Duke Divinity School (Map)
(919) 613.5326

The Course of Study has been established by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church as an alternate educational route for persons seeking to serve as pastors in United Methodist congregations.

Pastoral leaders from other denominations and lay persons may register and take classes in the Duke Divinity School Course of Study program.

Duke Divinity School cooperates with the General Board to offer the Course of Study program each summer and on weekends (see Weekend Course of Study) throughout the academic year in an effort to train faithful and effective leaders for pastoral ministry. Course instructors include faculty and staff of the Divinity School and other universities and institutions, and experienced pastoral leaders. University course credit is not granted through this program.

For Duke Divinity Course of Study information and additional details in a printable format, please see the 2018-2019 Program Guidelines (pdf).

Dates & Deadlines

 "HOLD THE DATES" 2020 Summer Course of Study

  • Session One Residential Week: Monday, July 13 - Friday, July 17
  • Session Two Residential Week: Monday, July 20 - Friday, July 24



Summer Session One

Orientation: July 14
Residential Week: July 15 - 19

Online Week One: July 29 - August 2

Online Week Two: August 12 - 16


Summer Session Two

Orientation: July 21
Residential Week: July 22 - 26

Online Week One: August 5 - 9

Online Week Two: August 19 - 23

2019 Summer Course of Study

2019 Summer Course Offerings & Schedule (pdf)

Important Dates

January: Summer COS registration opens
March: Begin weekly email notices about "how to access your coursework"
July 14: Session 1 welcome and orientation (required)
July 15-19: Session 1 residential classes (held weekdays only)
July 16: Ministry Event (optional)
July 21: Session 2 welcome and orientation (required)
July 22-26: Session 2 residential classes (held weekdays only)
July 23: Fellowship Event (optional with fee)
July 26: Annual community luncheon and Board of Advisors meeting
July 26: Closing Convocation for Certificate of Completion (optional)


Which Course of Study Is Right for You?

Trying to choose between Summer Course of Study and Weekend Course of Study?

Both full-time and part-time local pastors are permitted to attend either weekend or summer sessions of Course of Study. Choosing which session works best for you is largely based on your schedule and flexibility. Both require about a month of pre-work and readings ahead of time, per course. Please contact our office if you would like to talk more about the differences between the session formats.

ALL students seeking credit for Advanced COS courses from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) must have already completed the Basic COS curriculum.

Pastoral leaders from other denominations and lay persons may register and take classes in the Duke Divinity School Course of Study program.


The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) implemented a new Course of Study curriculum for all COS programs in the Fall of 2014. This new curriculum was revised to emphasize formation for ministry, while maintaining theological integrity and remaining relevant to the needs of the church.

Students who began the Course of Study prior to the Fall of 2014 will be given credit for courses taken under the old curriculum OR their new equivalent. Additional information about the current COS curriculum can be found below, as well as worksheets to assist students in tracking their progress in the Basic or Advanced COS program:

All students seeking Advanced COS course credit from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) must have already completed the Basic COS curriculum.

Students who have questions about which courses to take or concerns regarding the current COS curriculum are welcome to contact Duke Divinity School’s Course of Study office. If you would like specific guidance, we are happy to help but may first need your official transcript(s) from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

For official transcript requests, please contact the GBHEM Course of Study Registrar at cosregistrar@gbhem.org or (615) 340.7416.

Completing Course of Study

If you intend to complete the Course  of Study program and participate in our Closing Convocation ceremony, please send a brief email and a copy of your official transcript to our registrar Barbara Campbell at bcampbell@div.duke.edu.

Courses, Booklists, and Pre-Class Preparation

2019 Summer Course Offerings & Schedule (pdf)

2019 Advanced SCOS Course Descriptions (pdf)

Advance preparation is required of all students. Course of Study at Duke Divinity has provided writing guidelines (pdf) to assist students in completion of their assignments with best academic practices. We ask that you would take particular note of the sections on plagiarism and contact our office for clarification, if necessary.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Duke Divinity Bookshop.

