Academic Programs

The members of the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition take primary responsibility for supervising, staffing, and enriching the following curricular and extracurricular offerings in United Methodist and Wesleyan studies at Duke Divinity School.

UMC Studies Course Requirements for Ordination

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (¶ 315) mandates that all seeking ordination in the UMC take courses at the seminary level in “Old Testament; New Testament; theology; church history; mission of the church in the world; evangelism; worship/liturgy; and United Methodist doctrine, polity and history.” In United Methodist History, Doctrine, and Polity at Duke Divinity School, these three required topics are covered in an integrated two-semester series:

  • Parish 159 — Early Methodism: History, Theology and Polity
  • Parish 160 — Twentieth-Century Methodism: History, Theology and Polity

Other UMC Disciplinary Requirements for Ordination

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church also requires that candidates for ordination in all conferences take coursework in Mission, Evangelism, and Worship. Several courses in the Duke Divinity School curriculum can meet these requirements, with the following designed specifically toward this end.

  • Parish 180 — The Missional Church and Evangelism
  • LtS 78 — Introduction to Christian Worship

Distinctive Conference Requirements for Ordination

Some Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church require academic areas of preparation for ordination beyond the requirements in the Book of Discipline. These are most typically in the areas of preaching, pastoral care, Christian Education and Clinical Pastoral Education. Some annual conferences require at least one course in Black Church Studies and/or Women’s Studies, for example:

  • Parish 178 — Women and Evangelism

There are courses in the Duke Divinity School curriculum to meet all of these requirements. For conferences that require a second course in preaching, preference is given to:

  • Parish 184 — Preaching in the Wesleyan Theological Tradition

Other Offerings in Methodist and Wesleyan Studies

  • ChurHst 260 — Life and Times of the Wesleys
  • HistTheo 302 — Theology of John Wesley 
  • AmXtian 203 — Studies in American Methodism
  • AmXtian/LtS 268 — Worship in the Wesleyan Tradition
  • XtianThe 256 — John Wesley in Controversial and Ecumenical Theology
  • Parish 148 — Making Disciples in the Wesleyan Tradition *
  • Parish 210 — Evangelism and Leadership
  • LtS 208 — Hymns of Charles Wesley
  • Theo 220 — The Wesleys as Theological Mentors

Academic Advising for United Methodist Students

It is the practice of Duke Divinity School to assign incoming United Methodist students to United Methodist faculty advisors. This helps insure that these students will be fully aware of disciplinary and other requirements for ordination. We have also developed specific United Methodist versions of our curricular paradigms (Divinity Bulletin) that include these required courses. Students are advised to check with their Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to learn requirements specific to their conference beyond those defined in the Book of Discipline.