The Divinity School’s summer internships in International Field Education place theological education and pastoral training in the context of an increasingly interconnected global community. These international placements have been offered since 2001, when three Divinity School students spent the summer serving in South Africa. Since then, interest and applications to the program have risen dramatically. The program has included internships in Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, South Africa, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda.
Students selected for these 10-to-12-week summer placements receive a stipend to offset travel and living expenses as well as tuition assistance. Many students have ranked this opportunity among the top five reasons that they chose Duke Divinity School over other seminaries.
The goals of international field education are:
- To learn about the church in other cultures, languages, and traditions
- To be stretched and transformed by the gospel as it is lived out in another country
- To be equipped for cross-cultural ministry and to develop sensitivity to the needs of the world
- Students travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to learn about the Umoja Project in Kenya, a partnership that assists children living in vulnerable households by providing support for education, food security, basic personal care and household needs, as well as emotional and spiritual support.
- Students then spend 8 weeks in Kenya working with the leaders of the Umoja project, building the long-term capacity of the community to care for children by strengthening congregations, schools, and household guardians. Divinity School students participate by teaching in the local schools and building relationships with Kenyans through shared community and ecclesial life.
- Students return to Indianapolis to debrief their experience and strengthen partner congregation connections with Umoja.
- This placement exposes students to a model for global ministry in an ecumenical setting, focusing on strengthening relationships between congregations in the U.S. and the people of Kenya.
- Learn more about The Umoja Project (doc) »
- Students are placed in Methodist churches and community ministries throughout the country of South Africa.
- Ministry opportunities include: racial reconciliation, HIV/AIDS patients, refugees, and orphans.
- Students participate in worship leadership, Bible study and teaching opportunities in the local church, making this a great learning environment for students interested in parish ministry.
- Serve in the Kasana Parish of the Catholic Church.
- Engage in teaching in the parish, primary and secondary schools.
- Participate in the community and teaching of Bethany Land Institute, providing Uganda's rural poor with an integrated education program in sustainable land use, economic entrepreneurship, and spiritual formation.
- Live in community with the parish priest and interns from Notre Dame.
IN THE AMERICAS
- Students are placed at “La Casa del Migrante” a Catholic guesthouse in Tijuana, Mexico.
- Students share life with migrants and directly assist with running the guesthouse.
- Students have the opportunity to join the bi-national weekly worship at Friendship Park.
- Students develop a deeper understanding of Mexican border culture and the role of faith in the immigrant experience as well as its effects in the Latinx community in the US.
- Serve with Peace and Hope International, working alongside individuals, families and communities in poverty, so that they can live with dignity, free from violence and injustice.
- Engage in a theological and social vision about the importance of democracy and politics in Lima.
- Accompany communities toward freedom from violence through education, prevention, and holistic care for families and communities in Huanuco.
- Write history by chronicling the story of the movement of the Venezuelan population in Lima.
Students may self-initiate an international internship. The Divinity School does not provide funding for self-initiated placements.