Booklists and Pre-Work

Each course will make available a booklist and pre-work that is to be completed before the session begins, according to the deadlines set by instructors. Effective September 2018 the current online course requirements for the SCOS hybrid session are:

Basic courses: each SCOS basic course will require five hours of online work per course over a two week period (2.5 hours each week per course) following the residential portion of the class.

Advanced courses: each SCOS advanced course will require ten hours of online work per course over a two week period (5 hours each week per course) following the residential portion of the class.

Online work will include tasks like uploading documents, posting comments, watching videos, etc.

Information related to your course(s) including pre-work and required readings will be available in Sakai, an educational learning platform. Details about the process required to access coursework and log into Sakai will be sent to registered students, including information on creating a required Duke Net ID Sponsored Guest Account.

The Summer COS session allows for weekly email distributions of "how to" instructions for accessing coursework beginning mid-March and ending 5-7 days following the registration deadline in early-May. If you delay your registration until the deadline date you will have significantly less time to complete your pre-work, especially if you register for the maximum number of courses.

Sakai Resources

Please refer to the following self-help resources to answer questions about using Sakai.

Online Library Research Resources/Links

Students with learning disabilities should contact the director to discuss appropriate accommodations.


Registration & Enrollment

Registration Process

Students must register for courses through the registration link(s) provided below. Please read the information just below BEFORE registering.

Registration Requirements

  • All students seeking credit from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) for Advanced COS courses must have already completed the Basic Course of Study curriculum. You must email your official GBHEM Basic COS transcript to our registrar, Barbara Campbell at bcampbell@div.duke.edu. To obtain a copy of your transcript please contact the COS Registrar at cosregistrar@gbhem.org to request your transcript prior to online registration.
  • You must provide your GBHEM PID number during online registration. If you do not know your 6-digit PID number, please email cosregistrar@gbhem.org at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) to obtain it.
  • In order to attend Course of Study, UM local pastors under appointment must receive approval from both their district superintendent (DS) and their Board of Ministry local pastor registrar (LPR). Please provide the most current and accurate names, email addresses, and conference and district designations when registering. Please contact your DS and LPR prior to or immediately following registration for courses to keep them informed about what courses you intend to take this year. This will help keep the approval process running smoothly. Duke COS registrar will request the formal approvals, and any student not approved will be notified by us as soon as possible.
  • Everyone who completes online registration will receive a confirmation email. Please forward the confirmation email on to your conference if it requires proof of your course enrollment for scholarship reimbursement.
  • If you are not a United Methodist licensed local pastor, you will choose the designated check box during the online registration process.
  • Enrollment is not complete until all registration requirements and fees have been received by the Course of Study office.


2019 Summer COS Registration - CLOSED

Registration and Tuition Fees

Tuition varies according to program enrollment.

UM Local Pastors
Registration fee (non-refundable): $75 per class
Tuition for basic classes: $125 per class
Tuition for advanced classes: $200 per class

All Others
Registration fee (non-refundable): $75 per class
Tuition for basic classes: $380 per class
Tuition for advanced classes: $430 per class


Duke Handicapped Parking Access*

$26.00 one session or both

Green Zone Parking (optional)

$16.75 one session or both

Blue Zone Parking (optional)

$34.50 one session or both

Durham Bulls Baseball Game & Buffet Dinner - Tuesday, July 23 (optional)

$20.00 per person

Opening Dinner Guest - Sunday, July 14 and/or July 21 (optional) $10.75 per guest per session

*For more information about parking, please see the "Housing, Meals, and Parking" section below.

Late registrants will be charged a processing fee.

Cancellation and Early Withdrawal Policy

There are times when it is necessary for a student to cancel their enrollment in Course of Study. Cancellations must be communicated in writing (email is acceptable) to the Course of Study office, your district superintendent, and your Board of Ministry local pastor registrar. There are no refunds given for registration fees. Course tuitions, parking fees, or special event fees are not refundable after the final deadline to withdraw has passed; see deadlines for withdrawal just below. Fees apply for cancellations that are not received by these dates.

