Wake Forest University School of Divinity
Admitting its first students in 1999, the School of Divinity is a growing, dynamic theological institution that prepares men and women to minister in a rapidly changing world. The School of Divinity currently offers one degree, the Master of Divinity, and several dual degrees in law, bioethics, counseling, education, and sustainability offered jointly with other schools and programs of the University. The Master of Divinity program encourages students to explore the rich histories and traditions of Christianity, to understand the changing social and religious landscape of our times, and to gain awareness and practical experience of the issues facing churches in their local and global contexts. Through their studies in the MDiv curriculum, students will connect their knowledge of a full range of theological and ministry disciplines with what they encounter in ministry settings and in the world.
The School of Divinity offers concentrated studies within the MDiv degree:
- the Well-Being and Religious Leadership Program with curricular concentrations in food and faith, and faith and health of the public;
- in partnership with the Department of Education the school offers a concentration designed to enable students who already hold teaching certificates to qualify for a North Carolina Master's level certification; and
- in collaboration with the Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES) the school offers a graduate certificate in sustainability.
Our multi-disciplinary approach to theological education allows students to integrate traditional theological disciplines with a broad knowledge of the world. The core of the Master of Divinity curriculum includes study of the Bible, pastoral care, preaching, systematic theology, church history, ethics, and spirituality, but students are encouraged to enrich their theological education by drawing on the rich academic resources of the University. Through the Art of Ministry curriculum and multicultural immersion courses students engage the world outside the academia as part of their theological reflection.Student Life
With a diverse student body set on a college campus, Wake Forest University School of Divinity is a unique community. Opportunities abound for involvement with campus life including taking in collegiate sporting events, participating in co-ed recreational intramurals, and having all the amenities of a large community with the benefit of small class sizes.
One of the things students appreciate most about the Wake Forest School of Divinity is the close community formed each year. Because of the small class size, students get to know each other and learn from each other in class and outside of class. We worship together on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and lunch is provided for the community after chapel. Coffee is always made available in the Lower Auditorium on Thursdays, and the student lounge is the hub for student fellowship and conversation. The annual Fall Renewal Service and Incarnation Celebration are high points of the year.
There are also several opportunities to become involved in student organizations. Read more about the variety of these offerings at http://divinity.wfu.edu/beyond-the-classroom/campus-life/student-organizations/.Admissions
Deciding where to enroll for theological education is an important and exciting undertaking. The application process is the first step of preparation for your graduate studies in theology and ministry and helps you reflect on your vocation goals. See how the School of Divinity can be a part of your journey online at http://divinity.wfu.edu/admissions/apply-request-info/.Financial Aid
The School of Divinity is committed to assisting students in meeting basic educational and living expenses while they are enrolled. 95% of the student body received scholarships from the School of Divinity in 2014-2015. Merit scholarships are granted to candidates who demonstrate in their application high academic achievement and outstanding promise for ministry, and range from 1/3 to full tuition plus a stipend. These scholarships are awarded only to full-time students enrolled in degree programs. Most are renewable for three years, but there is no automatic increase in amount awarded to compensate for increases in tuition and fees. Merit scholarships only cover tuition and fees, not living expenses. All candidates for admission are considered for these awards. Scholarships are funded by several endowed scholarships from generous donors.
The Samuel and Sarah Wait Graduate Fellowship in Theology and Ministry is the most selective and comprehensive of the School of Divinity's merit awards. The fellowship includes full tuition and a $7,500 annual stipend. It is named for the University's principal founders and is awarded to entering students who demonstrate strong potential for graduate-level work and exceptional promise for Christian ministry. Wait Fellowships are awarded each year to applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher.
The Frances and Charles R. Council Award provides full tuition and a $5,000 annual stipend for candidates who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and show financial need. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher. Preference is given to candidates from North Carolina.
The Jeanette Wallace Hyde Award provides full tuition and a $5,000 annual stipend for strong female candidates who demonstrate exceptional promise in religious leadership and strong academic ability. The award is renewable for up to three academic years for those who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher. Preference is given to candidates from North Carolina.Food and Faith
We've founded the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative to help communities live a vision of caring for the earth through the way food is grown and shared, through continuing education events, seminar programs, and hands-on experiences. Paired with our other offerings, we will help you develop the knowledge, skills, and self-assurance needed to help others live as fully and meaningfully as God intends.Degrees and Concentrations
The School of Divinity currently offers one degree, the Master of Divinity, but it has dual degree offerings in bioethics, counseling, educaiton, law, and sustainability with other schools of the University. The Master of Divinity program encourages students to explore the rich histories and traditions of Christianity, to understand the changing social and religious landscape of our times, and to gain awareness and practical experience of the issues facing churches in their local and global contexts. Through their studies in the MDiv curriculum, students will connect their knowledge of a full range of theological and ministry disciplines with what they encounter in ministry settings and in the world.
