The Course of Study for Ordained Ministry 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.
Duke Divinity School cooperates with the General Board to offer the Course of Study program each summer and on a part-time basis 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 in a printable format, please see the 2017-2018 Program Guidelines (pdf).
Dates & Deadlines
Duke Divinity School offers the Summer Course of Study in two 2-week sessions:
Summer Session 1
Orientation: July 2
Summer Session 2
Orientation: July 16
2017 Summer Course of Study Course Schedule (pdf)
January 2017: Summer COS enrollment opens
March 1: Early bird enrollment deadline
May 29: Enrollment deadline - CLOSED
July 2: Session 1 orientation (required)
July 3: Session 1 classes begin (held Monday 7/3 - Friday 7/7 and Monday 7/10 - Thursday 7/13)
July 4: Durham Bulls baseball game and dinner (optional)
July 16: Session 2 orientation (required)
July 17: Session 2 classes begin (held Monday 7/17 - Friday 7/21 and Monday 7/24 - Thursday 7/27)
July 18: Annual community luncheon and Board of Advisors meeting (Note date change)
July 27: Closing convocation
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's flexibility. Both require about a month of pre-work and readings ahead of time. Please contact our office if you would like to talk more about the differences between summer and weekend ssessions; we are happy to help!
If you are not a United Methodist licensed local pastor and you are interested in attending Course of Study, please contact our office.
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry implemented a new Course of Study curriculum for all COS programs since 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 new COS curriculum can be found below, as well as worksheets to assist students in tracking their progress in the COS program:
Students who have questions or concerns regarding the new COS curriculum are encouraged to contact Duke Divinity School’s Course of Study office. If you would like additional assistance, we are happy to help but will first need your official transcripts from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. For officail transcript requests, please contact the GBHEM Course of Study Registrar at email@example.com 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 your official transcript to our associate director Olivia Stella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses & Booklists/Pre-Work
2017 Booklists and Pre-Work
2017 Summer Course of Study Booklist and Pre-Work can be found on our Summer COS course site in Sakai. After you complete the registration process for Course of Study, you will be invited to sign up for a Duke NetID or re-activate an existing one. After your NetID has been issued, you will be given access to Sakai within 10 days.
- Log into Sakai (please allow up to 10 days after your NetID has been issued)
- View a Student Quick Start Guide to Sakai (pdf)
Basic Course of Study
All of the twenty required courses will be offered during the summer sessions.
Advanced Course of Study
The Advanced Course of Study courses offered during the Summer 2017 COS Session are shown on the schedule above.
Advance preparation is required of all students. Each course will make available a book list and pre-work that is to be completed before the session begins, according to the deadlines set by the instructors. 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 asking for help. Students with learning disabilities should contact the director to discuss appropriate accommodations.
The Divinity Bookshop is the preferred provider of textbooks for the Course of Study program.
Need assistance selecting courses? Please consult our Course of Study Completion Checklist (pdf). If you would like additional assistance, we are happy to help but will first need your official transcripts from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. For official transcript requests, please contact the GBHEM Course of Study Registrar at email@example.com or (615) 340-7416.
Application & Enrollment
Applications for 2017 are closed.
Note: Enrollment is not complete until all application materials and fees have been received by the Course of Study office. Once your enrollment has been completed per the enrollment guidelines you will be able to use your Duke NetID and password (the one you set up to gain access to course materials) to allow you access to the online resources of the Duke Divinity Library.
Before you begin the registration process, you must complete the Application Approval Form (pdf) with all required signatures, scan the form, and be ready to upload it as either a PDF or a Word document (please use your first and last name as the filename).
Please note: Your enrollment will not be considered complete unless the Application Approval Form you have uploaded contains all signatures. You must get both your district superintendent and your Board of Ordained Ministry local pastor registrar to sign. Please note that students are held responsible for ensuring both signatures are represented and the form uploaded during the registration process. You must also provide your PID number. If you do not know your 6-digit PID number (required to complete registration), please email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain it.
If you are not a United Methodist licensed local pastor under appointment and wish to attend Course of Study, please contact us at email@example.com.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition varies according to program enrollment. The information listed here applies to students who are United Methodist pastors under appointment and in the care of their annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Students not fitting these criteria should contact the Course of Study director for information.
Costs below are per session.
Application fee (non-refundable)
$140 (before March 1, 2017)
$170 (on or after March 1, 2017)
Year 1-5 Course Tuition fee
$50 per class
Advanced Course Tuition fee
$150 per class
Duke Handicapped Parking Permit*
Green Zone Parking (optional)
$14.00 per session
Visitor Parking; including Bryan Center Garage (optional)
$120 per session
Durham Bull's Tickets (optional)
*For more information about parking, please see the "Housing, Meals, and Parking" section.
There are times when it is necessary for a student to cancel their enrollment in Course of Study, but any student failing to cancel registration for Course of Study courses by June 16, 2017 (two weeks prior to the start of the session) will not be refunded their tuition fees.