If you do not withdraw by the following deadline you will be charged the full cost of enrollment:

2019 Summer COS deadline -  June 17, 2019 (approximately four weeks prior to the start of the program)

Housing, Meals, and Parking


Students attending the Summer Course of Study School are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. The Divinity School will negotiate reduced rates for COS students at a few nearby establishments. You will receive important details, as well as various information sheets with pertinent housing information as we get closer to the start of the session. This summer we will not be offering Campus Housing.

2019 Summer COS Housing Announcement (pdf)

Recommended Hotels Information Sheets:


Dinners will be provided for students, instructors, and staff at Opening Welcome and Check-In on the Sunday's to kick-off each session.  You are welcome to bring family for an additional fee. Additionally, breakfast will be provided on Monday morning for students, instructors, and staff. On-campus meals are available in the Divinity Café, Duke University eateries, the Duke Medical Center eateries, and the fast-food facilities in the Bryan Center. A list of on-campus dining options and their hours will be distributed to registered students. In addition to the university facilities, Durham has a wide variety of restaurants, including fast-food chains and low- to medium-priced restaurants located close to campus.


Handicapped Parking: Handicapped parking on campus requires special arrangements with Duke University, as well as a state permit. Please indicate your needs when you register online and you will receive detailed arrangements as we get closer to the start of the session.

On-campus Parking: Because availability of campus parking is always subject to change, students are encouraged to utilize hotel shuttles, Duke campus buses, and explore carpooling options with peers to share the cost of transportation and parking.

During registration, students will have the option to purchase parking permits in a Green Zone or a Blue Zone parking lot, both of which will allow access to remote lots that require a minimum of a 10-20 minute walk to the Divinity School. Campus buses will be available to reduce the commute distance from the Green Zone lot only. Here is a color-coded Duke Parking Map for guidance during registration, if you choose to park on campus.

General Information

General Information


Campus Maps
Please see the Duke Campus Map.

Students will have online access to the Divinity School Library, while on campus. During the sessions, the Divinity School Library is available for use by Course of Study students. The hours can be found on their website at Duke Divinity Library.

Internet Access
Students will have access to free wireless internet, while on campus. Access to the internet is also available on the DukeVisitor network, which is available throughout campus.

Computer Services
A computer cluster is available in the Divinity School library during regular library hours. Additional computer clusters on the Duke University campus are available for your word processing use. Included are PC and Mac models. Students will be able to use their Duke Net ID to access the Duke University network upon completion of their enrollment. This Duke Net ID provides access to the network both through on-site computer clusters and for remote system access.

The Divinity Bookshop
The Duke Divinity Bookshop is a preferred provider of textbooks for the Course of Study program.

Medical Care
The most convenient and accessible health care for Course of Study students is the Duke University Medical Center, located on the Duke campus. Duke University Medical Center provides a wide variety of health care services, ranging from basic primary care to highly specialized treatments. Please note that Course of Study students are unable to use the Student Health Clinic.

Opportunities Outside the Classroom

Worship services will be conducted every day in Goodson Chapel. Students are invited to share their musical gifts in coordination with worship leaders. The worship leaders and preachers are chosen from students and faculty to represent the diversity of our community.

Fellowship opportunities are scheduled during the course of the summer session. Periodic activities scheduled during the afternoons or evenings provide opportunities for students and their families to spend time as a community.

Student Leadership
Student officers and class representatives are elected annually. They work with the director and school staff to help maintain the excellent opportunities for fellowship and learning at the school.

Annual Community Luncheon and Board of Advisors Meeting - event details will be sent closer to the date
On Friday, July 26, 2019, representatives from our constituent annual conferences will visit. There is a community gathering is an opportunity for students to meet with their conference representative(s).

