This academic year, Duke Divinity School welcomed the largest incoming class in the school’s history, with 259 new students from 31 different states and five other countries—India, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Mexico, and South Korea.

New students stand during Opening Convocation in Duke Chapel.
New students stand during Opening Convocation in Duke University Chapel.

Enrollment in the flagship Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program jumped to 133 students, up from approximately 110 students during each of the previous four years. The growth was heavily driven by the first cohort of 52 Hybrid M.Div. students.

Students from minority groups comprised more than 28 percent of incoming M.Div. students, with Black students making up 16 percent. Half of incoming M.Div. students are women.

There were 27 denominations represented in the M.Div. entering class, with 38 percent affiliated with the United Methodist Church (up from 30 percent in 2020). Anglican-Episcopal students made up 13 percent of the new M.Div. students (up from nine percent the prior year); non-denominational students, 11 percent; and Baptists, 10 percent.

“The incoming 2021 class represents the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Duke Divinity School, as it includes the first cohort of our Hybrid Master of Divinity students,” said Todd Maberry, senior director of admissions, recruitment, and student finance. “We continue to have solid enrollment in our residential programs, and the hybrid students add tremendous strength to our academic community with the opportunity to welcome new Duke students who are rooted in communities all over the country. The majority of Hybrid M.Div. students are serving in full-time church ministry, and they are bringing that practical wisdom with them into the classroom.”

Attendees of the service talk together on the Duke Chapel steps.
Students, faculty, and staff gather after the Opening Convocation service. 

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) welcomed 36 students, the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) gained 33, and the Master of Arts in Christian Practice (M.A.) saw 17 new students. The Master of Theology (Th.M.) enrolled 12 students, and the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) enrolled seven new students.

The Certificate in Theology and Health Care welcomed five residential students to campus and a large first cohort of 14 students in the hybrid version of the program.

Across all degree programs at the Divinity School, 32 percent of the incoming class identified as a race or ethnicity other than white. Black students made up 18 percent of all students; Latinx students, six percent; Asian students, two percent; and American Indian students, two percent. Women made up 47 percent of incoming students across all programs.