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, South Africa, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.

Students selected for these 10-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
Current Summer Placement Opportunities

Kenya (resumes Summer 2023)

  • 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) »

South Africa

  • Students are placed in 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.

Northern Uganda

  • Students serve at Bishop Allison Theological College, a seminary of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. Bishop Allison is currently located in Arua, Uganda due to the conflict in South Sudan.
  • Students teach classes at Bishop Allison, preach in local churches, assist in worship at the college, and live in the daily rhythms of the college.
  • Students will also visit alumni from Bishop Allison in their churches in a nearby refugee settlement in order to see the context in which Bishop Allison’s students live and minister.

U.S.-Mexico Border

  • Students are placed at “La Casa del Migrante” a Catholic men’s 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.
Self-Initiated International Placements

Students may self-initiate an international internship. The Divinity School does not provide funding for self-initiated placements.

Find detailed information on self-initiated placement on the Divinity School Intranet (NetID required).