The Certificate in Theology and the Arts (CTA) offers M.Div., M.T.S., and Th.M. students firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts in the church, the university, and beyond.

To complete this certificate, students must complete the core course and two other courses from an approved list (normally one of these will be a course offered outside the Divinity School). In addition, all students must complete a research or service learning project. Finally, participants are required to participate in events sponsored by Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, as well as bimonthly CTA colloquies.


“Having discovered Professor Begbie’s work in college, I came to Duke Divinity School with high hopes, and DITA certainly did not disappoint. Besides a spectacular, international conference showcasing beautiful facets of theology and arts around the world, the day-to-day interaction with collaborators and teachers has given me a precious and refreshing community. In an increasingly fragmented and isolated world, I’m thankful to work with people similarly passionate about glimpsing God through our various mediums, and I’m even more grateful to call them friends.”

“Duke Divinity was the only place I found where I could be unapologetically academic and unapologetically Christian. DITA captures the rigorous, academic element I crave without losing sight of what’s really important to me: expanding how faith and art co-exist in our everyday world. DITA isn’t just scholarship speaking to scholarship; it’s a disciplinary locus where scholars, pastors, and community members are equal voices, not always distinct.”


The primary objectives of the certificate program are:

  • to help students recognize and put into practice the constructive possibilities of the mutual enrichment of theology and arts
  • to provide students with a firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts in the church, the university, and beyond
  • to offer students an appreciation of the current shape of the arts-theology conversation
  • to foster and support research and community-service projects which responsibly integrate the arts and theology
  • to increase the opportunities for field-education placements in the arts with community and church organizations
  • to encourage and facilitate a community of students with a particular interest in engaging the arts as they discern their particular vocations
  • to encourage disciplinary education and cross-departmental collaboration within Duke Divinity School and the university

Completion of three courses in theology and the arts:

  • Required core course: XTIANTHE 773, Introduction to Theology and the Arts
  • Two approved courses in theology and the arts (normally, one of these will be a course offered outside of the Divinity School)

Completion of a research or service-learning project in theology and the arts. The project may be conducted in one of the following ways:

  • within a course (but not within any of the three courses that fulfill the previous requirement)
  • within a directed study
  • as an internship with a director of music or arts pastor at a church
  • as an independent community-building project
  • within the context of a field education placement

Regular participation in bimonthly CTA colloquies and DITA-sponsored events

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