Field education is central to Duke Divinity School’s M.Div. program. Through contextual learning in churches and organizations across the country and world, students practice the skills of ministry, discern God’s call on their life and vocation, and reflect theologically with an experienced supervisor.

General Guidelines

Two units of field education are required for graduation in the residential M.Div. degree program. Four placement periods are available: during the second and third academic years (part-time for 13-15 hours per week for 30 weeks for a total of 400 hours) and during the intervening two summers (full-time for 10 weeks for a total of 400 hours). A total of three funded placements through the Office of Field Education are allowed during the residential M.Div. program.

Residential M.Div. students may seek a placement through the Office of Field Education. Residential and hybrid M.Div. students may student-initiate placements under the guidelines of the Office of Field Education.

Hybrid M.Div. degree program students must complete at least 400 hours of field education through one or more units of no fewer than 200 hours each. Students working in a ministry setting may utilize that setting for one unit of field education. Hybrid M.Div. students choosing to pursue Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) may count it as one of 2 units, but it cannot by itself fulfill field education requirements.

Placement Opportunities

Students are carefully placed in a wide variety of field education settings. Placement opportunities include:

  • Rural United Methodist Church placements throughout North Carolina
  • Nonprofit ministry settings that include, but are not limited to, camping ministries, prison ministries, community organizing, urban ministries, advocacy work, housing and homelessness, children’s homes, creation care/ecology placements, end-of-life care, and campus ministry settings
  • International opportunities in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, El Salvador and Mexico
  • Partner churches across the country that engage students in areas such as racial reconciliation, church planting, leadership development, community engagement and more
  • Local church settings in Baptist, Anglican/Episcopal, Presbyterian, Mennonite, and other denominational traditions
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Student Pastorates - Students can meet some or all of their field education requirements if they are appointed as a pastor of a local church during their M.Div. education. These appointments are arranged by the appropriate denominational official or body, but students must register with the Office of Field Education and meet all of its requirements for graduation

For complete information on field education, internships, student pastorates, and clinical pastoral education see the Divinity Bulletin or the Policies and Procedures Manual (pdf).