Duke Divinity School's approach to theological education combines excellence in scholarship with a strong commitment to the church. Come be a part of all that God is doing in and through us!

We’ve laid out the steps to guide you through the application process for admission to Duke Divinity School.

Please read all the instructions below before starting your application. These instructions will answer many of the questions you may have during the application process.

If you still have questions, you’re always welcome to ask the Office of Admissions staff for assistance. If you have already started an application please follow this link to resume your application.

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Application Deadlines 

The Admissions Office looks forward to getting to know you, helping you discern, and reviewing your application. Please contact our admissions staff with any questions during the application process.

Complete applications are considered using the following deadlines for evaluation:

Program Deadline(s) Deadlines
M.Div. November 1 Early deadline
  January 15 Priority deadline (merit scholarships)
  April 15 Final deadline
M.A.C.P. April 15 Final deadline
M.T.S. November 1 Early deadline
  January 15 Priority deadline (merit scholarships)
  April 15 Final deadline
Th.M. April 15 Final deadline
D.Min. November 15 Early deadline
  March 15 Final deadline
Th.D. December 15 Final deadline

 

Application Process

1. Create a ChooseDuke account

Our application is part of ChooseDuke, a university-wide system for applicants. To begin your application to Duke Divinity School, you will need to create an account.

You must log out of other social media accounts before attempting to create a Duke OneLink (social media login). If you need assistance with creating a social media account or logging in to ChooseDuke, you may contact our office at admissions@div.duke.edu or request help from our Applicant Help Desk at chooseduke-support@duke.edu

2. Work on your application form

The system requires you to submit information in 3 sections in order to complete your application. The first step is to answer all required questions and to submit the application form.

Please upload .pdf documents

3. Add your recommender information

The number and type of recommendation letters required vary by program. Please consult the program-specific information below.

All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.

Please ask your recommender to upload .pdf files.

4. Pay the fee and submit your application

A $55 non-refundable application fee is collected by credit card when you submit the online application. The online application must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. We recommend that you submit your application as early as you can to ensure that you have adequate time to upload all required supplemental materials by your chosen degree program's final deadline.

5. Submit required supplemental documents by deadline

The online application and fee must be submitted before you can upload required supplemental materials. Supplemental materials such as unofficial transcripts, essays, resume, and any writing samples can only be uploaded once your application and fee are submitted.

Required Materials for All Programs

  • Unofficial Transcripts
    • Transcripts from all previous colleges, universities, graduate schools, study abroad institutions, and seminaries must be uploaded as part of the application. Transcripts must be submitted regardless of when you attended, how many hours you earned, or whether you earned a degree.
    • Transcripts must be uploaded as part of your online application. Do not send paper or electronic copies directly to us. 
    • All students who enroll at Duke must submit final transcripts before registration.
    • The file limit size is 2.5 MB, so please compress files that are over this size.  
    • Submit .pdf files only
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    You will upload a .pdf your resume as part of the online application process. The resume should provide an overview of your life and experiences—educational background, work experience, church or vocational preparation, leadership roles, professional affiliations, honors and awards, community service, skills, and interests and hobbies.
  • Recommendations
    • The number and type of recommendation letters required vary by program. Please consult the program-specific information below.
    • All applicants will be asked to provide recommenders' contact information as part of the online application. After you enter your recommender's information, the system will automatically send an email request to your recommender. The email will contain instructions guiding your recommender through the process of submitting a recommendation via our secure form.
    • Please ask your recommender to upload .pdf files
  • Essay
    An essay is required for all programs. The length and content varies by program; consult the program-specific information below for details.
  • Program-specific materials
    Please refer to the section below regarding specific materials required for your degree program. We must receive all required supplemental materials to consider your application for admission.

Degree Program-Specific Application Materials

Application requirements vary depending on the academic program. In addition to fulfilling the common requirements listed above, please review the program-specific application material requirements by clicking below.

We must receive all required supplemental materials to consider your application for admission.

6. Monitor your application to ensure submission by deadline

You are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible. Once your application fee and online application are submitted, you will be able to monitor our receipt of your supplemental documents. Please note that our processing turnaround time is 3-5 business days for any hard-copy materials received. 

All supporting documents (e.g., transcripts and reference letters not submitted online) must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on the stated deadline date. If the application deadline date falls on a weekend, all applications and supporting documents must be received in the admissions office by 5:00 p.m. EST on the Monday after the deadline date. We must receive all required supplemental materials to consider your application for admission.


M.Div. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your sense of vocation in Christian ministry, articulating the significant points of affirmation that led to your understanding of your calling; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your calling; and (3) how you understand your call in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.