Closing Convocation - event details will be sent closer to the date
A special service of worship will be held in Duke Chapel on Friday, July 26, 2019 at 7:30pm to close the school and to recognize those students who are completing their fifth year or advanced studies. Prior to the service a reception for all students and families is held at the Divinity School. All Course of Study students completing their studies in 2018-2019 are invited to participate. Please contact Barbara Campbell by email, and attach a copy of your official GBHEM transcript, to confirm your participation and completion of course requirements.


Attendance Policy
Students are expected to attend all online and residential class sessions during Course of Study. There are no excused absences from Course of Study classes. Absences may affect class participation grades, and therefore a student’s overall performance at Course of Study. Per the policy set by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, a student missing more than 20% of contact hours for any one course shall not receive a grade for the course. If you find you must miss a class, please be courteous to your instructors by notifying the instructor and class representative of your absence and arranging to share notes with one of your classmates.

Conduct of Students
The Course of Study expects and will require of all its students continuing cooperation in developing and maintaining high standards of scholarship and conduct. The Divinity School expects Course of Study students to participate in a communally-shared concern for growth in faith and life reflecting the diginity of our calling.  Each student will sign a conduct covenant, agreeing to abide by these expectations, when he or she enrolls for Course of Study.

Grades are assigned by faculty following completion of all coursework. Grades range from “A” to “F, including + and - . A “D” is considered a passing grade, an annual conference may have different standards. Students are encouraged to be in contact with their local pastor registrar regarding these requirements. Grades will be distributed approximately 4-6 weeks following the end of each session.

Duke Divinity School does not hold official transcripts for Course of Study students. Official transcripts for Course of Study work are available through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; contact the GBHEM COS Registrar at cosregistrar@gbhem.org or (615) 340.7416.

The Honor Code
Ministerial and theological education involves developing and shaping a life of honor and integrity, virtues rooted in our faith. Therefore, we in the Divinity School of Duke University pledge, individually and corporately, to exhibit our commitment to these virtues by abstaining from any form of cheating, lying or plagiarism and by respecting the facilities of the Divinity School and the property of our peers and professors. We do also assume responsibility for the maintenance of these virtues by pledging, individually and corporately, to report any violation of this code. By agreeing to the terms and conditions and initialing the covenant during online registration, students indicate their willingness to abide by all policies outlined in these program guidelines and all University policies.

Academic Integrity
All students are expected to do their own work. Friends and spouses may help with spelling and punctuation and may proofread papers, but should not participate in the research and writing of the papers. Plagiarism, the use of someone else’s work without giving appropriate recognition, is a highly serious matter of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism and other instances of academic dishonesty will be dealt with harshly and could result in the failure of the class involved. It is at the discretion of the Course of Study Director whether to report academic dishonesty to the student’s district superintendent, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the bishop.

Special Accommodations
Students with learning disabilities should contact the director to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Duke University is also committed to the free and vigorous discussion of ideas and issues. To allow this to happen, no form of harassment is acceptable at Duke University. It is inconsistent with the University’s commitments to excellence and respect for all individuals. In addition to the University’s policy, students will be furnished with copies of the General Board of Higher Education’s policy on harassment as well. Duke Course of Study will follow the procedures outlined in the GBHEM policy handbook in cases of sexual and racial harassment; copies of this handbook are made available to all students online and may be requested by contacting the Duke Course of Study office.

Inclusive Language
Using inclusive language that expands and enriches our understanding of God includes the practice, when writing and speaking of persons or God, of using precise language and explicit pronouns; referring to collective and abstract nouns without gender; and avoiding the exclusive use of either masculine or feminine pronouns for God. The Course of Study Inclusive Language Policy is a helpful guide to these expected practices.


Contact Us

Mailing address:

Duke Divinity School
148 Langford Bldg.
Duke Box #90968
Durham, NC 27708

Duke Course of Study Staff

Barbara Campbell, Registrar & Student Services
Rhonda Parker, Interim Director

Duke University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Duke Course of Study at (919) 613.5326 in advance of your participation or visit.