The Certificate in Theology and the Arts (CTA) provides firm grounding in the key theological loci and practices relevant to a lifetime’s engagement with the arts and the church, the university and beyond.


The CTA deepens students’ appreciation of the current shape of the arts-theology conversation. The CTA is available to Duke Divinity Students enrolled in the M.Div., M.T.S., Th.M., and M.A.C.P. programs. To complete the certificate, students take the core course, Introduction to Theology and the Arts, and complete two additional approved courses in theology and the arts.

Past courses have included:

Theology and Music; Theological Assessment of Worship Song Lyrics; Songwriting and Theology

Visual Arts
Iconic Vision and Theological Aesthetics; The Theological Aesthetics of the Image; History and Theology of Byzantine Iconography

Film and the Christian Life; Religion, Race, and Relationship in Film

The Life of Faith: Readings in Spiritual Memoir; Tragedy and Christianity; Fictional Christ Figures; The Theological Imagination of Flannery O’Connor; The Life of Faith: Women’s Spiritual Autobiography and Memoir; Sin and Redemption in Contemporary North American Literature; Hebrew Narrative Art; Learning Theology with C.S. Lewis

Readings in Coleridge, Newman, and Hopkins; Poetry and Theology in the Late Middle Ages; T.S. Eliot’s Spiritual Poetics; The Poetic Imagination; The Unintended Reformation? Milton’s Theology, Life Questions, and Poetry

Theology, Science, and Stories; Storytelling in Medicine as a Form of Theological Witness; Beauty, Suffering, and the Cross, Nimble Believing: Theology and the Arts in Late Modernity; The Passion Narratives: Exegesis, Theology, and the Arts

Art in Action

The CTA equips students to practice the integration of theology and the arts. Students complete a service-learning project in theology and the arts that supports their ongoing vocational and research interests. Cross-departmental collaboration with Duke Divinity School and the university is encouraged.

DITA has also established partnerships with churches and organizations around the country and in Durham to offer field education experience to M.Div. students in theology and the arts. This pioneering initiative grows out of and reflects DITA’s mission to be anchored and expressed in local congregations and communities.



Community and Conversation

Students combine scholarship and practice with community and conversation by participating in bi-monthly CTA colloquies, informational opportunities to engage with their professors and their peers. Through Community and Conversation, they have the chance to talk to the scholars they are reading and to experience first-hand the work of the artists they admire. Our Distinguished Lecture Series in Theology and the Arts brings dynamic theologians and artists to Duke Divinity. Previous guest lecturers have included: Nicholas Wolterstorff, Robin Jensen, Robert Lundin, Malcolm Guite, Makoto Fujimura, Bruce Herman, David Lyle Jeffrey, Christine Bieber-Lake, and Natalie Carnes.

In this way, students are immersed in a community actively engaged in the arts through DITA-sponsored performances, art installations, and other students. Check out the latest DITA events.