M.A.C.P. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 1 academic, 1 church, and 1 personal/character or additional academic or church.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your sense of vocation in Christian ministry, articulating the significant points of affirmation that led to your understanding of your calling; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your calling; and (3) how you understand your call in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.

M.T.S. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted through the online application system are required: 2 academic, 1 personal/character or church.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your goals for enrolling in the Master of Theological Studies program; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your theological imagination; and (3) how you understand your goals and development of theological imagination in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.
  • Writing Sample
    Submit a 4-6 page (1000-1500 words) academic writing sample such as an essay or excerpt from an academic paper or article. Attention to theological themes is desired. Include the title of the writing sample and provide context if an excerpt.

Th.M. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    Three (3) letters of recommendation are required: 2 academic, 1 church.
  • Essay
    A three-page essay describing (1) your personal, educational, and professional reasons for enrolling in the Master of Theology program and how you anticipate employing these students in your ministry; (2) integrating your reflection on a theological book(s) that has helped to shape your theological imagination; and (3) how you understand your goals and development of your theological imagination in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.
  • Writing Sample
    Submit a 4-6 page (1000-1500 words) academic writing sample such as an essay or excerpt from an academic paper or article. Attention to theological themes is desired.

D.Min. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    Four (4) letters of recommendation are required: 2 academic, 2 church.
  • Essay
    A two-page essay describing your goals in undertaking doctoral study, including an indication of your proposed focus.
  • Writing Sample
    Submit one academic writing sample such as an article or term/course paper of no more than 15 pages in length.

Th.D. Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    • Four (4) letters of recommendation are required: 3 academic, 1 church.
    • You will be asked to provide contact information for your four recommenders as part of the online application.
  • Statement of purpose
    An essay of one to two pages (single spaced) describing your goals in undertaking doctoral study, the academic and life experiences that have prepared you for doctoral work, your proposed area(s) of focus, and your particular reasons for applying to the Th.D. program at Duke.
  • Writing Sample
    Submit a sample of your scholarly work, 15-20 pages in length (double spaced).
  • Official GRE Scores
    • Th.D. applicants must submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as part of the application process. Official GRE scores must be transmitted electronically from the Educational Testing Services (E.T.S.) to Duke (institution code 5156). E.T.S. will not send scores that are more than five years old; Duke Divinity School will not accept personal or paper score reports.
    • Official GRE scores must arrive before the application deadline date. Please plan to take the exam or submit your scores no later than 6 weeks before the deadline.

M.Div./M.S.W. Application Requirements

Applicants must complete all requirements for applying to the M.Div. program and submit an application to the UNC Graduate School.

M.Div./M.P.P. Application Requirements

Applicants must complete all requirements for applying to the M.Div. program and submit an application to the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.

M.T.S./J.D. Application Requirements

Applicants must complete all requirements for applying to the M.T.S. program and submit an application to the Duke Law School.

Special Student (non-degree) Application Requirements

  • Recommendation Letters
    One (1) academic letter of recommendation submitted through the online application system is required.
  • Essay
    A one page essay describing (1) your reason for wanting to take a course or courses for non-degree credit at Duke Divinity School; and (2) how you understand your call in relation to the mission of Duke Divinity School to prepare leaders for the church, academy, and world.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

All non-U.S. citizens must review the application requirements for international applicants.

  • Endorsement Letter
    One letter of recommendation must be from a church official affirming support of your pursuit of theological education in the United States. This can be your church letter or an additional recommendation.
  • TOEFL Scores for International Applicants
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as part of the application process. Official TOEFL scores must be transmitted electronically from the Educational Testing Services (E.T.S.) to Duke (institution code 5156). Personal copies are not accepted and must be less than two years old.
    A TOEFL waiver question is included in the online application form. You do not need to contact us in advance if you meet the criteria for a TOEFL waiver. No exceptions will be made if you do not meet the criteria:
    • Received or will receive by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree where the language of instruction was English only (the official language of the country is English)
    • Earned or will earn by the time of enrollment an undergraduate degree from a college or university in the United States

Additional Requirements for Transfer Applicants

All transfer applicants are evaluated on the same basis as other applicants. However, students applying to transfer from another seminary or theological school must include the following:

  • Essay
    Applicants must include an extra page in their essay that provides an explanation of and purpose for the proposed transfer.
  • Letter of recommendation
    A fourth letter of recommendation must submitted as part of the application, and it must be written by the director of field education or student life at the school from which the transfer is sought. When you create your application, you will be able to enter the information for 3 recommenders. You can then enter the fourth recommender’s information after submitting the application.