This fall semester, Duke Divinity School welcomed the largest incoming class in the school’s history, with 257 students from seven countries and 35 different states. Students hailed from China, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Korea, in addition to the U.S.
The Master of Arts in Christian Practice (M.A.) and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) programs received record enrollments, with 28 and 52 students respectively.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program gained 113 new students, with students from minority groups comprising more than 25 percent of the class and Black students making up 19 percent of the M.Div. class. Forty-six percent of incoming M.Div. students are women.
Students in the M.Div. represent 30 denominations, with 30 percent affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Nondenominational students make up 16 percent of the new M.Div. students; Baptists, 16 percent (up from 13% in 2019) and Anglican-Episcopal, 9 percent.
The Master of Theology (Th.M) welcomed 13 students, the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) gained 34, and six students joined the Doctor of Theology (Th.D) program. The Certificate in Theology and Health Care enrolled six students, all Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellows.
“What will forever mark the incoming 2020 class is that they entered Duke Divinity School during a global pandemic,” said Todd Maberry, senior director of admissions, recruitment, and student finance. “When the pandemic first hit, I was concerned that a large number would not be able to join our community. While we did understandably lose a few for COVID-19-related reasons, the overwhelming majority chose to enroll, including a significant group who applied after the pandemic hit and in response to it. The 2020 class recognizes the significant challenges we face today and are boldly responding to the call of the Gospel to be the salt of the earth and the light to the world.”
The school also welcomed the first cohort of students from Martin Methodist College to take classes at Duke Divinity through the Kern Initiative in the Office of Wesleyan Engagement.
Across all degree programs at the Divinity School, 31 percent of the incoming class identified as a race or ethnicity other than white. Black students made up 21 percent of all students; Asian students, five percent; and American Indian students, two percent. Forty-five percent of students in the incoming class were female, and 55 percent were male.