Housing, Meals, and Parking
Students attending the Summer Course of Study School have several housing options:
On-campus housing is provided in cooperation with Duke University Conference and Event Services. This year students will be housed in the Edens Residence Hall 3B on West Campus. Housing is handled through Duke Conference and Event Services not the Divinity School. You will need to make a separate account with them to apply. The deadline to apply is June 15.
- 2017 Campus Housing Rates (pdf)
- Housing Information Sheet (pdf)
- On-Campus Housing Tips/What to Bring (pdf)
Students living within a 50-mile radius of the campus may commute daily. Others may wish to make housing arrangements at motels or campgrounds in the area. Persons desiring to live off-campus must make their own arrangements, although the Course of Study office has arranged special rates with some area hotels. We will also make available a listing of sublet apartments and houses in the spring, and students are encoraged to explore sublet leases as an option. The list is generated by the Duke Divinity School Office of Field Education.
We also recommend the following hotels:
- Staybridge Suites: 3704 Mount Moriah Rd., Durham, NC; (877) 238-8889 - 2017 Rates (pdf)
- Homewood Inn Suites: 3600 Mount Moriah Rd., Durham, NC; (919) 401-0610
- Request the Duke Course of Study 2017 rate: $107 a night for a single
- Millennium Hotel: 2800 Campus Walk Ave., Durham, NC
- Request the Duke Course of Study 2017 rate: $89 a night for a single
- For Session 1:
- Telephone – Guests may call the hotel at (800) 633-5379 or (919) 383-8575 and give the following booking code DIVINITY01
- Online – Guests may make reservations online: Session 1 Summer Course of Study
- For Session 2:
- Telephone – Guests may call the hotel at (800) 633-5379 or (919) 383-8575 and give the following booking code 02DIVINITY
- Online – Guests may make reservations online: Session 2 Summer Course of Study
On-campus meals are available in the Divinity Café, Duke University cafeterias, the Duke Medical Center cafeterias, and the fast-food facilities in the Bryan Center. Because of the hospital's schedule and needs, both very early and late meals are available at a reasonable price in the Medical Center cafeterias. 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.
Parking and Automobile Registration
Handicapped Parking: Handicapped parking on campus requires special arrangements with Duke University, as well as a state permit. Please contact Barbara Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Bicycles: Bike racks are available for students and are located adjacent to the Divinity School building.
Forms & General Information
Policies and Forms
- 2017-2018 Program Guidelines (pdf)
- Writing Guidelines (pdf)
- Inclusive Language Policy (pdf)
- Medical Information Form (pdf): Please submit at Orientation.
- Housing Information Sheet (pdf)
- On-Campus Housing Tips/What to Bring (pdf)
Please see the Duke Campus Map.
Fully enrolled students will have online access to the Divinity School Library prior to arrival 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.
Students, while on campus, will have access to free wireless internet. Access to the internet is also available on the Duke Visitors network, which is available throughout campus.
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 assigned a temporary Duke University network account upon completion of their enrollment. This account provides access to the Duke University network both through on-site computer clusters and for remote system access.
During your summer stay, all correspondence should be addressed to:
Your Name C/O Course of Study
Duke Divinity School
Duke Box #90968
Durham, NC 27708-0966
Mail will be delivered daily to individual student mailboxes located in the Student Lounge. General mail services are NOT available at the campus post office in the Bryan University Center. Students are asked NOT to forward mail through the U.S. Postal Service from their home address to the Course of Study. Students are encouraged to make arrangements for someone to collect their mail at their home and forward only those items that need immediate attention.
Duke Divinity Bookstore
The Duke Divinity Bookstore is the preferred provider of textbooks for the Course of Study program.
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. All students are asked to complete the medical information form (pdf) as part of the registration process (please submit at Orientation). Students with ongoing medical concerns are encouraged to bring pertinent medical records and prescriptions with them if they need medical care during the Course of Study. Please note that Course of Study students are unable to use the Student Health Clinic.
Opportunities Outside the Classrom
Worship services will be conducted every day beginning at 10:05 a.m. 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.
Many 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 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
On Tuesday, July 18, 2017 (note date change), representatives from our constituent annual conferences will visit. There is a community luncheon and an opportunity for students to meet with their conference representative(s).
On the evening of the last Thursday of Summer Course of Study, July 27 at 7:00 p.m., a special service of worship will be held in Duke Chapel to close the school and to recognize those students who are completing their fifth year or advanced studies. Immediately after the service a reception for all students and families is held in the Divinity Café.
Students are expected to attend all 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 Board of Higher Education and Ministry, a student missing more than 20 percent of 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 loyal 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 life appropriate to Christian faith and to the dignity of their calling.
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.
Official transcripts for Course of Study work are available through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; contact the GBHEM Course of Study Registrar email@example.com or call (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 signing their application to the Course of Study program, students indicate their willingness to abide by all policies outlined in these program guidelines.
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 may 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.
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.
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.
No form of harassment is acceptable at Duke University. It is inconsistent with the University's commitments to excellence and respect for all individuals. Duke University is also committed to the free and vigorous discussion of ideas and issues, which the University believes will be protected by this policy.
Duke Divinity School
059 Langford Bldg.
Duke Box #90968,
Durham, NC 27708
Duke Course of Study Staff
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.