The Art of Ministry program is a required three-year course sequence that facilitates students' beginning formation in the life and work of ministry. In the first year, students take a one-semester introduction to ministry. The second year course requires a two semester, part-time ministry internship placement that students process together in small group settings. The third year course invites students to integrate their learning in the MDiv program through a writing project or internship-based project.
The School of Divinity also concentrated studies in food and faith, faith and health of the public, education, sustainability. Graduates of the School of Divinity serve in many types of Christian ministry in addition to being pastors, most notably in chaplaincy and social justice and advocacy ministries. Denominational studies, through course offerings, are also available.
Faith-Based Nonprofit Leadership
The Faith-Based Nonprofit Leadership Program is designed as a continuing education opportunity to strengthen the capacity and build the skills and knowledge of clergy and lay religious leaders pursuing careers in the nonprofit sector. In addition to exploring concrete skills of nonprofit leadership, the program brings a theological lens to the challenges and opportunities of ministry in nonprofit organizations. Six weekend sessions cover a range of topics essential to the governance and management of nonprofits and are taught primarily by Wake Forest University faculty and administrators.
Working with Wake Forest University professors over the course of nine months, participants will engage in a strategic project focused on the unique needs of their organization, ultimately leading to a resource that will enhance the work they do in our communities.
With meetings at Wake Forest University’s Charlotte Center and School of Divinity, the program will connect directly with the many faith-based nonprofit organizations in Western and Central North Carolina and the resources of Wake Forest University’s Essentials for Nonprofit Organizations program.
The program is ideal for faith-based leaders who:
- currently work in nonprofit settings and would like a formal introduction to nonprofit leadership;
- want to start a nonprofit ministry or incorporate a congregational ministry as a nonprofit organization;
- want to add nonprofit leadership skills to their professional development;
- serve on the board of a faith-based nonprofit organization.
After completing all sessions, participants will receive a certificate of completion from Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
In addition to six weekend sessions, program participants may enroll in any three sessions in the Wake Forest Essentials of Business for Nonprofit Organizations program at no additional cost. The Essentials of Business for Nonprofit Organizations program is a series of six skill-building courses covering a range of topics related to nonprofit leadership.At a Glance
- Academic Programs: Master of Divinity; MDiv/MA in Bioethics; MDiv/MA in Counseling; MDiv/MA in Education; MDiv/MA in Sustainability; JD/MDiv
- Founded: 1999
- Accredited: 2005
- Current Student Profile: 55% female, 45% male, 67% under 30 years old
- Dean: Gail R. O'Day
- Over 30 Denominations represented in Current Student Body
- Enrollment: 130 full-time students
- 17 Full-Time Faculty, 2 Shared University Professors
- Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
- Other Resources: Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative
- Tuition (2015-2016): $19,720 per year
The Wake Forest University School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved:
Master of Divinity
The Commission contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada 10 Summit Park Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA Telephone: 412-788-6505 Fax: 412-788-6510 Website: www.ats.edu
Wake Forest University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Wake Forest University.Statement of Educational Effectiveness
The Master of Divinity degree stands at the center of the School of Divinity's degree offerings. The program prepares students from diverse ministry experiences and theological perspectives for religious leadership, encouraging students to engage the rich histories and traditions of Christian congregations, to increase awareness and understanding of issues facing churches in their local and global contexts, and to integrate their knowledge of varied theological and ministry disciplines with what they encounter in ministry settings and in the world.
The school uses a variety of tools to assess its effectiveness in ensuring that students achieve these learning goals: faculty assessment of individual student performance, evaluative reports from internship supervisors, student subjective assessments of their experience in the degree program as reported via the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ), alumni surveys, and student performance in denominational ordination exams. Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, the school will implement an additional assessment tool that utilizes student electronic portfolios to track student progress across the three year curriculum. In conjunction with the University's Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the school also tracks graduation and placement rates.
The school's three dual degree programs are also assessed using this assessment plan with adjustments to account for differing degree requirements.
School of Divinity students are successful in a wide range of ministerial settings following graduation. The results of a survey for a typical graduating class (2011) twelve months after graduation show that 72 percent of MDiv graduates are currently employed in ministry, education, the non-profit and for-profit sectors; 7 percent are pursuing further education; 7 percent are engaged in other activities; and 14 percent are seeking work. Half of those seeking work have just completed yearlong CPE residencies and are newly entering the job market.