Study Leave for Ministry Professionals

Find the time to read, reflect, research, or just relax with Study Leave for Ministry Professionals.

Over the span of five to seven days, participants can immerse themselves in learning and renewal through self-directed study, worship and prayer on the Duke University campus.

This flexible program is designed for Christian institutional leaders, pastors, program staff, and laity, and can cost as little as $150. You select the study topic. We provide all the resources you'll need to make your week as productive as possible.


Planning Your Week

Your schedule for the week is determined by your goals and interests. Ideal candidates for Study Leave are those who have a clear idea of the topic they wish to explore and who will plan their time to include many aspects of the campus experience.

You will have the opportunity to name your study topic when registering, though you may change it at any time. The Study Leave program director will work with you in advance of arrival to solidify your plan for the week and identify the faculty conversations or other resources that might be useful to you during your time on campus. Many Study Leave participants come back year after year, building on their previous experiences.

Special Study Leave Opportunities

Study Leave for UM Full Connection Candidates Extended Stay (September 14-20, 2015)
Offered in conjunction with the UM Full Connection Seminar, this time for provisional candidates in the United Methodist Church will begin with a seminar on the topics for ordination papers, and then follow with time to write and reflect. This experience will conclude with worship together. Faculty and staff will be available for assistance and feedback

Post-Easter Renewal Session (March 28-April 3, 2016)
This experience includes two additional days on campus, beginning on Monday with supper and orientation, and concluding with worship together. After the pressures of the busy Lenten season, we invite you to consider giving yourself this additional Sabbath time with us.
Study Leave for Groups 
This experience provides groups of staff or ministerial colleagues the opportunity to study and learn together, with a program tailored to the needs of their shared ministry.  Those interested in Study Leave for Groups should contact the director for more information.

What's Included

Your time at Study Leave includes the following amenities and resources:

Duke Divinity School Community Activities
You are invited to participate in lectures, community worship, and other events taking place within the Divinity School or Duke University. Special arrangements can be made for you to audit courses or meet privately with Divinity School faculty.

Continuing Education Units
Each hour spent studying, auditing a class, meeting with faculty, worshipping, or researching is worth 0.1 Continuing Education Units. Twenty hours of study are expected during the week, for a minimum award of 2.0 CEUs.

Four nights of accommodations for the regular sessions and six nights of accommodations for the special sessions at the Homewood Suites in Durham are included in the program cost. Additional nights are available, should you wish to extend your stay.

Each participant receives a $50 stipend on a DukeCard to use for meals during the program.

Library Access
Enjoy full borrowing privileges at any of Duke’s libraries.

Gym Access
Enjoy access to Duke’s Wilson Recreation Center, including fitness classes, swimming pool, and more, using your DukeCard stipend. 

Receive complementary access to parking, enabling you to visit Duke on your schedule.


Tuition costs are for each five-day term, with additional early arrival and late departure options available. Accommodations are included in your registration.  Please contact us if you will not need a hotel room during your stay.

The program cost for the special Study Leave for UM Full Connection Candidates Extended Stay (September 14-20, 2015) includes two additional nights of accommodations, as well as the cost of the UM Full Connection Seminar.

The program cost for the special Post-Easter Renewal Session (March 28-April 3, 2016) includes two additional nights of accommodations.

  Program Cost Optional Early Arrival/Late Departure

Full Tuition

  • Regular Session
  • UM Full Connection Session Extended (Sept. 14-20)
  • Post-Easter Renewal Session (March 28-April 3)






Scholarship Tuition
Certain individuals are eligible for a scholarship to attend Study Leave at the following rates. Please note, participants may receive only one scholarship per academic year, regardless of eligibility. Because scholarships are limited, we encourage you to register early.



  • Regular Session
  • UM Full Connection Session Extended (Sept. 14-20)
  • Post-Easter Renewal Session (March 28-April 3)

Scholarship Tuition is available for:

  • Those serving rural churches eligible for grants from The Duke Endowment: Am I eligible? (pdf)
  • Those serving churches in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (courtesy of the Parish Ministry Fund)






Study Leave is offered multiple times each year. Join us for one of our regular sessions listed below, or consider attending one of the following special sessions:

  • Study Leave for UM Full Connection Candidates Extended Stay (September 14-20, 2015)
  • Post-Easter Renewal Session of Study Leave (March 28-April 3, 2016)
  • If you would like to bring a group to experience Study Leave together, please contact the program director for more information about Study Leave for Groups.

    Learn more about these special sessions »

To register, click on the dates of the session you wish to attend. Sessions without links have closed. If you register for a session which is full, you will automatically be added to the wait list and will be contacted if a space becomes available. You may change your session registration within the same academic year with sufficient notice and payment of a $50 change fee.


  Program Dates Registration Deadline

Fall 2015

Sept. 14-20, 2015 (UM Full Connection Study Leave Extended Stay) Aug. 3, 2015
  Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2015
Nov. 2-6, 2015
Nov. 9-13, 2015 
Aug. 17, 2015
Sept. 21, 2015
Sept. 28, 2015

Winter/Spring 2016

Jan. 25-29, 2016 (SESSION FULL, waitlist only)
Feb. 1-5, 2016
Feb. 22-26, 2016
Mar. 7-11, 2016
Mar. 28 - Apr. 3, 2016(Post-Easter Renewal Session)
Apr. 11-15, 2016

Dec. 14, 2015

Dec. 21, 2015
Jan. 11, 2016
Jan. 25, 2016
Feb. 15, 2016

Feb. 29, 2016

Participant Feedback

“Study leave is important to me because it provides time away without distraction and being at Duke gives me the chance to participate in high quality worship...something that is very important to the renewing of my spiritual energy.”

“The opportunity to just have a break from my regular routine to focus on preaching was the freshness that I was needing.”

“I came back to my church with renewed energy.”

“[The faculty] were a critical part of my visit. They allowed me to process a few issues that had arisen in the church prior to my arrival. This cleared my mind for the work I came to accomplish.”