Thursday, February 13, 2020

Duke Divinity School has announced three new certificates that can be earned alongside master’s degree programs: the Certificate in Black Church Studies; the Certificate in Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy, and Social Transformation; and the Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice. The certificates join 10 existing certificates and concentrations that give students the opportunity to focus their coursework on a particular area of ministry or study.

Professors Smith, Goatley, and Cooper outside Duke chapel
Professors Patrick Smith, David Goatley, and Valerie Cooper

The Certificate in Black Church Studies, which can be earned as part of the M.Div., M.T.S., and Th.M. degrees, offers the opportunity for critical reflection, dialogue, and practice for students who are interested in the intersection of race, faith, and Christian witness, particularly in the tradition of Black churches. Through coursework, field education requirements (for M.Div. students), and participation in Black Church Studies events, the certificate aims to equip leaders to develop capacities of contextualization and construction from Black Church life, thought, work, and witness.

The Certificate in Faith-based Organizing, Advocacy, and Social Transformation, designed for students interested in campaigning and advocacy work, community organizing, community development, and related forms of social, political, and economic witness from a Christian basis, can be earned as part of the M.Div. or M.T.S. programs. The certificate includes coursework both inside and outside of the Divinity School, leadership training, and for M.Div. students, spiritual formation groups and independent civil engagement or field education. Through this program, students can build connections with others who have a similar sense of vocation and take advantage of expertise and learning opportunities in the Divinity School, the broader university, the surrounding community, and with alumni all over the world.

students walk around Anathoth Gardens in the fall
Anathoth Community Garden

The Certificate in Faith, Food, and Environmental Justice is designed for M.Div. and M.T.S. students seeking training and preparation for engaging faithfully in environmental justice work, agricultural production, healthy food access and food systems, creation care ministries, land use issues, policy advocacy, and environmental management. Alongside access to some of the leading environmental theologians in the world, the certificate provides opportunities for learning from and engaging with the broader university and the surrounding community. Students have specific coursework requirements, internship opportunities, and access to North Carolina churches focused on agriculture and environmental justice issues.

Said Sujin Pak, vice dean of academic affairs and associate professor of the history of Christianity, “We’re excited to offer new opportunities for students to focus their studies in ways that build thriving communities, contribute to a more just and faithful world, give voice to historically marginalized communities, and expand a vision for ministry that takes place within and beyond church walls.”

Qualifying students who meet requirements can earn certificates starting with the Spring 2020 graduating class.