Nurturing a Spirit to Serve
At Duke Divinity, we take a holistic approach to forming students for leadership in the church and the world. From worship to spiritual and vocational formation groups to practical ministry opportunities, we’re intentional about forming students for prophetic and transformative ministry.

Our approach to formation is holistic, seeking to nurture the spiritual, physical, emotional, professional, and community life of students. We walk alongside students as they discern their calling, seek vocational clarity, and understand their denominational identity. We listen prayerfully to spiritual concerns while offering support and resources. In addition, we promote regular participation in corporate worship.


Formation is part of everything we do at Duke. From coursework to worship to field education, we’re intentional about forming students for prophetic and transformative ministry as we cultivate—as one unified reality—a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of service.

Formational Programs

First-year students meet in small spiritual formation groups led by local pastors to reflect theologically on the nature of Christian discipleship, share concerns, and pray together. Advanced spiritual formation groups are also available for students in some certificate programs.

For students exploring their future vocations, we offer vocational formation programs, including Commissioning and Full Connection seminars, Mentoring for Ministry programs, and denominational houses of study that provide opportunities to discern vocational calling, learn from experienced ministers, strengthen leadership skills, practice spiritual reflection, and gain practical knowledge.

The Office of Global and Intercultural Formation embodies the school's commitment to global awareness and engagement as well as its dedication to fostering a learning environment where students understand, respect, engage with, and learn from diverse communities and multicultural perspectives both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition, many of our initiatives support student formation:

Houses of Study

Formational and Denominational Support

Our houses of study help prepare you for service—and ordination—in the communities and denominations in which you’ll serve. They include the Baptist House of Studies, Anglican Episcopal House of Studies, Office of Black Church Studies, Methodist House, Presbyterian/Reformed House of Studies, Asian House of Studies, and Hispanic House of Studies.

Worship Life

Nourishing a Life of Prayer and Discipleship

Services of preaching, music, Eucharist, and prayer are at the center of our community life as we gather for corporate worship eleven times each week during the academic year. 

Students attend worship service in Goodson Chapel and one raises a hand up
Jilian Palmer wears a purple shirt and jeans and stands in front of the Jackson Center in Chapel Hill.

Real-World Experience in Ministry & Service

Paid Field Education Internships

We build paid field education internships into our three-year residential M.Div. program, so students receive practical experience and training as a complement to work done in the classroom.

Friendship House

Friendship House is a residential ministerial formation program in which Duke Divinity School students and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live together in community. Three students share a four-bedroom apartment with one person with a disability. The program offers a unique opportunity to grow into one’s calling authentically, with integrity and deep faithfulness. Friendship House is owned and operated by Reality Ministries, which graciously invites Duke Divinity Students to participate in this opportunity.
In Friendship House, three Duke Divinity students and their suite mate with a cognitive disability build community by eating together, praying together, and celebrating together.