per year from Durham University through the auspices of St John's College.

Through a formal agreement with Tübingen University and the Reutlingen (Methodist) School of Theology, full-time Duke Divinity students may matriculate for a full year in residence at Reutlingen School of Theology while attending lectures at both Tübingen and Reutlingen.

The Reutlingen School of Theology serves as the host community and assists students with an “in-house” rate for room and board. Reutlingen and Tübingen are only a 15-minute train ride from each other, and it is a short walk from both train stations to the schools.

This formal agreement allows matriculation for no additional tuition. Students in the Germany study program must have an adequate command of the German language prior to enrolling. Full-time intensive refresher language programs are available in Tübingen in the weeks prior to the beginning of term in Germany, which is typically the first week in October. The study program allows for one student per year to participate. Furthermore, Duke Divinity may welcome one student per year from Germany.

Duke Divinity School’s partner is The Divinity School of Chung Chi College at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Chung Chi has historic Methodist roots and educates ministers for a wide spectrum of Christian denominations in the Pacific region. The Chinese University is distinctive in China because at least half of the curriculum is taught in English, so Duke students are not required to be proficient in Chinese.

The agreement with Chung Chi College allows for the exchange of a maximum of two students annually. The college provides on-site dormitory-style housing, and there are community kitchens for meal preparation as well as several economical restaurant venues on the university campus—all within walking distance of divinity school housing.

Duke Divinity School has a formal agreement with The Free University of Amsterdam through which a maximum of two students per year from Holland and two students per year from Duke Divinity School may participate. The exchange student incurs no additional tuition fees for up to one year of matriculation at the Free University (VU-Vrij Universiteit).

The international student liaison office at the VU assists all international students with locating apartments on the local economy in Amsterdam. There are no “in house room and board” amenities. The VU is genuinely international, and students are not required to learn Dutch to matriculate. When there are international students enrolled in a class, the class is simply taught in English.

Faculty Partners

Duke Divinity School maintains partnerships with several international church and scholastic institutions. The partnership programs afford the opportunity for Duke Divinity School faculty and staff to visit, teach, serve, and learn from the partner institutions and for students, faculty and staff from the partner schools to visit Duke University. Duke Divinity School has partnerships with the Catholic Church in Uganda and the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and Seth Mokitimi Seminary in South Africa. In addition, several faculty members at Duke Divinity teach from time to time at the Course of Study in El Salvador.

Southern Africa’s story of racial conflict and oppression, its struggle for liberation and search for reconciliation offer significant learning opportunities for Christians of all races. TThe South African context offers Duke Divinity School an opportunity to study Christian mission history, Christian witness under oppression and in the struggle for racial justice, contextual theology, and interfaith relations. A comprehensive partnership between the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and Duke Divinity School enriches the experience of Seth Mokitimi Seminary and Duke Divinity School students, faculty, and administration with the hope of making an impact on the churches around the world.

The mutual learning relationship between Duke Divinity School and the Methodist Church of South Africa focuses upon:

  • the ministry of reconciliation.
  • ongoing critique of our efforts to facilitate justice and peace throughout the world.
  • celebration of peoples in our respective countries who bear witness to the ministry of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • mutual friendship and dialogue whereby we bear one another’s burdens.
  • a covenant to pray, study and service, especially through Seth Mokitimi Seminary and Duke Divinity School.

Uganda continues to be an oasis for its troubled siblings in other parts of the African continent, despite its own challenges. As a result, the church has continuously been engaged in servicing refugee populations from the Congo, Rwanda, and other countries as well as addressing the impact of the AIDS pandemic. Partnership possibilities in Uganda include:

  • academic and or ministerial exchange possibilities for Ugandan students.
  • Field Education placements for Duke Divinity students in Kampala, Uganda or its surrounding areas.
  • ongoing practice of the Pilgrimage of Pain & Hope to Uganda/Rwanda, which took place in the summers of 2005 and 2007. Such a pilgrimage allows for participants to learn about the history of Uganda and the work of the church in the midst of this history.